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Press Release

Five Men Charged in Violent Kidnapping

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

BOSTON – Five men from Cape Cod and Rhode Island were charged in a superseding indictment unsealed yesterday in federal court in Boston, on charges related to a violent kidnapping and witness retaliation and intimidation scheme.

Three individuals, Edwin Otero, 30, of Hyannis; Justin Joseph, 33, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and Anthony Basilici, 36, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island were previously arrested on the original indictment, and are all being detained pending trial.  The superseding indictment also charges two additional individuals, Cameron Cartier, 26, who was arrested and detained on March 16, 2020, and Albert Lee a/k/a “Mook,” 29, who remains at large.

The unsealed indictment supersedes a July 2019 indictment, which originally charged 11  individuals from Cape Cod and Rhode Island with a heroin conspiracy and various firearm charges. 

According to court documents, in April 2019, Otero, Joseph, Basilici, Cartier and Lee lured an unnamed victim from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, where they kidnapped and held him, stripped him naked, assaulted and threatened to rape him, and then took his clothing and cellular telephone.  These same individuals also allegedly conspired to cause physical injury to the victim to retaliate against him because they believed he was cooperating with law enforcement.  Otero and Basilici also allegedly further intimidated or attempted to intimidate other witnesses after the kidnapping.

The charge of kidnapping conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.  The charges of witness intimidation and witness retaliation conspiracy provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 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 upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Barnstable Police Chief Matthew K. Sonnabend; and Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings, made the announcement today.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Pohl and Lauren Graber of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case. 

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



Updated March 20, 2020