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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 30, 2021

Boston Gang Associate Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Trafficking

Over 400 grams of cocaine and firearm seized

BOSTON – A Boston gang associate pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in federal court in Boston to a cocaine and firearm possession charges.

Kareem Chaplin, 47, of Canton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Aug. 25, 2021.

In June 2020, Chaplin was charged along with 23 others as part of Operation Snowfall.  According to the charging documents, beginning in November 2018, law enforcement conducted an investigation into drug trafficking activities by Boston-based street gang members and associates in 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 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 investigation, which included Chaplin, also targeted large-scale drug suppliers and their associates. It is alleged that the targets continued to distribute cocaine and cocaine base throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. Chaplin is the third defendant to plead guilty in the case.

During the investigation, investigators executed a search warrant at a “stash house” associated with Chaplin and recovered over 400 grams of cocaine, six firearms and multiple rounds of ammunition.

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 and up to life of supervised release 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.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long made the announcement. Assistance with the investigation was provided by the Braintree, Cambridge, Canton, Randolph and Weymouth Police Departments; the Suffolk, Norfolk and Bristol County District Attorneys’ Offices; and the Suffolk, Plymouth and Norfolk County Sheriffs’ Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin O’Donnell and Timothy Moran of Mendell’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated April 30, 2021