Easton Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – An Easton man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute cocaine in Massachusetts and Maine as part of a large-scale drug trafficking conspiracy.
Christopher Riley, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine before U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani, who scheduled sentencing for June 13, 2023.
Riley 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 intercepted phone calls between Riley and other gang members, who conspired distribute cocaine in Massachusetts and Maine.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and John E. Mawn, Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. 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 https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
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 22, 2023