Three Members Of Cape Cod Heroin Trafficking Ring Sentenced To Prison For Violent Kidnapping And Drug Offenses
Leader sentenced to 38 years in prison
BOSTON – Three men have been sentenced to decades in prison for their roles in a Cape Cod drug trafficking organization (DTO) that distributed heroin throughout the Cape Cod and Pawtucket, R.I., regions, committed a violent kidnapping recorded on video and worked together to shoot at a Hyannis man over a drug debt.
Edwin Otero, 33, of Hyannis, was sentenced on May 18, 2023 by Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 38 years in prison. On May 16, 2023, Justin Joseph, 35, of Pawtucket, R.I., was sentenced by Judge Burroughs to 30 years in prison; and Anthony Basilici, 39, of Pawtucket, was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.
On Jan. 26, 2023, after a week-long trial, Basilici was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; possession and discharge of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime; kidnapping conspiracy; witness intimidation; and witness retaliation conspiracy. On Jan. 18, 2023, the day jury selection began, Otero and Joseph pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; possession and discharge of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime; kidnapping conspiracy; and witness retaliation conspiracy.
In 2018, an investigation began into a Cape Cod-wide DTO led by Edwin Otero. The investigation revealed that Otero, Joseph, Basilici and their other co-defendants distributed large quantities of heroin throughout Cape Cod, including in Hyannis, Mashpee, Centerville, Osterville and in Pawtucket, R.I.
In April 2019, Otero, Joseph, and Basilici lured a victim from Massachusetts to Rhode Island where they kidnapped and held him, stripped him naked, assaulted him with a hammer and threatened to rape him. Otero, Joseph, Basilici and other co-conspirators threatened physical injury to the victim to retaliate against him because they believed he was cooperating with law enforcement. Basilici recorded the assault and kidnapping on a cell phone which Otero and Basilici used to further intimidate other witnesses after the kidnapping. In May 2019, Otero, Joseph and Basilici armed themselves with guns and worked together to shoot at a Hyannis man over a drug debt owed to Otero.
Otero, Joseph and Basilici were initially charged along with eight others in May 2019 on the drug conspiracy charges. In connection with those arrests, heroin, packaging materials, scales, a finger press as well as three firearms and ammunition including a 9 millimeter assault-style weapon were seized from Otero’s grandmother’s residence. In March 2020, Otero, Joseph, Basilici and two others – Cameron Cartier and Albert Lee – were indicted in connection with the violent kidnapping and related charges.
In addition to the sentencings discussed above, a fourth defendant, Tony Johnson, 39, of Hyannis, was sentenced on May 18, 2023 to 75 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiring with Otero and others to distribute heroin. All 13 defendants charged in this indictment have now been sentenced.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Barnstable Police Chief Matthew K. Sonnabend; and Barnstable County Sheriff Donna D. Buckley made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Pohl and Lauren Graber of Levy’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 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.