(Editor’s Note: The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston issued the following press release this week)
A Saugus man was sentenced this week in federal court in Boston for his role in a North Shore-based drug trafficking organization (DTO) that allegedly manufactured and distributed tens of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Justin Westmoreland, 25, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release. On May 26, 2023, Westmoreland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Westmoreland was among 23 individuals charged in October 2022 in connection with a wide-ranging conspiracy to traffic counterfeit prescription pills. The defendants were subsequently indicted along with two additional alleged co-conspirators in December 2022. According to court documents, the DTO distributed counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine, among other things, to various individuals in the Lynn area.
Westmoreland was responsible for the distribution of approximately 7,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing undisclosed amounts of fentanyl. Intercepted communications between Westmoreland and his supplier established that Westmoreland knew that the pills he was receiving and distributing were counterfeit pills.
Westmoreland is the first individual to be convicted and sentenced in connection with this case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; and John E. Mawn Jr., Interim Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Beverly, Everett, Peabody, Revere, Salem, Saugus and Swampscott Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James E. Arnold and Evan D. Panich of the Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 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.