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Press Release

Drug Supplier for Gangster Disciples Sentenced in Counterfeit Prescription Pill Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Over 16,000 counterfeit prescription pills containing methamphetamine and oxycodone seized from defendant’s apartment

BOSTON – A Chelmsford man was sentenced today in federal court in Boston to trafficking counterfeit oxycodone and Adderall pills that contained fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Vando Gvozdarevic, 30, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release. On July 7, 2022, Gvozdarevic pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of fentanyl. 

“Communities across our Commonwealth and beyond are plagued by the chaos and harm caused by the opioid epidemic that manifests itself in overdose deaths, violence, and crime. Mr. Gvozdarevic trafficked this poison into our neighborhoods in the form of tens of thousands of counterfeit pills. The risk of overdose was increased for those seeking diverted pharmaceutical pills and people unfamiliar with street narcotics who thought they were illicitly getting prescription pills when in fact they had potentially deadly and addicting opioid or stimulant,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. 

“The Gangster Disciples are a ruthless gang that preyed upon our communities, and Vando Gvozdarevic was a driving force and prolific pill pusher, who supplied them with deadly narcotics disguised as prescription pills,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Today’s sentence should be a warning to other bad actors. The FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force will stop at nothing to identify, investigate, and disrupt those who insist on bringing their harmful business to our neighborhoods.”

Gvozdarevic was charged in November 2021 along with 12 others in connection with a large drug conspiracy centering around the Gangster Disciples in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen. The investigation, which began in August 2020, intercepted communications between Gangster Disciples’ leaders, members and drug suppliers pertaining to their alleged distribution of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and suboxone in Massachusetts, Maine and southern New Hampshire as well as into the Essex County Jail. The investigation identified Gvozdarevic as a supplier of methamphetamine and fentanyl disguised as counterfeit Adderall and oxycodone pills. 12,556 counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine and 3,717 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl were seized from Gvozdarevic’s apartment during the execution of a federal search warrant. 

Gvozdarevic was previously sentenced to five years in state prison for drug distribution and firearm offenses. 

U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI SAC Bonavolonta and John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Chelmsford Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip C. Cheng of Rollins’ Organized Crime & Gang Unit prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 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

This case is also a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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.

Updated March 15, 2023

Drug Trafficking