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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Gang Member Sentenced for Distributing Crack Cocaine in Public Housing Development

BOSTON – A man identified as a member of the Heath Street Gang was sentenced yesterday for distributing crack cocaine in a public housing development.

Michael Pridgen, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 54 months in prison and six years of supervised release, during which time Pridgen will be prohibited from the geographic area of Boston in which he was convicted of selling drugs. In May 2020, Pridgen pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and fentanyl and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in a public housing development.

Pridgen distributed crack cocaine in and around the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments, formerly known as the Bromley Heath Housing Development, in Boston on multiple occasions in the spring and summer of 2019. In a June 5, 2019, incident Pridgen stored crack cocaine and a digital scale in an electrical box affixed to the wall in the stairwell of the public housing complex. At the time of his arrest on Sept. 10, 2019, Pridgen was found on a bench in a courtyard at the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments, in possession of distribution-quantity of crack cocaine and fentanyl. Although Pridgen has been identified by law enforcement as a member of the Heath Street Gang, he was living in Westborough at the time of these incidents. 

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement today.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated September 29, 2020