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Press Release

Stoughton Man Sentenced to Over 11 Years for Role in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy and Bank and Wire Fraud Scheme Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Program

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

BOSTON – A Stoughton man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for his role in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that shipped dozens of parcels containing kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to various addresses throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The defendant was also sentenced for his role in a bank and wire fraud scheme to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 pandemic relief funds. 

Patrick Joseph, 42, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 138 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. In March 2024, Joseph pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and cocaine base, wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.

From February 2020 to May 2021, Joseph facilitated the transportation of 10-20 kilograms of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, and eventually to Massachusetts via the U.S. Mail. The cocaine seized by investigators was found concealed in two-kilogram quantities inside air fryers and locking cash boxes before being sent through the U.S. Mail. The investigation led to the search of several drug stash locations and the seizure of dozens of kilograms of cocaine.  

During the investigation it was learned that Joseph was involved in a scheme to defraud a COVID-19 pandemic relief program. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) created a temporary loan program directed at small businesses called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Independent contractors were eligible to apply for PPP loans, which were processed by private financial institutions and fully guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. If an independent contractor used the loan funds for approved purposes, such as payroll, the loan could be forgiven by the financial institution and paid for by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Joseph participated in a scheme that obtained over $220,000 in proceeds through fraudulent PPP loan applications submitted between April 2020 and April 2021. Joseph and co-conspirator Yves Montima submitted 12 fraudulent PPP loan applications, both in their own names and on behalf of others, at several financial institutions. The fraudulent loan applications claimed independent contractor income that did not exist and substantiated that non-existent income through falsified tax documents. In addition to receiving the proceeds from the loans submitted in their own names, Joseph and Montima received kickback payments from individuals on whose behalf they submitted fraudulent PPP loan applications. In November 2021, Montima pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud conspiracy and was sentenced in September 2023.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division; Andrew Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office; Massachusetts State Police Colonel John Mawn; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement today. The Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division and Homeland Security Investigations in Boston provided valuable assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip C. Cheng and Christopher Markham of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:

Updated July 2, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud