Second of Cape Cod Brothers Sentenced to 25 Years for Oxycodone Trafficking Scheme
BOSTON—The second of a pair of Cape Cod brothers was sentenced today for his role in a three-year, multi-million dollar oxycodone distribution conspiracy that flooded Cape Cod with highly addictive opiates.
Stanley D. Gonsalves, 36, of Sandwich, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to 25 years in prison, six years of supervised release, forfeiture of $3,552,203 and property, including seized money, a house in West Yarmouth, a Cadillac, and a Nissan Altima.
“Opiates are ruining lives, tearing apart families, and poisoning our Commonwealth,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “While much has been written lately about the incarceration of low-level, non-violent drug defendants, the two defendants in this case are precisely the type of defendant who should be targeted by federal law enforcement: recidivist, violent criminals operating a significant drug organization in a community suffering from opiate abuse.”
“This investigation resulted in the dismantlement of a violent drug trafficking organization that operated throughout Cape Cod for years,” said Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division. “The success of this case is just one example of the FBI’s commitment to rid communities across the Commonwealth of drug trafficking enterprises.”
“The Gonsalves brothers’ large-scale oxycodone conspiracy wreaked havoc on Cape Cod by escalating the opiate epidemic,” said Special Agent William Offord of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Today’s sentence of Stanley Gonsalves highlights the seriousness of his drug, money laundering and firearm offenses. IRS CI will continue to lend our financial expertise by tracking the significant proceeds generated through narcotics trafficking.”
“DEA is committed to investigating and dismantling large scale drug trafficking organizations like this one operated by the Gonsalves brothers,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael Ferguson. “Illicit Oxycodone trafficking destroys people’s lives and wreaks havoc in our communities. DEA and our law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue any group that traffic these drugs.”
In October 2014, after a month-long federal trial, Stanley Gonsalves was convicted of oxycodone conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, 17 counts of money laundering, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy. The charges stemmed from a three-year conspiracy involving hundreds of thousands of 30-milligram oxycodone pills, which he and his brother and co-defendant, Joshua M. Gonsalves, distributed on Cape Cod, generating over $5 million in proceeds. Joshua Gonsalves was also convicted at trial of oxycodone trafficking conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and a money laundering charge. In January 2015, Chief Judge Saris sentenced Joshua Gonsalves to 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and forfeiture of $1,522,372.
During the trial, witnesses testified that couriers working for the Gonsalves brothers transported multi-thousand-pill loads of 30-milligram oxycodone pills from South Florida to New England by plane and by car. The Gonsalves would then split the pills into 100-pill packs for sale to Cape Cod dealers.
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 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 on May 13, 2011, in which the Gonsalves brothers allegedly rammed their Mercedes SUV into a Volvo station wagon, which they mistakenly believed contained $225,000 in cash drug proceeds 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.
The jury also convicted Stanley Gonsalves of possessing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which he kept at his rented home in Onset, Mass.
At today’s sentencing hearing, the prosecutor noted the ongoing opiate epidemic in Massachusetts, which remains a priority for federal, state, and local law enforcement. U.S. Attorney Ortiz is collaborating with federal, state, and local officials to combat opiate addiction in Massachusetts. Chief Judge Saris found the defendant responsible for over 177,000 oxycodone pills and described the defendant’s record as one of “extreme recidivism.”
U.S. Attorney Ortiz; FBI SAC Lisi; IRS Criminal Investigation SAC Offord; DEA SAC Ferguson; 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 Attorney’s 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 and Gang Unit.