Natick Drug Dealer Charged For Overdose Death of College Student

BOSTON, MASS – A Natick man was charged in a superseding indictment today in connection with fentanyl trafficking resulting in the death of a 24-year old woman in Natick in November 2019.

Rafael Ashworth, 27, was charged in a superseding indictment on one count of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl resulting in death and one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and heroin. Ashworth was initially indicted on Dec. 18, 2019. He was arrested by state authorities on Nov. 17, 2019 and has been in custody since.

According to court documents, after responding to a report of an overdose death at Ashworth’s apartment, police found Ashworth with approximately 100 grams of a substance containing fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin along with other paraphernalia associated with drug packaging and distribution. Police also found a deceased woman in the apartment, who is believed to have died from a fentanyl overdose.

The charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and heroin carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. The charge of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and up to life in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division made the announcement today.  Special assistance was provided by the Natick Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leah Foley and Stephen Hassink of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.