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Press Release

Former Worcester Resident Indicted for Firearms Dealing, Possession of a Machinegun and Cocaine Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant allegedly sold five firearms while on state pretrial release for charges including possessing large capacity weapon and assault and battery

BOSTON – A former Worcester resident has been indicted for firearms offenses and distributing cocaine.

Juan Otero, 22, of Franklin, was indicted on one count of dealing in firearms without a license; one count of receiving a firearm while under indictment; one count of possession of a machinegun; and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine. Otero was previously charged by criminal complaint on March 4, 2024 with dealing in firearms without a license and receipt of a firearm while under indictment. 

Between Nov. 27, 2023 and Jan. 23, 2024, Otero allegedly sold five firearms on four different occasions. It is alleged that one of the firearms was a Glock pistol with a machinegun conversion device, also known as a “Glock switch,” attached. Otero also allegedly sold large capacity magazines and multiple rounds of ammunition. It is further alleged that Otero distributed or possessed with intent to distribute cocaine on or about Dec. 6, 2023, 

According to court documents, in 2022, Otero was indicted in Worcester Superior Court for multiple state crimes, including the unlawful possession of a large capacity weapon, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, unlawful possession of a large capacity firearm and ammunition and attempted assault and battery. Otero was on release pending trial on the state court charges at the time of his firearm sales in this matter.   

The charges of dealing in firearms without a license and receipt of a firearm while under indictment both provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of unlawful possession of a machinegun provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of distribution of cocaine carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime 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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Feld Division; John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police; and Paul Saucier, Interim Police Chief of the Worcester Police Department made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Franklin, Mansfield and Auburn Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin J. Brown of the Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

This case is 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 defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated March 21, 2024

Firearms Offenses