BOSTON (WWLP) – Three people were indicted in connection with a nationwide conspiracy to traffic controlled substances from Arizona into Massachusetts.
According to a news release from the Justice Department in Boston, drugs were allegedly hidden in packages containing children’s items such as toy trucks, Halloween decorations, and Disney items. Police seized more than 16 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 700 grams of fentanyl pills, multiple ghost guns, and dozens of Social Security cards, licenses, and credit cards bearing stolen identities.
Three people, 29-year-old Denise Guyette of Woonsocket, R.I., 47-year-old Gerardo Garza, a/k/a “Oso” of Yuma, Ariz., and 38-year-old Nathan Boddie of Pawtucket, R.I. were indicted on one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
In April 2022, an investigation into a drug trafficking organization led by Guyette. It is alleged that Guyette conspired with Garza, Boddie, and others to traffic various controlled substances that included methamphetamine, fentanyl pills, and cocaine in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and elsewhere.
The organization allegedly used the mail to ship drugs from Arizona to Massachusetts, hiding the drugs within packages containing children’s toys. Investigators seized seven packages between May and October 2022 containing a total of over 900 grams of methamphetamine, thousands of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, as well as suspected Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a very strong psychedelic.
Guyette was arrested on February 8th, police found approximately 15 pounds of methamphetamine and thousands of suspected fentanyl pills weighing over 400 grams in a safe in her bedroom. A digital scale, as well as multiple Rhode Island and Massachusetts driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, and credit cards in the names of other individuals, were also found during a search of her home.
Boddie was arrested on February 6th in Rhode Island during a traffic stop. Police seized a 9mm handgun ghost gun loaded with five rounds of ammunition, an empty 9mm magazine, and a 10-round capable magazine loaded with one round of ammunition. He also allegedly attempted to swallow a plastic bag containing 20 grams of suspected methamphetamine. During a search of his home, police seized two ghost guns, a 3-D printer used to print ghost gun components, approximately 150 grams of suspected methamphetamine as well as 10 different driver’s licenses, each with Boddie’s photo with names and addresses of other people.
Garza was arrested on February 10th in the Southern District of California and was detained pending a detention hearing.
“Fentanyl and methamphetamine are serious, lethal threats to the well-being of our communities,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “My office and our law enforcement partners will continue to identify drug traffickers and stop the flow of illegal drugs into Massachusetts where they cause pain and destruction. Drug trafficking frequently intersects with illegal firearms and other criminal conduct. This instance proved no different. Ghost guns were seized as well as a 3-D printer we allege was used to print ghost gun parts. It is our contention that this seizure likely saved countless lives.”
“Operation Raising Arizona has dealt a significant blow to a drug trafficking organization that we believe is responsible for operating nationwide, flooding communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island with highly addictive and deadly narcotics. All three individuals we’ve removed from the street are accused of being prolific drug dealers who thrived on selling drugs and believed they could pull the wool over the eyes of investigators by hiding their product inside toys and other common household items,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “The violence associated with the illegal drug trade, as illustrated by our seizure of multiple ghost guns, is a threat to our communities, and the FBI and our partners are committed to working together across jurisdictions to take down criminals who insist on bringing their harmful business to our neighborhoods.”
The suspects face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years, and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million if convicted.