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Press Release

Roslindale Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking

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

BOSTON – A Heath Street Gang member/associate pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to unlawfully possessing a firearm. 

Deondre Blanding, 27, of Roslindale, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm in in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Sept. 6, 2024. Blanding was charged and arrested in February 2024, along with over 40 alleged Heath Street Gang members/associates, who were charged with racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking, firearms and financial fraud charges.

On Oct. 8, 2023, Blanding arranged to buy three pounds of marijuana from an individual and arrived to the deal armed with a firearm. The arranged drug deal resulted in a shooting in the middle of a Randolph neighborhood involving Blanding and two other individuals. Prior to this shooting, investigators had identified Blanding as being a marijuana dealer for the Heath Street Gang who distributed pound-quantity amounts of marijuana.

The charge of possession of firearm in furtherance of violent or drug trafficking crime provides for a mandatory sentence of five years up to life in prison, five 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; Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox; and James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Randolph Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Crowley and Sarah Hoefle of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.

Updated May 28, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime