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Press Release

Boston Man Sentenced to More Than One Year in Prison for Drug Trafficking in and Around Public Housing Development

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A man identified as a member/associate of the Heath Street Gang was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in a public housing development.

Michael Van Rader, 24, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 22 months in prison to be followed by six years of supervised release. In April 2024, Van Rader pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine within 1,000 feet of a public housing facility.  

On or about Sept. 3, 2023, Van Rader was arrested on the grounds of the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments, a public housing complex in Jamaica Plain, in possession of a distribution quantity of cocaine. At the time of his arrest, Van Rader was barred by the Boston Housing Authority from trespassing at the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments and was on probation in connection with a state firearm-related conviction. 

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Feld Division; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement. The investigation was supported by the Boston Housing Authority Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Hoefle of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit prosecuted the case. 

This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

Updated July 2, 2024

Drug Trafficking