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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

24 Boston Gang Members and Associates Charged with Cocaine Trafficking

Approximately 1.7 kilograms of cocaine and cocaine base, 27 pounds of marijuana, over 200 rounds of ammunition and 11 firearms recovered during investigation

BOSTON – Twenty-four members and associates of Boston-based street gangs have been charged in federal court in Boston in connection with trafficking cocaine in a Brighton housing development and separately operating a large-scale drug trafficking organization.

“In case anyone needed it, this investigation is yet another reminder that our law enforcement officers are committed to protecting the residents of our communities from harm,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “Despite a pandemic and constant, nationwide criticism of police officers, these agents and officers risked their own safety to take two dozen alleged gang members and drug traffickers off the street, seizing over two dozen firearms, narcotics and cash along the way. Without the help of the Massachusetts State Police, the Boston Police Department, and several other local police departments, today’s arrests would not have been possible. Feel free to thank them for what they do.”

“Drug trafficking, along with the violence that all too often accompanies it, is a serious threat to the safety and security of our communities,” said Acting DEA Administrator Timothy J. Shea. “Drug dealers and street gangs value their own profits over human life, and are responsible for fueling drug addiction and much of the violent crime across America. DEA is committed to working with our state and local law enforcement partners to rid our neighborhoods of these violent criminals and make our streets safer for all.”

“This collaborative operation was intended to target the individuals driving the distribution of illegal drugs and taking advantage of a vulnerable community,” said Boston Police Commissioner William G. Gross. “This operation will greatly improve quality of life for our neighborhoods and protect the health and safety of those affected by drug addiction.”

“During these times of significant societal upheaval and uncertainty, it is critical that we work together to ensure the safety and health of our neighborhoods,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins. “This 18-month-long investigation is an example of collaboration -- the United States Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Boston Police Department, and my office working to produce today’s arrests and recovery of a cache of weapons and proceeds from this drug conspiracy. It is a clear message that we have not and will not rest until all our communities are safe and free from this criminal and dangerous conduct.”

According to charging documents, since November 2018, federal and local authorities conducted an investigation, dubbed “Operation Snowfall,” of drug trafficking activities by Boston-based street gang members and associates. The first part of the investigation targeted the Commonwealth Development in Brighton, Mass., formerly known as Fidelis Way, a multi-apartment public housing development. It is alleged that the defendants, through their drug trafficking activities, assumed control over multiple Fidelis Way apartments, where they stored, cooked, packaged and sold drugs. As a result, their activities caused a blight of the development and reduced the quality of life of the other residents.

The second part of the investigation targeted large scale drug suppliers and their associates, which included Boston street gang members. It is alleged that the targets continued to distribute cocaine and cocaine base throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. One defendant, Eric Davis, even traveled to California in April 2020 to try to obtain kilograms of cocaine.

Over the course of this investigation, investigators purchased and seized approximately 1.7 kilograms of cocaine and cocaine base, approximately 27 pounds of marijuana, approximately $200,000 in cash, over 200 rounds of ammunition and 11 firearms.

In addition, 17 search warrants were executed today in Brighton, Dorchester, Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Randolph, Holbrook and Braintree. At present, approximately 30 firearms, a half kilo of cocaine and $350,000 has been seized.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release up to life and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Lelling; DEA Acting Administrator Shea; Boston Police Commissioner Gross; John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Braintree Police Chief Mark W. Dubois; Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard, Jr.; Canton Police Chief Kenneth Berkowitz; Randolph Police Chief William Pace; Weymouth Police Chief Richard Fuller; Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins; Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey; Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins; Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr.; and Norfolk County Sheriff Jerome P. McDermott made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin O’Donnell and Timothy Moran of Lelling’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.  

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The following defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base:

  1. Kenji Drayton, 40, of Boston, Mass.;
  2. Winston McGhee, 36, of Dorchester, Mass;
  3. Hassan Monroe, 37, of Quincy, Mass;
  4. Derek Hart, 30, of Everett, Mass;
  5. Eric Davis, 36, of Mattapan, Mass;
  6. Maurice Coates, 42, of Randolph, Mass;
  7. Derrick Hobson, 44, of Boston, Mass;
  8. Andre Echevarria, 39, of Holbrook, Mass;
  9. Antone Jeremiah, 28, of Taunton, Mass;
  10. Michael Stokes, 36, of Boston, Mass;
  11. Michael Toussaint, 39, of Hyde Park, Mass;
  12. Kareem Chaplin, 42, of Canton, Mass;
  13. Tatiana Morrissey, 35, of Boston, Mass;
  14. Russell Hankerson, 28, of Boston, Mass;
  15. Jarmina Kallon, 25, of Randolph, Mass;
  16. Renardo Williams, 43, of South Boston, Mass;
  17. Tarik Muhammad, 25, of Boston, Mass;
  18. Matthew Drayton, 43, of Boston, Mass;
  19. Arthur Hodges, 34, of Lawrence, Mass;
  20. Jean Aman, 34, of Boston, Mass;
  21. Nelsin Hernandez, 29, of Brighton, Mass;
  22. Terrence Daye, 31, of Brookline, Mass;
  23. Keith Daye, 44, of Brockton, Mass; and
  24. Phillip Williams, 36, of Brockton, Mass.
Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated June 24, 2020