Fifteen defendants arrested Friday morning
BOSTON – Nineteen members and associates of Cameron Street, a violent criminal organization based in Dorchester, have been charged in a 39-count indictment with various crimes including racketeering (RICO) conspiracy, gun and drug trafficking, illegal possession of firearms and possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
According to the indictment, the Cameron Street gang is a violent criminal enterprise whose members and associates are involved in a variety of criminal activities – including murder, assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, carjacking, home invasion, as well as drug and firearms trafficking, among other things – in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston and surrounding areas. While the gang is primarily based in Boston, Cameron Street gang’s criminal activity has spanned other communities, including Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Everett, Randolph, Taunton and elsewhere in Massachusetts. During the investigation, 21 firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were allegedly seized from 11 of the defendants.
“Members and associates of the Cameron Street gang have, for years, allegedly plagued Boston, Brockton and the neighboring communities with serious, violent crimes through the confluence of guns, drugs and harm. Law-abiding residents of Dorchester, Brockton and other impacted communities deserve to live, work and thrive free of fear and trauma,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “With these charges, and today’s arrests, our aim is to bring peace and safety back to these neighborhoods. This is yet another example of the strong partnerships between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and our ongoing shared dedication to root out violence while taking illegal guns off of our streets. My office will spare no resource to ensure the safety of all Massachusetts residents, hold violent offenders accountable, and take back and restore our communities.”
“This investigation is an example of ATF’s dedication to working with our local, state, and federal partners in identifying, targeting and investigating violent criminals who are involved in selling firearms and narcotics. Individuals who prey upon innocent citizens lessen the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division. “Our neighborhoods deserve to flourish without fear or intimidation inflicted by violent gangs. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to reduce the violent crime that has done so much damage to so many of our Boston neighborhoods.”
“DEA is committed to investigating and dismantling violent organizations like these operating in Massachusetts,” said Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division. “As we all know, drug trafficking in our communities, along with the gun and physical violence that often accompanies it, is a serious threat to our families and communities. This is unacceptable and will not be allowed to happen. DEA and its local, state and federal partners are dedicated to bringing to justice those that commit these crimes.”
“The members of this criminal organization are accused of terrorizing the neighborhoods of Boston by committing violent crime including conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, firearm and drug trafficking. These arrests send a clear message that these criminal enterprises will not be tolerated in Boston. The Boston Police will continue to work with the ATF and all our law enforcement partners to reduce gun violence and stop the trafficking of firearms and drugs in the neighborhoods of Boston. I thank the investigators on this case whose diligent work led to these arrests,” said Gregory Long, Acting Commissioner of the Boston Police Department.
“This indictment highlights the significant criminal footprint of Cameron Street and their involvement in a wide variety of serious crime, from alleged murder to drug trafficking. Homeland Security Investigations works closely with our federal, state, and local partners to make our communities safer by investigating and seeking prosecution of criminal street gangs like Cameron Street,” said Matthew Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge for the Homeland Security Investigations’ Boston Field Office.
It is alleged that Cameron Street members use violence against rival gangs and witnesses, typically with the use of firearms, to maintain and enhance their status and the overall reputation of the gang, as well as to protect the gang’s power, reputation and territory. Cameron Street members are allegedly responsible for assisting one another with obtaining and accessing firearms, forming and maintaining drug trafficking connections, resolving territorial disputes with rival gangs and providing safe havens for fellow members who are wanted by law enforcement. It is further alleged that Cameron Street gang members regularly post videos or use social media to promote Cameron Street, denigrate gang rivals and to celebrate murders and other violent crimes committed by the gang. To identify themselves as members of the gang, Cameron Street members obtain tattoos, use hand signs and wear jewelry and clothing involving the letters “C,” “A” and “M,” or numbers corresponding with the letters’ places in the alphabet, “3-1-1-3.”
According to the indictment, Cameron Street members engage in drug trafficking activity and distribute cocaine, cocaine base (crack cocaine), oxycodone and marijuana throughout Massachusetts. It is alleged that over one kilogram of cocaine was seized from gang members during the investigation.
The charge of RICO conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 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 and/or ammunition provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime provides a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to life in prison, up to five of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. This co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
U.S. Attorney Rollins, ATF SAC Ferguson, DEA SAC Boyle, HSI SAC Millhollin and BPD Acting Commissioner Long made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts State Police; Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office; Suffolk, Plymouth, Norfolk and Bristol County District Attorney’s Offices; and the Quincy, Randolph, Somerville, Brockton, Malden, Stoughton, Rehoboth and Pawtucket (R.I.) Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Pohl of Rollins’ Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.