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BOSTON, Mass...Today in federal court, a Springfield man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for possessing and distributing crack cocaine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; William Bennett, Hampden County District Attorney; Colonel Marian J. McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner William Fitchet of the Springfield Police Department; and Michael J. Ashe, Jr. Hampden County Sheriff; announced that TOMMIE LEE COLLINS, 36, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to 15 years imprisonment, to be followed by eight years of supervised release. On February 18, 2010, COLLINS pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base.

In October 2009, a total of nine individuals, including COLLINS, were charged as the result of a joint effort between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to identify individuals involved in drug trafficking activity and associated crimes of violence. In 2005, the Western Massachusetts FBI Gang Task Force began focusing on the Mason Square area. Since the investigation began in 2005, the Task Force has successfully made controlled narcotics purchases in the greater Springfield area from leaders, members, or associates of Mason Square area gangs.

At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that COLLINS sold five grams or more of crack cocaine on July 9, 2009 to a cooperating witness in the Springfield area.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force, consisting of law enforcement personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Massachusetts State Police, Springfield Police Department and the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office. The FBI’s Gang Task Force is assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Dineen Jerrett of Ortiz’s Springfield branch office.


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