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Man convicted of involvement in drug ring in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine after more than 72 kilograms of meth, weapons and more than 4,200 rounds of ammunition were seized
Man convicted of involvement in drug ring in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine after more than 72 kilograms of meth, weapons and more than 4,200 rounds of ammunition were seized

BOSTON – The last member of a large, nationwide methamphetamine trafficking ring has been convicted. During the course of the investigation, over 160 pounds of pure methamphetamine were seized, as well as an AK-47, a Glock with no serial number, two loaded Smith & Wesson pistols and over 4,200 rounds of ammunition. An illegal marijuana farm with hundreds of marijuana plants was also dismantled.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Justice, Brian Keleman, 55, of Pascoag, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty on June 21, 2024, to two counts of the second indictment. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute, as well as money laundering. U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton has scheduled sentencing for September 17, 2024.

“This final conviction represents the culmination of a very important investigation involving over 150 pounds of methamphetamine and high-powered weapons. Dismantling this organization underscores that federal, state and local law enforcement are doing everything in their power to remove dangerous drugs from our streets, protect our community and hold accountable those who continue to pump these deadly substances onto our streets,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy.

“With the conviction of Brian Keleman, Operation Ice Cats has officially dismantled a large-scale, multi-state drug trafficking organization that brought over 160 pounds of highly addictive methamphetamine into New England,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Boston Division. “The FBI and our partners will continue to investigate and dismantle such drug trafficking operations and bring those involved to justice as we work to make our communities safer.”

“As methamphetamine seizures increase, the DEA is determined to keep this highly addictive drug out of Massachusetts,” said Stephen Belleau, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division. “Drug trafficking and the violence that too often accompanies it pose a serious threat to the safety of our communities. This should serve as a warning to those attempting to distribute this poison in Massachusetts.”

Keleman was charged in a new indictment in September 2021 with conspiracy to distribute and possession of 500 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The new indictment also charged 10 other defendants with drug violations, firearms violations and money laundering.

In approximately October 2020, investigators received information about drug trafficking activities of a major methamphetamine supplier in the Boston area. In late 2020, investigators identified Reshat Alkayisi as a major methamphetamine dealer who distributed multi-pound quantities to customers throughout New England. Keleman worked for Alkayisi in his illegal marijuana cultivation operation and also supplied methamphetamine to some of Alkayisi’s regular methamphetamine customers, who further distributed that methamphetamine throughout New England.

Between April and May 2021, Keleman delivered over 21 pounds (nine kilograms) of pure methamphetamine to Alkayisi’s customers. On June 1, 2021, four packages totaling approximately 100 pounds (over 45 kilograms) of 100% pure methamphetamine were seized from Keleman, who had picked up the package on behalf of Alkayisi from a UPS store in Rhode Island.

Keleman is the 11th.th and last defendant in the case to plead guilty. The remaining 10 co-defendants are awaiting sentencing.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, to which Keleman pleaded guilty, carries a sentence of up to life in prison, a minimum of three years’ probation and a maximum of life probation, and a fine of up to $10 million. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years’ probation, and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the amount of the money laundered, whichever is greater. The sentences will be imposed by a federal district judge under the United States Sentencing Guidelines and statutes governing sentencing in a criminal case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy, FBI SAC Cohen, and DEA Acting SAC Belleau made the announcement. Assistance was provided by the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, and the Concord, Hudson, Peabody, Reading, Watertown, and Waltham police departments. Assistance was also provided by the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alathea Porter and Katherine Ferguson of the Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

By Aurora