BOSTON – Three Cape Cod men pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with trafficking heroin and suboxone.
Oliver Hamilton, 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Sept. 13, 2017.
Browning Mejia, 26, pleaded guilty to use of a communications facility in furtherance of a felony drug offense and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14, 2017.
Jason Mello, 29, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. Mello’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 15, 2017.
All three individuals had been charged as part of the federal investigation into the “Nauti-Block” gang that led to the indictment of 19 individuals. In October 2015, law enforcement initiated an effort to address the rising opioid epidemic in Massachusetts and on Cape Cod in particular. Law enforcement focused on the “Nauti-Block” gang led by Denzel Chisholm, Christian Chapman and Christopher Wilkins. Chapman previously pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking, while Chisholm and Wilkins are scheduled to stand trial on June 5, 2017.
According to court documents, Chisholm, Chapman and other co-conspirators were responsible for a significant quantity of the heroin distributed on Cape Cod. A wiretap investigation led to their arrests and indictments. These gang leaders obtained heroin from New Bedford, amongst other suppliers, and distributed the heroin to numerous drug dealers on Cape Cod, including Mello and Hamilton. Hamilton agreed to accept responsibility for between 100 and 400 grams of heroin. In addition, it was stated at Mejia’s plea hearing that Chisholm obtained suboxone from his heroin customers and then supplied that suboxone to Mejia, who distributed it at MCI-Norfolk prison, where he was an inmate.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute heroin and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. The charge of use of a communications facility in furtherance of a felony drug offense provides for a sentence of no greater than four years in prison, one year 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.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe; and Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen and Miranda Hooker of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.