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Justice News

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Chelsea Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Trans-National Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

BOSTON – A Chelsea 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.

Russell Ormiston, 51, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for June 13, 2018.

In November 2016, Ormiston and 10 co-defendants were charged with various methamphetamine offenses relating to a transnational trafficking scheme.

Beginning in at least 2013 and continuing to November 2016, Ormiston was involved in a conspiracy that transported 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.  

Ormiston received methamphetamine from a co-conspirator, who received it from a supplier in California. Ormiston redistributed a portion of the methamphetamine to his customers.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to life, 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; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Joel P. Garland, 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 Evans made the announcement. The Massachusetts Department of Correction; Norfolk County Sherriff’s Office; Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office; and the Reading, Watertown, Quincy, Chelsea, Braintree, Peabody, Waltham, and Woburn Police Departments; and Connecticut State Police assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Beausey of Lelling’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the cases.

Drug Trafficking
Updated March 14, 2018