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Press Release

Two Chelsea Men Sentenced for Roles in Trans-National Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring

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

BOSTON – Two Chelsea men were sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for their role in a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering ring operating between Massachusetts and California.

Russell Ormiston, 51, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to two years in prison and three years of supervised release. In March 2018, Ormiston pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Steven Beadles, 60, was sentenced by Judge O’Toole to five years in prison and five years of supervised release. In June 2018, Beadles pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

In November 2016, Ormiston, Beadles and nine co-defendants were charged with various methamphetamine offenses relating to a transnational trafficking scheme.

Beginning in at least 2013 and continuing to November 2016, Ormiston and Beadles were involved in a conspiracy that transported methamphetamine from San Diego, Calif., to Massachusetts, where it was distributed in the greater Boston area. Proceeds from the sale of that methamphetamine were then transported and/or transferred back to California and laundered in various ways.  

On Jan. 7, 2016, approximately 434 grams of methamphetamine that had been shipped from California to Beadles’s residence was seized. Beadles admitted that he received this package on behalf of a co-conspirator, that he knew prior to the drugs being seized by law enforcement that the package contained methamphetamine, and that he intended to purchase some of the drugs so that he and Ormiston could resell the drugs to their customers. 

Beadles admitted that Ormiston carried out various tasks on his behalf. Among other things, Beadles directed Ormiston to pick up methamphetamine from his supplier and deliver methamphetamine to customers. Beadles, however, retained the responsibility for negotiating the purchase and sale prices for the drugs.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; William Ferrara, Director of Field Operations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement. The Massachusetts Department of Correction; Norfolk County Sherriff’s Office; Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office; the Reading, Watertown, Quincy, Chelsea, Braintree, Peabody, Waltham, and Woburn Police Departments; and Connecticut State Police assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Arnold and Jared C. Dolan of Lelling’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated November 7, 2019

Drug Trafficking