Previously Convicted Felon Indicted for Narcotics and Firearms Offenses
BOSTON – A Methuen man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston for allegedly trafficking counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine, unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition and using a firearm in relation of a drug trafficking offense.
Shawn Hart, 45, was charged with one count of distribution of more than 40 grams of fentanyl; one count of possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine; one count of using a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking offense; and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition. He will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date. Hart was previously arrested and charged by criminal complaint in June 2023. He has remained in custody since.
According to the charging documents, in August 2022, Hart was identified as a manufacturer and distributor of counterfeit pills containing controlled substances on the North Shore. On Sept. 15, 2022, Hart allegedly distributed approximately 500 counterfeit Adderall pills, containing 68 grams of fentanyl, during a controlled purchase in North Billerica. Additionally, on June 1, 2023, Hart allegedly distributed approximately 100 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing suspected fentanyl and well as a 9mm privately manufactured firearm (commonly known as a “ghost gun”) containing 19 rounds of ammunition during a controlled purchase at his home in Methuen.
It is further alleged that three additional firearms, a pill press used for manufacturing counterfeit pills and suspected narcotics in various forms and quantities were seized from Hart’s residence following his arrest.
Hart is prohibited from possession firearms and ammunition due to multiple previous state felony convictions, including: possession with intent to distribute a class a controlled substance in December 2003; armed robbery in June 2004, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison; masked armed robbery, breaking and entering a vehicle at night and larceny in August 2004, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison; and assault and battery on a correctional institution guard in September 2004, for which he was sentenced to six months in prison.
The charges of distribution of more than 40 grams of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine provide for a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, four years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. The charge of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition provides for a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of using a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking offense provides for a mandatory five-year sentence to run consecutive to any other sentence. 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 Office; and James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Methuen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Panich of the Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.