Malden Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Fentanyl and Using and Trafficking Stolen Identities and Credit Cards
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant sold 50 grams of fentanyl to a cooperating witness and offered to manufacture counterfeit driver’s licenses
BOSTON – A Malden man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to distributing fentanyl and using stolen identities to conduct transactions and obtain credit cards.
Derick Coulanges, a/k/a/ “Casa,” 28, pleaded guilty on Jan 5, 2024 to distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession of five or more identification documents with intent to use them unlawfully; and use of and trafficking in unauthorized access devices with intent to defraud to obtain property valued over $1,000. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for April 12, 2024. Coulanges was charged by criminal complaint in July 2023.
In January and February 2023, Coulanges was recorded selling a cooperating witness 50 grams of fentanyl in Coulanges’ Mercedes Benz. In the recordings, Coulanges also offered to procure counterfeit driver’s licenses for the cooperating witness that contained stolen personal identifying information (PII). Coulanges would go on to explain the manner in which a counterfeit driver’s license bearing stolen PII could be utilized to open bank accounts and obtain credit cards to purchase items.
In March 2023, during a search of Coulanges’ Malden apartment which he had obtained using a drug customer’s stolen identity, approximately 28 grams of methamphetamine was located. A search of Coulanges’ Mercedes Benz revealed six driver’s licenses bearing stolen PII and one counterfeit license that bore Coulanges’ photograph but contained stolen PII of an individual from Ohio. A subsequent investigation revealed that the individuals associated with the driver’s licenses had been the victims of identity theft and had bank accounts and credit cards opened in their name. The counterfeit driver’s license bearing Coulanges’ photograph had been used to open bank accounts, apply for loans and obtain credit cards. Surveillance footage was located depicting Coulanges opening the accounts and then utilizing the fraudulently obtained credit cards to conduct transactions at various retailers, including at two jewelry stores where he purchased approximately $12,000 in jewelry.
The charge of distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances provides for 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 $1 million. The charge of possession of five or more identification documents with intent to use them unlawfully provides for a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of use of unauthorized access devices to fraudulently obtain more than $1,000 provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, 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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.
Updated January 8, 2024