Eight Individuals Charged in Nationwide Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring
152 pounds of methamphetamine seized during investigation
BOSTON – Eight individuals were charged and arrested yesterday in connection with a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking ring operating between California and New England. Investigators seized approximately 152 pounds of methamphetamine throughout the investigation from controlled purchases, motor vehicle stops and package seizures.
The following individuals were indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine:
- Reshat Alkayisi, 60, a Turkish national residing in Coventry, R.I.;
- Brian Keleman, 52, of Woonsocket, R.I.;
- Robyn Costa, 35, of Whitman, Mass.;
- Eric Daneault, 45, of Manchester, N.H.:
- Andre Watson, 45, of Nashua, N.H.;
- Emil Dzabiev, 40, of Scarborough, Maine; and
- Edison Klotz 40, of Stoughton, Mass.
Klotz is also charged with distribution of and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine - aiding and abetting, and Costa is also charged with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking.
Patrick O’Hearn, 61, of Braintree, Mass., was charged separately by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and other controlled substances, and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.
“Traffickers are bringing massive shipments of methamphetamine to New England, and that creates a new and especially dangerous threat,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “Meth is exceptionally destructive, and the people selling it here should see this prosecution as a warning: we are on to you, we are going to prosecute you, and you will go to federal prison. My office and our law enforcement partners cracked this case, but this is only the beginning.”
“Today we arrested members of a large-scale, multi-state drug trafficking organization who lined their pockets by poisoning our communities, capitalizing on the misery of others. We have taken at least 152 pounds of methamphetamine off the street, which is a record amount for this region, and seized numerous firearms,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “This investigation is just one example of the Boston OCDETF Strike Force’s coordinated efforts to disrupt those who traffic in violence, addiction, and death. We simply will not stand idly by and watch our neighborhoods degrade due to daily drug dealing and the violence it brings.”
“As methamphetamine seizures are on the rise, DEA stands committed to keeping this highly addictive drug out of New England,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Office. “DEA and its local, state and federal partners are dedicated to bringing to justice those that commit these crimes.”
As alleged in the charging documents, in approximately October 2020, investigators received information about drug trafficking activities of a large-scale methamphetamine supplier in the Boston area. In late 2020, investigators identified Alkayisi as a methamphetamine trafficker, who distributes multi-pound quantities to customers throughout the New England area. Between February and April 2021, the investigators conducted three controlled purchases of suspected methamphetamine—two directly from Alkayisi and one that was negotiated with Alkayisi and delivered by Keleman. Intercepted electronic communications identified regular methamphetamine customers of Alkayisi, including Costa, Daneault, Watson, Dzabiev and O’Hearn. It is alleged that O’Hearn assists Alkayisi in storing methamphetamine and drug proceeds.
On June 1, 2021, investigators seized four packages containing a total of approximately 100 pounds of suspected methamphetamine from Keleman that he allegedly picked up on behalf of Alkayisi from a UPS store in Rhode Island. According to court filings, investigators seized approximately 152 pounds of methamphetamine throughout the investigation from controlled purchases, motor vehicle stops and package seizures.
During a search of Alkayisi’s residence in Rhode Island yesterday, investigators seized an AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun and ammunition, over $23,000 case and multiple controlled substances, including suspected methamphetamine.
The charges of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine provides for a minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of distribution and possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute, 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine each provide for a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and up to 40 in prison, four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $ 5 million. The charge of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking provides for a mandatory sentence of five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney Mendell, FBI Boston SAC Bonavolonta and DEA Boston SAC Boyle made the announcement. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Strike Force including the Massachusetts Department of Correction; Norfolk County Sherriff’s Office; and Concord, Hudson, Peabody, Reading, Watertown and Waltham Police Departments. Assistance was also provided by the Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alathea Porter and James Arnold of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case 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.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.