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Malden man pleads guilty to drug and firearms charges

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  Phillips Charles, 22, of Malden pleaded guilty on April 26 to being part of a drug trafficking conspiracy involving more than 150 grams of cocaine base as well as other controlled substances and conspiring to possess firearms.

  While on pretrial release from Malden District Court and Middlesex Superior Court, Charles continued to work with others to distribute “large quantities of controlled substances.” According to federal investigators, the drug trafficking operation was protected with firearms equipped with “selector switches.” This device is used to convert a firearm into a machine gun.

  In December 2020, Charles was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm. He is now facing one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana and other controlled substances as well as one count of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

  According to the terms of the plea agreement, Charles could spend the next six-and-a-half years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for September 7.

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