BOSTON – A federal grand jury indicted four members of a violent Brockton drug crew on charges of conspiring to distribute fentanyl and illegal firearm possession.
Placido Pereira, 33; Natalio Miranda, 28; and Djoy Defrancesco, 23, all of Brockton, and Jason Miranda, 24, of Taunton, were charged in the indictment with conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and six counts of distribution of fentanyl. The indictment charges Pereira and Jason Miranda with possession of 40 grams or more of fentanyl. The indictment charges Periera with possessing with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense. Finally, the indictment charges Jason Miranda with possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The defendants are currently detained in federal custody.
As alleged in charging documents, law enforcement began investigating a violent Brockton-area drug crew that distributed large quantities of fentanyl throughout southeastern Massachusetts. The drug crew, which refers to itself as “HSM,” for “Head Shot Mafia,” ran a fentanyl delivery service that encompassed all of Brockton as well as neighboring cities. Specifically, it is alleged that drug users/customers placed orders for fentanyl by contacting a cellphone maintained and shared by HSM crew members, and that HSM members worked together to deliver the fentanyl order. Beginning in September 2019, agents succeeded in introducing an undercover law enforcement officer to HSM, who made six purchases of fentanyl from members of the crew. On six occasions in September 2019, the undercover officer purchased fentanyl from Pereira, Natalio Miranda, Jason Miranda and Defrancesco.
A search of Pereria’s Brockton home resulted in the seizure of approximately 70 grams of fentanyl, a loaded firearm, over $5,000 in cash and the cell phone used by HSM to distribute fentanyl. A search of Jason Miranda’s home in Taunton resulted in the seizure of approximately 30 grams of fentanyl, a firearm and $28,000 in cash.
According to court documents, in 2017, Pereira was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to three years in prison. In 2010, Pereira was arrested on drug trafficking charges at Logan Airport as he returned to the U.S. from Cape Verde and was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Natalio Miranda sold fentanyl to an undercover officer while on probation for a state drug trafficking offense. Defrancesco sold fentanyl to an undercover officer while on pre-trial release from a Plymouth Superior Court indictment charging him with trafficking in fentanyl and possession of a high capacity feeding device, among other offenses.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more fentanyl provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. The charge of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime provides for a five year mandatory minimum sentence and up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Jason Molina, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Brockton Police Chief John Crowley; John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; and Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz made the announcement today. Assistance was provided by the East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Whitman and Bridgewater State University Police Departments as well as the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Pohl of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.