Operators of Millbury Plumbing Business Allegedly Used Family Business to Cover Up Marijuana Grow Operation
Defendants indicted on drug and money laundering charges
BOSTON – The operators of a family-owned business in Millbury were indicted today in federal court in Worcester on charges that they used their business to cover up a drug conspiracy.
Thomas Laverty, 38, of Clinton; Charles Laverty, 61, of Millbury; and Andrea Laverty, 61, of Millbury, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants and one count of conspiracy to launder money. In addition, Thomas was charged with one count and Charles with two counts of manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Thomas was also charged with theft of government funds relating to his receipt of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. In October 2017, all three defendants were charged by criminal complaint and arrested.
According to court documents, Andrea, Charles, and their son, Thomas, used their business, Chuck Laverty & Son Inc., as a front for a large-scale, commercial marijuana cultivation and distribution operation. Laverty & Son vehicles, bank accounts, and locations were used to facilitate drug manufacturing, storage and distribution.
On Oct. 17, 2017, two search warrants were executed, one at the business warehouse in Clinton, which is attached to Thomas Laverty’s residence, where agents found a commercial-style marijuana grow operation, including more than 1,000 plants; and another at the residence of Charles and Andrea Laverty in Millbury, where agents found a large quantity of marijuana being dried and processed, as well as another marijuana grow operation.
On the drug charges, each defendant faces a sentence of up to life in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $10 million (except for one charge of manufacturing and possession with intent to distribute, for which Charles faces a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, two years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000). The charge of money laundering provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000. The SNAP fraud charge provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $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; Albert Angelucci, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and Kristina O'Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Office is 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.