Three Charged in Cape Cod Drug and Gun Trafficking Ring
Defendants tied to the “Nauti-Block” drug trafficking organization take down in April 2016
BOSTON – Three Cape Cod men were charged in a second superseding indictment in connection with the “Nauti-Block” drug trafficking ring. This brings the total number of defendants charged in federal court in this, and related cases, to 19.
The second superseding indictment charges three additional defendants and adds new charges to existing defendants. Christian Chapman, 26, of Yarmouth, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin. Browning Mejia, 26, of Yarmouth, was charged with use of a telephone to facilitate a felony drug trafficking offense, namely, conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute Suboxone, a Schedule III controlled substance. Aaron Mott-Frye, 27, of Wareham, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine.
The second superseding indictment stems from the April 2016 takedown of the “Nauti-Block” drug trafficking organization that charged Denzel Chisholm, Christopher Wilkins, and others in connection with the sale of significant amounts of heroin on Cape Cod.
The second superseding indictment also added the following charges against existing defendants:
- Denzel Chisholm and Christopher Wilkins were charged with conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin;
- Tyrone Gomes was charged with conspiring to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin;
- Shaun Miller was charged with possession of two firearms by a convicted felon;
- Denzel Chisholm and Browning Mejia were charged with use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense;
- Christopher Wilkins and Mott-Frye were charged with conspiracy and possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine; and
- Bethanne Hutchings was charged with maintaining a place for drug purposes.
Aaron Mott-Frye was arrested this morning and appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston. Chapman is currently awaiting trial in Barnstable County for charges related to a recent shooting at Pufferbelly’s nightclub. Mejia is currently serving a state prison sentence for his role in a 2009 Cape Cod shooting. Mejia and Chapman will appear in federal court after they are transferred from state custody.
This case was brought as part of the federal response to the growing opioid abuse epidemic in Massachusetts and other New England states. Barnstable County, which includes Cape Cod and associated islands, has been particularly hard hit. With a population of just over 200,000 people, it saw 66 fatal overdoses in 2015 – a 65% increase from 2013 – according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. The charge of conspiracy involving greater than 100 grams of heroin provides for a sentence of five years to life in prison, four years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The charge of conspiracy involving one kilogram of heroin provides for a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $10 million. The charge of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Barnstable County District Attorney Michael O’Keefe; Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings; Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson; Chief Paul MacDonald of the Barnstable Police Department; and Chief Frank Frederickson of the Yarmouth Police Department, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.