Six Arrested for Multi-State Drug Conspiracy Spanning Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Texas
BOSTON – Six individuals were arrested today for their alleged involvement in a drug trafficking organization that distributed oxycodone pills obtained from a source in the Houston area, across Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond.
- John Campbell, a/k/a Jizz, 40, of Taunton, Mass. was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances;
- Kenneth Veiga, 33, of Abington, Mass. was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances;
- Michael Atwood, 36, of Carver, Mass. was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances;
- Austin Gonsalves, 36, of Fall River, Mass. was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances;
- Scott Lambert, 55, of Falmouth, Mass. was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; and
- Christan Russell, a/k/a Christian Russell, a/k/a Bear, 32, of Tomball, Texas was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
The defendants will appear in U.S. District Court later today.
According to the charging documents, an investigation into John Campbell began in April 2022 after receiving information that he was allegedly distributing oxycodone pills. A series of controlled buys were conducted and Campbell’s telephone calls and text messages were intercepted. Those interceptions allegedly revealed that Campbell redistributed oxycodone pills to Michael Atwood and Scott Lambert. It is further alleged that Atwood and Lambert re-distributed the oxycodone pills they obtained from Campbell to others. On Feb. 24, 2023, law enforcement stopped Lambert in Bourne, Mass after he allegedly met with Campbell, and 73 oxycodone pills were found hidden in a Krazy Glue container.
Kenneth Veiga’s telephone calls and text messages were also intercepted and revealed that he allegedly obtained and distributed oxycodone pills that he received from Christan Russell and that re-distributed oxycodone pills to Austin Gonsalves. It is further alleged that Russell obtained and brought oxycodone pills from pharmacies in the Houston area to the Boston area for distribution to Veiga. Specifically, it is alleged that in February 2023, flight records show that Russell travelled to Boston and met with Veiga; during a meeting in March 2023, Veiga met with Russell at the Twin River Casino, in Lincoln, R.I., where Russell allegedly distributed oxycodone pills to Veiga; and in May 2023, Veiga and Russell met again for an oxycodone pill exchange at a hotel in Brookline, Mass.
“Massachusetts continues to suffer from the devastating effects of the lethal opioid crisis and overdose deaths are far too common. Stemming the opioid crisis is one of this office’s highest priorities including stemming the flow of illegally diverted narcotics as alleged in this case from Texas to Massachusetts,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “Illegally distributed opioids leave a trail of violence and death as they course through the black market. We will never cease in our efforts to penetrate these drug rings and do everything in our power to protect the people of Massachusetts.”
“The state of Massachusetts is faced with an opioid crisis unlike ever before,” said Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency. “Those responsible for distributing oxycodone pills illegally to the citizens of Massachusetts need to be held accountable for their actions. DEA will aggressively pursue Drug Trafficking Organizations and individuals who distribute drugs in order to profit and destroy people’s lives. This investigation demonstrates the strength and continued commitment of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.”
“Traffickers of Oxycodone pills are among the main culprits behind the opioid epidemic, and investigation and interdiction of these criminals rightfully remains a major priority of law enforcement. The Massachusetts State Police and our partners at the US Attorney’s Office and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are committed to disrupting the drug trafficking organizations that facilitate the influx of illegal narcotics into our state, or communities, and our neighborhoods,” said Massachusetts State Police Interim Colonel John E. Mawn Jr.
“The opioid crisis has a very real and very harmful impact on our communities. Today’s charges illustrate that those involved in illicit opioid trafficking and those employing money laundering schemes to move their illegal proceeds will be held accountable. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed, working with our law enforcement partners, to identifying those who place our communities at risk through the illicit opioid trade and dismantling their operations through enforcement actions such as these,” said Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division.
“The Falmouth Police Department is committed to working with our Local, State and Federal Partners in a unified effort to hold those accountable bringing this poison into our Communities and Commonwealth,” said Falmouth Police Chief Jeffrey Lourie.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy; DEA SAC Boyle; MSP Interim Colonel Mawn Jr.; USPIS INC Larco-Ward; Chief Lourie; and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation made the announcement today. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; United States Coast Guard Investigative Service; the Barnstable, Dennis, Bourne, Mashpee, Yarmouth, Sandwich and Falmouth Police Departments; and the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office provided valuable assistance in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys John Mulcahy of the Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit and Alexandra Amrhein of the Asset Recovery Unit are prosecuting 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.
The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.