Two Convicted for Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization with Ties to Mexican Cartel
BOSTON – Two men were convicted today by a federal jury in Boston for operating a large-scale international fentanyl trafficking and money laundering conspiracy.
Fermin Castillo, 43, of Boston, and Andre Heraux Martinez, 24, of the Dominican Republic, were convicted following a seven-day jury trial of conspiracy to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl and conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. Senior District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Sept. 12, 2023. Castillo and Heraux were indicted on April 15, 2021.
In July 2020, law enforcement began an investigation into a drug trafficking and money laundering organization distributing large quantities of fentanyl and laundering drug proceeds. Intercepted communications identified Fermin Castillo as the leader of the organization who coordinated fentanyl shipments from Sinaloa, Mexico to Massachusetts and the laundering of hundreds of thousands of dollars. As part of the conspiracy, Heraux maintained a drug stash apartment located in Hyde Park, which was used to store and process kilograms of fentanyl and delivered a total of over $500,000 in drug proceeds to undercover officers posing as money launderers.
In August 2020, Castillo coordinated the delivery of $200,000 to a separate New York-based money laundering organization, as well as the delivery of $100,000 to an undercover officer in December 2020. In January 2021, Castillo coordinated the delivery of $150,000 which was ultimately seized from Heraux as he attempted to deliver the money on behalf of Castillo. Additionally, in February 2021, 197 grams of fentanyl was seized from Heraux as he attempted to deliver the drugs to a customer of the organization.
In total, over 10 kilograms of fentanyl and heroin were seized from Heraux’s stash apartment along with additional fentanyl from other members of the drug trafficking and money laundering organization.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the value of the funds laundered, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leah B. Foley and Stephen W. Hassink of Levy’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.