SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Two Springfield men entered a guilty plea in Springfield federal court on Thursday, to charges in connection with their roles in a large-scale heroin trafficking organization.
According to the Department of Justice, 48-year-old William Brantley and 29-year-old Mirelvy Vasquez pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin. Sentencing for Brantley has been scheduled for October 10 and November 21 for Vasquez.
The two, along with 16 other co-defendants, were indicted on heroin conspiracy charges in August 2017.
Vasquez and Brantley allegedly purchased large amounts of heroin from Alberto Marte, the leader of the Springfield-based drug trafficking organization, and distributed to various retail-level dealers in Springfield.
Marte’s organization consists of at least 17 members and had direct contact with heroin supply sources in the Dominican Republic. According to the court, Marte’s organization transported between eight and 20 kilograms of heroin to the Springfield area.
Brantley admitted to purchasing 300 packs (30,000 doses) of heroin from Marte on several occasions from July 2016 to September 2016. Vasquez also admitted to purchasing 300 grams of heroin from Marte several times from January 2016 through September 2016 and repackaging them into dosage units for further distribution.
Marte and five other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing, according to the Justice Department. The remaining defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Brantley and Vasquez could spend at least 10 years in prison, more than three years of supervised release and pay at least $1 million in fines.