USDOJ MA reports 7.03.2019 – BOSTON, MA – The leader of a large-scale heroin trafficking organization pleaded guilty in federal court in Springfield yesterday. The organization was supplied by sources in the Dominican Republic and New York City.

Alberto Marte, 33, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 1000 grams or more of heroin, five counts of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, one count of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute heroin, one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Sept, 24, 2019. Marte and 18 co-defendants were indicted on heroin conspiracy charges in August 2017.

Marte, the leader of a Springfield-based drug trafficking organization, which consisted of at least 17 members, had direct contact with heroin supply sources in the Dominican Republic. On a monthly basis, members of the organization transported between eight and 20 kilograms of heroin to the Springfield area. According to court documents, the organization then packaged the heroin and distributed it using a variety of stamps, including “Donald Trump” and “Hollywood.” The Hollywood brand of heroin has been associated with a number of overdose deaths in western New England that occurred in late 2015 and early 2016. During the course of the investigation, more than six kilos of heroin was seized by federal agents.     

Four co-conspirators have also pleaded guilty, including Jose Miguel Ramos, a Dominican national smuggled into the country to work for Marte’s organization. Ramos lived in a heroin mill in Springfield where he and others packaged kilograms of heroin for retail distribution. The remaining defendants have pleaded not guilty.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 1000 grams or more of heroin provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of distribution of and possession with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $10 million. The charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to life in prison, supervised release for four years, and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Hampden County District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Acting Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood; Chicopee Police Chief William Jebb; Holyoke Police Chief Manny Febo; and West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Desroches of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the cases. 

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