Dorchester Man Convicted, Sentenced to 10 Years State Prison for Drug Trafficking
Defendant Convicted in Connection with Major Drug Distribution Network
BOSTON – A Dorchester man has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years in state prison for trafficking and conspiring to sell cocaine in the Greater Boston area, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Following a three day trial, a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted Jason DePina, age 40, on the charges of Trafficking in Cocaine Over 100 Grams and Possession of Class D Substance with Intent to Distribute. Superior Court Judge Frank M. Gaziano sentenced DePina to 10 years in State Prison, and two years of probation to be served while in prison.
“This conviction is the result of a collaborative investigation that uncovered an extensive and violent drug trafficking network,” AG Coakley said. “Our collective goal is to ensure public safety throughout the Commonwealth and we will continue to identify, investigate and prosecute these matters to achieve that objective.”
This conviction is the result of a targeted investigation focused on the operations of the Magnolia Steelers, a violent street gang in the city of Boston. The investigation, conducted jointly by the Attorney General’s Office, Massachusetts State Police and Boston Police, has resulted in the arrest, indictment and conviction of multiple gang members, drug traffickers and their associates on charges relating to narcotics trafficking, unlawful firearms possession, and violent assaults. In October 2009, AG Coakley announced the indictments of 15 individuals in connection with this widespread drug distribution network. Two additional individuals were indicted subsequent to the October 2009 announcement. Many of these cases are still being prosecuted.
In August 2008, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Boston Police Department began a joint investigation into gang activity in the City of Boston. Utilizing state-of-the art investigative techniques, investigators and prosecutors developed evidence against individuals associated with the Magnolia Steelers and identified DePina as a member of the gang and drug distribution network.
In December 2008, a vehicle driven by DePina carrying three passengers was pulled over on a routine motor vehicle stop by a State Trooper patrolling the Dorchester area. A search of the defendant resulted in the seizure of approximately 135 grams of cocaine on his person and six ounces of marijuana in the vehicle.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against DePina on October 5, 2009. DePina was arraigned on October 27, 2009, at which time he pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail. DePina was convicted yesterday after eight hours of deliberations and sentenced to state prison and probation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Patrick Hanley and Marina Moriarty of Attorney General Coakley’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division, with assistance from Nikki Antonucci of the Victim Services Division. This portion of the investigation was investigated jointly by the State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, State Police Canine Unit and the Special Investigations Unit of the Boston Police, with assistance from the Revere Police and other units within the Boston Police and State Police.