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Press Release

Convicted Drug Trafficker and Money Launderer Sentenced to Prison

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

BOSTON – A Brockton man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with orchestrating a cross-country conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana.

Miguel Fernandes, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, to 12 years in prison, four years of supervised release, and forfeiture of $1 million and a 2007 Ferrari.  In January 2016, Fernandes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

A two-year federal investigation revealed a well-organized conspiracy responsible for the transportation and distribution of cocaine and marijuana from Los Angeles to Boston.  Fernandes, who at the time of the offense lived in Los Angeles, Calif. under the alias “Orlando Sanchez,” obtained the drugs from sources in Los Angeles, and utilized various means, including the USPS express mail system, to ship the drugs to various cities in the greater Boston area.  Fernandes and his co-conspirators also laundered the proceeds made from the sale of those drugs.  The conspiracy utilized “funnel accounts” controlled by individuals in Los Angeles who allowed deposits for Fernandes to be made to their accounts in Massachusetts and withdrawn in Los Angeles.  As many as 40 funnel accounts were utilized, through which Fernandes and his co-conspirators laundered as much as $5 million in drug sale proceeds.

As the organizer and leader of the operation, Fernandez oversaw all aspects of the conspiracy.  He also reaped the greatest rewards.  At the time of his arrest, Fernandes had acquired a mint condition 2007 Ferrari 430 which he was ordered to forfeit to the government.

Co-defendants Michael Alves, 28, Alex Gomes, 26, and Nelson Teixeira, 36, all of Brockton, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.  In February 2016, Alves was sentenced to 27 months in prison, and Gomes was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

In March 2016, Teixeira was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for his role.  Marcos Andrade was acquitted of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in January 2016 after trial. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Lisa A. Quinn, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service; and Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Beausey and James Arnold of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.

Updated April 8, 2016

Drug Trafficking