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17 ½ YEAR FEDERAL PRISON SENTENCE FOR PROVIDENCE MAN GUILTY OF LEADING A MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING OPERATION IN FALL RIVER AND PROVIDENCE

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - Late yesterday, United States District Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf handed down a stiff sentence to a Providence, RI, man for his role in leading a marijuana trafficking operation in Fall River and Providence.

JEREMY BARNES, 36, was sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, and a $50,000 fine for conspiracy to distribute at least 50 kilograms of marijuana and distribution of marijuana in March 2006. Barnes previously pleaded guilty to the charges stemming from a joint investigation by federal and local authorities aimed at reducing large scale drug dealing in the areas of southern Mass. and Providence, RI. Barnes was originally charged with related state drug charges, but the case was transferred to federal court in August 2008.

During the sentencing hearing, Barnes was described as the leader of large-scale marijuana distribution operation who obtained marijuana and cocaine from co-conspirators in California and elsewhere. Chief Judge Wolf found that Barnes and his California cohorts transported tons of marijuana from California to New England via tractor-trailers, small trucks, and express mail packages. After finding Barnes responsible for distributing at least 2,700 kilograms of marijuana, worth millions of dollars, and four kilograms of cocaine, the judge sentenced Barnes to 210 months’ imprisonment.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Special Agent in Charge Steven W. Derr of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; Postal Inspector in Charge Robert Bethel of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; Police Chief Thomas Blakey of Tiverton Police Department in Rhode Island; Police Chief Josue D. Canario of Bristol Police Department in Rhode Island; and Fall River Police Chief Daniel S. Racine announced the sentence today. The Fall River Police Department, the Tiverton and Bristol Police Departments in RI, and DEA’s Providence Field Office played pivotal roles in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa M. Asiaf and Michael J. Crowley in Ortiz’s Criminal Division.

 

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