For Immediate Release
Four Boston-Area Men Detained on Firearm Offenses
BOSTON – Four Boston-area men appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in connection with gun trafficking in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood.
“Every illegal firearm on the street poses a danger to the community,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “We will continue to pursue those who circumvent the legal process to sell firearms on our streets thereby endangering the children and families who call these neighborhoods home.”
“This investigation targeted the intersection of illegal guns and illicit drugs,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. “The violence and despair associated with the drug trade have claimed too many lives. In Charlestown and across Suffolk County, we will continue to work with our local and federal partners to protect the rights of good and decent people to live, work, and go to school free of fear and intimidation from drug dealers and armed offenders.”
“Thursday’s arrests demonstrate the effective law enforcement partnerships ATF has with the Boston Police Department Violent Youth Strike Force and the Boston Housing Authority Police, in identifying and investigating armed narcotic trafficking criminal street gangs in the City of Boston” said Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division. “We will continue our efforts to dismantle these violent criminal street gangs and their illegal possession, use and trafficking of firearms.”
Samuel Jean, 22, of Everett, and Deon Young, 32, of Hyde Park, were charged with conspiracy and dealing in firearms without a federal license. Jeffrey Joseph, 31, of Boston, was charged with dealing in firearms and ammunition without a federal license and being a prohibited person in possession of firearms. Troy Armstrong, 27, of Boston, was charged with being a felon in possession of firearms. The defendants were arrested on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.
In a series of probable cause and detention hearings held on Dec. 5 and 6, 2016, before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell, the Court found probable cause that Jean, Young and Armstrong committed the offenses as charged in their respective criminal complaints. All three men have been ordered detained pending trial. The probable cause and detention hearing for Joseph is scheduled for December 12 at 2:00pm.
According to court documents and testimony at the hearings, in April 2016, law enforcement officers commenced an investigation of drug and firearm trafficking in the Bunker Hill Housing Authority neighborhood of Charlestown with the use of a cooperating witness (CW) who made controlled buys of guns and drugs at the direction of law enforcement. During the controlled purchases, which were recorded on video, Jean and Joseph sold seven firearms to the CW over a one-month period, including at least one stolen firearm. Young and Armstrong sold two firearms to the CW during approximately the same period, including one firearm with an obliterated serial number. Joseph and Armstrong are both also charged with being prohibited persons in possession of a firearm as a result of their criminal histories, and Joseph is the subject of an outstanding civil restraining order.
The charges of conspiracy and dealing in firearms without a federal license each provide for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Ortiz; Suffolk County DA Conley; ATF SAC Leadingham; and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Holik, Chief of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the cases.
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.