Boston Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Trans-National Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring
BOSTON – A Boston man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to his role in a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering ring operating between Massachusetts and California.
Mario Castro, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for March 27, 2019.
Castro is one of 11 men from Massachusetts and California who were indicted in 2016 on drug and money laundering conspiracy charges. Beginning in at least 2013, the defendants participated in a conspiracy to transport sizeable quantities of methamphetamine from San Diego, Calif., to Massachusetts, where it was distributed in the greater Boston area. Proceeds from the sale of that methamphetamine were then transported and/or transferred back to California and laundered in various ways. In his plea agreement, Castro admitted that in December 2015, agents seized approximately 75 grams of methamphetamine hidden in his pants, and that he intended to distribute some of the drugs.
The charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, both provide for a minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; William Ferrara, Director of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement. The Reading, Watertown, Quincy, Chelsea, Braintree, Peabody, Waltham, and Woburn Police Departments, and Connecticut State Police assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Arnold and Jared C. Dolan of Lelling’s Narcotics & Money Laundering 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.