Sunday, December 19, 2010

Man who trafficked tons of marijuana to Fall River, Providence sentenced

A Providence man accused of leading a marijuana trafficking operation in Fall River and Providence has been sentenced to nearly two decades in a federal prison.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Jeremy Barnes, 36, was sentenced to 17½ years, to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $50,000 fine, for conspiracy to distribute at least 50 kilograms of marijuana and distribution of marijuana in March 2006. Barnes had previously pleaded guilty to the charges stemming from a joint investigation by federal and local authorities aimed at reducing large-scale drug dealing in southern Massachusetts and Providence.

Prosecutors described Barnes as the leader of a large-scale marijuana distribution operation who obtained marijuana and cocaine from co-conspirators in California and elsewhere.

According to the Department of Justice, Chief Judge Mark Wolf found that Barnes and his California co-conspirators transported tons of marijuana from California to New England via tractor-trailers, small trucks and express mail packages.

After finding Barnes responsible for distributing at least 2,700 kilograms of marijuana, worth millions of dollars, and cocaine, Wolf sentenced Barnes to 210 months in prison.

According to the Department of Justice, the Fall River, Tiverton and Bristol, R.I., police departments and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Providence field office played pivotal roles in the investigation.

E-mail Will Richmond at wrichmond@heraldnews.com.

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