First of Cape Cod Brothers Sentenced to 20 Years in Oxycodone Trafficking Scheme
BOSTON—After a month-long federal trial, Joshua M. Gonsalves was sentenced on multiple charges arising from a three-year conspiracy involving hundreds of thousands of 30-milligram oxycodone pills which he and his brother distributed on Cape Cod and generated over $5 million in proceeds.
Joshua M. Gonsalves, 34, of Dennisport, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release, forfeiture of $1,522,372 and property, including seized currency, a house in West Yarmouth, a Cadillac, and a Nissan Altima.
In October 2014, Joshua Gonsalves was convicted of oxycodone conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and money laundering. Joshua Gonsalves’s brother, Stanley D. Gonsalves, 36, also of Sandwich, Mass., was convicted of an oxycodone trafficking conspiracy, a money laundering conspiracy, and 17 substantive money laundering charges. Stanley Gonsalves is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 24, 2015.
During the trial, witnesses testified that the conspiracy’s couriers transported multi-thousand-pill loads of 30-milligram oxycodone pills from South Florida up to New England, first by plane and later by car. Once the pills were brought to numerous area hotels or conspirators’ homes and apartments in Dorchester, Quincy, and Onset, Mass., the conspirators would divide them into 100-pill packs and then take the pills to Cape Cod for sale to the dealer-level customers.
The primary object of the related money laundering conspiracy was to use the millions of dollars in drug proceeds to purchase additional oxycodone pills and to pay the ongoing expenses of the oxycodone conspiracy. During the trial, witnesses testified about seizures from the Gonsalves Brothers’ co-conspirators of two south-bound cash shipments totaling $140,000, and a north-bound pill shipment of 5,700 pills. Other large pill seizures occurred in Fort Lauderdale (8,000 pills), in Volusia County, Fla. (900 pills), along Route 6 in Barnstable, Mass. (280 pills), and along Route 3 Southbound in Kingston, Mass (4,000 pills). Other related cash seizures from co-conspirators totaled $167,000.
The trial evidence also included extensive testimony about a car chase and rollover incident which occurred on Route 3 Northbound on May 13, 2011, in which the Gonsalves Brothers allegedly rammed their Mercedes SUV into a Volvo station wagon which they mistakenly believed contained the $225,000 in cash drug proceeds which had just been taken from them in a Bourne robbery. The men in the Volvo, who allegedly were only assisting the primary robbers (who were watching these events unfolding from a different car) managed to survive the rollover crash and then fled into the woods. In a recorded call a few days later, which was played at the trial, Stanley Gonsalves told a criminal associate about the robbery, boasting that the robbers “didn’t expect us to do what we did” in retaliation.
At today’s hearing, the prosecutor noted that newly-inaugurated Massachusetts Governor Baker and Attorney General Healey have both named the Massachusetts opiate epidemic as among their top priorities. U.S. Attorney Ortiz has been working for many months with federal state and local officials to combat opiate addiction in Massachusetts. Chief Judge Saris found the defendant responsible for over 89,000 oxycodone pills and described his criminal record as “shocking.”
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Michael J. Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; and Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today. Significant assistance was also provided by the DEA Cape Cod Drug Task Force; the Barnstable County and Cape and Islands District Attorneys Offices; the Barnstable, Boston, Bourne, Chatham, Dennis, Franklin, Harwich, Plymouth, Sandwich, Quincy, Yarmouth, and Wareham Police Departments; the Barnstable and Bristol County Sheriff’s Departments; the Florence County (South Carolina), Broward County (Florida) and Volusia County (Florida) Sheriff’s Offices; and the Dillon and Ridgeland (South Carolina) Police Departments.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy E. Moran and recently retired Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard L. Hoffman of Ortiz’s Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.