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Government agrees to 308 month prison sentence for alleged leader of violent southeastern Massachusetts drug trafficking conspiracy

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Photo courtesy of Department of Justice

BOSTON – A Brockton man pleaded guilty today to his role in a wide-ranging drug trafficking conspiracy reaching from Boston to Brockton to Lawrence to Cape Cod.

Djuna Goncalves, 33, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, cocaine, cocaine base, oxycodone and marijuana; possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, cocaine, cocaine base, and marijuana; two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition; and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Under the terms of the plea agreement the government will recommend a sentence of 308 months in prison. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Feb. 9, 2022.

According to court documents, in the fall of 2018, federal and state law enforcement agents began investigating a violent Brockton drug crew headed by Djuna Goncalves. The investigation revealed that Djuna Goncalves worked with others, including his brothers Cody and Anthony Goncalves, to distribute large quantities of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, cocaine base and marijuana throughout southeastern Massachusetts from a base of operations in Brockton. The neighborhood surrounding the crew’s Brockton base has been the scene of numerous murders, shootings and other crimes of violence for several years.

During the investigation, large quantities of heroin and fentanyl were seized from Djuna Goncalves, who had previously been convicted of state drug distribution charges and who distributed fentanyl while on pre-trial release for state drug charges. A search of the Brockton base resulted in the seizure of a Glock .45 caliber pistol, a large number of ammunition clips to various types of firearms, accompanying ammunition, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, suboxone strips, a hydraulic press, packaging materials, digital scales, approximately $12,000 in cash and an AK-47 assault rifle.

In all, 17 defendants, including Djuna, Cody and Anthony Goncalves, were indicted as part of a wide-ranging drug trafficking conspiracy reaching from Boston to Brockton to Lawrence to Cape Cod. Of the 17 defendants named in the indictment, nine have been sentenced. Djuna Goncalves is the 15th defendant to plead guilty in the case. On Sept. 12, 2021, Cody Goncalves pleaded guilty to similar charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 2, 2022. The remaining defendants are scheduled to plead guilty. Anthony Goncalves is scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 12, 2021.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 400 grams or more of fentanyl, cocaine, cocaine base, oxycodone and marijuana provides for a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 40 grams or more of fentanyl provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. The charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition each provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charges of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense provide for a sentence of at least five years and up to life in prison, from and after the sentence imposed on the applicable drug trafficking counts, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz; and Brockton Police Chief Emanuel Gomes made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Pohl and Alathea E. Porter of Mendell’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.

The detailed contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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