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Press Release

Former Massachusetts Man Sentenced for Role in Trans-National Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

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

BOSTON – A former Allston man was sentenced on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston for his role in a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering ring operating between Massachusetts and California.

Jesse Gillis, 32, previously of Allston and San Diego, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to 72 months in prison and five years of supervised release. Gillis was also ordered to forfeit $500,000. In March 2018, Gillis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

In November 2016, Gillis, and 10 co-defendants were charged with various methamphetamine offenses relating to a transnational trafficking scheme. All 11 defendants have pleaded guilty, and 10 have been sentenced. From at least 2013 to November 2016, Gillis and others participated in a conspiracy to transport significant quantities of methamphetamine from San Diego, Calif., to Massachusetts, where it was distributed in the greater Boston area. Proceeds from the sale of that methamphetamine were then transported and/or transferred back to California and laundered in various ways. 

Co-conspirator James Giannetta, 64, formerly of Canton, was the organizer of the conspiracy and was responsible for the distribution of approximately 200 pounds of methamphetamine sent from California to Massachusetts.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; William Ferrara, Director of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement. The Massachusetts Department of Correction; Norfolk County Sherriff’s Office; Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office; the Reading, Watertown, Quincy, Chelsea, Braintree, Peabody, Waltham, and Woburn Police Departments; and Connecticut State Police assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Arnold and Jared C. Dolan of Lelling’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

The investigation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here:

Updated November 14, 2019

Drug Trafficking