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Taunton fugitive in violent drug crew arrested on fentanyl trafficking charges

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BOSTON – A fugitive member of a violent Brockton drug crew charged with fentanyl trafficking has been apprehended.

Jason Miranda, 24, of Taunton, was detained yesterday following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston. Miranda was charged on Oct. 16, 2019, along with co-defendants Placido Armando Pereira, 33; Natalio Miranda, 28; and Djoy Defrancesco, 23, all of Brockton, with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. Miranda had been a fugitive until his arrest on Oct. 23, 2019. During the execution of a search warrant, agents seized fentanyl, a firearm, and $28,000 in cash from the residence where Miranda was apprehended.

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, an undercover law enforcement officer made six purchases of fentanyl from members of the crew.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent 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. 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 Kerry A. Gilpin, 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.

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