For Immediate Release - April 08, 2014

Career Criminal and Leader of Violent Street Gang Found Guilty on Drug Charges, Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison as Habitual Offender

Defendant was Leader of Boston’s “Magnolia Steelers” Gang

BOSTON – A career criminal and leader of a violent street gang known as the “Magnolia Steelers” was found guilty on drug charges and sentenced to 20 years in state prison as a habitual offender, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

“This defendant, a career criminal, was a major player of a violent street gang that operated in Boston and threatened the safety of our streets and communities,” said AG Coakley. “This outcome is the result of a long-term, aggressive joint investigation by the State Police and the Boston Police Department.”

"The city of Boston is safer today as a result of this coordinated investigation and successful prosecution of this career criminal,” said Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. “We are proud of our role in helping bring this defendant to justice."

“This decision sends a strong message to those who want to engage in this type of behavior on the streets of Boston,” said Commissioner William B. Evans. “I am proud of the hard work and commitment of the men and women of the Boston Police Department and our Law Enforcement partners in bringing this case to a successful prosecution.”

After a three-week trial, a Suffolk Superior Court jury found Christian Miranda, age 44, of Roxbury, guilty on Monday of Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws (2 counts). In a separate consecutive one-day trial, the same jury found Miranda guilty on a Habitual Offender charge.

After the verdict, Superior Court Judge Diane M. Kottymer sentenced Miranda to 20 years in state prison, with three years of probation to serve upon completion of his sentence.

The habitual offender statute dictates that if a defendant has been convicted twice previously to state prison for a minimum of three years, then upon the third offense, that defendant is required to be sentenced to the maximum term allowed by law. In this case, Miranda had been convicted and sentenced to state prison twice in Massachusetts, once for Conspiracy to Traffic in Cocaine and once for Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. He had also been convicted in Rhode Island for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver. The maximum prison term for Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws is 20 years. 

This outcome is the result of a joint investigation conducted by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Boston Police Department, which targeted a violent street gang in the city of Boston known as the Magnolia Steelers. The joint operation was dubbed “Operation 1370,” with the number representing the temperature at which steel melts.

Throughout the investigation, authorities developed information that Miranda was involved in distributing large amounts of cocaine in the Boston area. In June 2009, authorities received information that Miranda would be conducting a drug transaction at a particular location in Dorchester. Authorities followed Miranda from the scene and attempted to make a motor vehicle stop on Miranda. Miranda fled from the scene and authorities were unable to locate Miranda for three months. During the course of the search for Miranda, authorities pursued his connections in North Carolina, specifically in the Rocky Mount area, as well as his connections in Connecticut and Rhode Island. 

In late September 2009, after an aggressive, three-month multi-state search by authorities, State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, Boston Police and the United States Marshal Service arrested Miranda at his residence in Quincy. Authorities believe that Miranda, along with multiple co-conspirators, was involved in a large-scale effort to sell cocaine in the Greater Boston area.  

Utilizing state-of-the art investigative techniques, investigators and prosecutors developed evidence against Miranda and 15 other individuals believed to be members of, or connected to, the Magnolia Steelers. Those individuals were charged for crimes relating to narcotics trafficking, unlawful firearms possession, and violent assaults. Fourteen of those individuals have been found guilty and sentenced.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Patrick Hanley and Marina Moriarty, through the AG’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division. The case was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and the Boston Police Special Investigations Unit and Youth Violence Strike Force, with essential assistance from the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab. Other law enforcement agencies provided substantial assistance during the course of this investigation, including the United States Marshals Service, Revere Police Department, the State Police Crime Lab and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.  

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