CONCORD -- A Manchester man was sentenced this week to nearly six years in federal prison on firearms and cocaine trafficking charges, federal prosecutors have announced.
Mark Manapsal, 35, of Manchester, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Concord to 70 months in prison for distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Scott Murray announced.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on Aug. 17, 2016, and Nov. 2, 2016, Manapsal sold cocaine to an individual cooperating with law enforcement. On Nov. 29, 2016, Manapsal, a convicted felon prohibited from possessing guns, sold a semi-automatic rifle to the cooperating individual for $900. On March 22, 2017, Manapsal was found to be in possession of 497 grams of cocaine when his vehicle was stopped by New Hampshire State Police in Nashua.
Manapsal pleaded guilty on July 11 of this year.
“Armed drug traffickers present a serious threat to public safety,” said Murray. “In order to protect our community, law enforcement agencies in New Hampshire are working together to identify, prosecute, and incarcerate drug dealers. Drug dealers who increase the risk to the public by using firearms should expect to find themselves in federal prison.”
"The FBI is all too familiar with what havoc can result from a semi-automatic rifle being sold into the wrong hands,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special-agent-in-charge at the FBI Boston Division. “Mark Manapsal was a convicted felon and cocaine pusher when he brokered the sale of an AM-15 he told the buyer was given to him to cover a drug debt. Drugs and guns are a dangerous mix. Today's sentence should deliver that message to Mr. Manapsal loud and clear."
“DEA is committed to bring to justice those that distribute cocaine,” said Brian D. Boyle, Drug Enforcement Administration special-agent-in-charge. “Today’s sentence not only holds Mr. Manapsal accountable for his crimes but serves as a warning that DEA and its local, state and federal law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to keep this drug off the streets of New Hampshire.”