BOSTON – A Boston gang associate pleaded guilty yesterday to his role in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.
Renardo Williams, 44, of South Boston, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Jan. 25, 2022.
Investigators identified Williams as a drug customer and distributor for co-defendant Kenji Drayton, the alleged leader of the drug-trafficking organization. In the hours preceding his arrest, investigators intercepted calls and conducted surveillance of Williams and Drayton, which allegedly indicated that Williams sought to purchase drugs from Drayton. At the time of his arrest, Williams was found in possession of approximately 125 grams of cocaine and a loaded firearm. Drayton pleaded not guilty and is pending trial.
In June 2020, Williams was charged along with 23 others as part of Operation Snowfall. According to the charging documents, beginning in November 2018, law enforcement conducted an investigation into drug trafficking activities by Boston-based street gang members and associates in the Commonwealth Development in Brighton, formerly known as Fidelis Way, a multi-apartment public housing development. It is alleged that the defendants, through their drug trafficking activities, assumed control over multiple apartments, where they stored, cooked, packaged and sold drugs. As a result, their activities caused a blight of the development and reduced the quality of life of the other residents.
The investigation also targeted large-scale drug suppliers and their associates. It is alleged that the targets continued to distribute cocaine and cocaine base throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. Williams is the seventh defendant to plead guilty in the case.
Due to a prior felony drug offense, Williams faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, at least six years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $2 million on the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The charge of possessing a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon provides for a sentence up to 10 years in person, three years supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Douglas Bartlett, Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long made the announcement. Assistance with the investigation was provided by the Braintree, Cambridge, Canton, Randolph and Weymouth Police Departments; Suffolk, Norfolk and Bristol County District Attorneys’ Offices; and the Suffolk, Plymouth and Norfolk County Sheriffs’ Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin O’Donnell and Timothy Moran of Mendell’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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