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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Boston Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin, Fentanyl and Gun Offenses

Defendant was on pre-trial release for state murder charges at time of offenses

BOSTON – A Boston man pleaded guilty today in connection with heroin and fentanyl distribution and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Anthony Howard, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin, one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for May 25, 2022. Howard was arrested and charged in August 2021.

This case arose from a series of controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Howard by a cooperating witness. On July 20, 2021, Howard sold a cooperating witness over 32 grams of heroin. A search of Howard’s apartment on Aug. 5, 2021, resulted in the seizure of approximately 24.52 grams of fentanyl; drug distribution paraphernalia; and several firearms, including a Glock 9mm handgun loaded with a drum magazine capable of 50 round capacity and containing 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Federal law prohibits Howard from possessing a firearm or ammunition due to prior felony convictions. Additionally, at the time of the offenses, Howard was on state pre-trial release for a 2014 indictment for murder, armed assault to murder and illegal firearm possession, amongst other charges, in connection with a shooting of multiple victims. On Nov. 15, 2021, Howard was convicted on several charges in this matter and sentenced to 18 to 20 years in state prison.

The charges of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

First United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dawley of the Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated February 2, 2022