Revere Man Convicted of Cocaine Trafficking and Money Laundering
MAY 23--Boston, MA... A Revere man was convicted on Friday, May 20, 2005, in federal court of joining and participating in a cocaine distribution conspiracy and of money laundering.
June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England and United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan , announced that EDWARD V. PORTALLA, age 45, formerly of Seaview Towers, 510-515 Revere Beach Boulevard in Revere, was convicted by a jury sitting before U.S. District Judge Morris E. Lasker of participating in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the Revere-Malden area and of two counts of money laundering.
Evidence presented during the eight-day trial, proved that two brothers, Anthony and Salvatore Carrillo, both of whom lived in the Revere Beach area, were operating a cocaine distribution ring in the Revere-Malden area from at least January 2001 to February 2003. Other co-conspirators included Jason Carrillo (the adult son of Salvatore Carrillo), Jill Parker (Jason Carrillo’s girlfriend), and Jesus Arroyo Pabon (a cocaine supplier for a portion of the conspiracy).
The evidence presented by the government at trial established that the Carrillo brothers made numerous sales of cocaine to a DEA cooperating witness at various locations in Revere and Malden, including inside Salvatore Carrillo’s apartment at the St. George apartment complex on Revere Beach and inside a pool hall operated by the Carrillo brothers in Malden known as Miss Cue Billards and Miss Q-2 Billiards. The evidence also established that PORTALLA operated a small cellular telephone store at 884 Western Avenue in Lynn known as Wakefield Communications or Lynn Communications and that PORTALLA knew that the Carrillo brothers were selling cocaine. The government presented evidence that PORTALLA assisted the Carrillo brothers by repeatedly supplying them with multiple cellular telephones to avoid detection by law enforcement. In addition, on multiple occasions over a two-year period, PORTALLA falsely verified that the Carrillo brothers, or their associates, were employed at his cellular telephone store and provided them with fraudulent W-2 forms stating that they were earning $70,000 to $80,000 per year as sales persons in his business. PORTALLA’s assistance in this regard allowed the Carrillo brothers to obtain various assets, including a two-bedroom ocean-front condominium at Seaview Towers on Revere Beach, two luxury apartments at the Cliffside Commons apartment complex in Malden, and various high-end automobiles, including at least one Mercedes Benz and two Cadillacs.
In January 2003, a DEA undercover agent, posing as a drug dealer who knew the Carrillo brothers, met with PORTALLA at his business on two separate occasions. During these meetings, the undercover agent indicated that he was a drug dealer and that he had cash from his sales of drugs. On both occasions, PORTALLA sold the undercover agent cellular telephones and activated them under other people’s names in order to assist the undercover agent in further drug trafficking. On both occasions, PORTALLA stated to the agent that he sold so-called “fugazzi” cellular telephones to the Carrillo brothers and that these fake cellular telephones allowed drug dealers to avoid being detected by DEA or other law enforcement agencies. PORTALLA’s sales of these false cellular telephones to the undercover agents were charged as two counts of money laundering.
Judge Lasker scheduled PORTALLA’s sentencing for August 31, 2005. PORTALLA faces a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment, to be followed by a term of supervised release of at least 6 years, and a fine of up to $2 million.
The co-defendants in this case – Anthony Carrillo, Salvatore Carrillo, Jason Carrillo, Jill Parker, and Jesus Arroyo Pabon – have all pleaded guilty and have been sentenced, except for Salvatore Carrillo and Jason Carrillo, who are scheduled to be sentenced in August.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in cooperation with the Revere Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Pelgro, Chief of Sullivan's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn A. MacKinlay of Sullivan’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.