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Berlin Man Charged with Marijuana Trafficking, Money Laundering and Tax Evasion

AUG 29 (BOSTON) – A Berlin man was charged today with conspiring to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, as well as money laundering and tax evasion.

John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division;  United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; and John G. Collins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation in Boston, announced that Eric W. Sliwa, 32, was indicted for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, 29 counts of money laundering, filing false tax returns and corruptly endeavoring to impede the administration of the IRS.

The indictment alleges that from 2001 to 2012, Sliwa and others distributed large quantities of marijuana.  In June 2006, Sliwa set up a company, EWS Gem Corp., for the purpose of concealing his drug proceeds and making it appear as though he had legitimate income.  While Sliwa filed personal tax returns for the tax years 2008 through 2010, he failed to report all of the proceeds from his drug trafficking business.  During the time period of the conspiracy, Sliwa purchased several assets including his home in Berlin, Mass., a condominium in Killington, Vt. and multiple vehicles.  Sliwa also possessed nearly $500,000 in cash as well as a coin and precious metal collection worth approximately $370,000. 

If convicted, Sliwa faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering transactions, and forfeiture of multiple assets including, but not limited to, his home in Berlin, multiple vehicles, nearly $500,000 in cash and his coin/precious metal collection.


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