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BOSTON, Mass. - A Peabody man was convicted today in federal court of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; being a felon in possession of a firearm; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone; and attempted possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

EARL FRANCIS HART, 49, of Peabody, was found guilty of four of the five counts with which he was charged by a federal jury late this afternoon before U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris.

On September 18th and 19th, 2008, Hart, who had previously been convicted of a felony, conspired to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, and then used and brandished a firearm in connection with that offense. The evidence at trial showed that on September 19, 2008, at the Carriage House Motel on Route 1 North in Peabody, Hart racked a loaded Iver Johnson semiautomatic .380 caliber, held it to the head of an undercover Peabody Police Department Sergeant, threatened to kill him and then robbed the Sergeant of what Hart thought was 125 oxycodone pills.

Judge Saris set sentencing for January 27, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Hart had previously been convicted of two prior serious violent felonies, and the government filed a notice of a sentencing enhancement. Hart is now subject to a mandatory life term of imprisonment on the conviction for the brandishing count.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Guy Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Boston Field Division; Steven Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Boston Field Division, Chief Robert L. Champagne of the Peabody Police Department; and Colonel Marian McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts Police made the announcement today.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George W. Vien and Zachary R. Hafer of Ortiz’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.


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