Boston woman pleads guilty to role in multimillion-dollar marijuana enterprise

Massachusetts

BOSTON (USDOJ) – A Boston woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to her role in a marijuana delivery service that operated in Massachusetts from 2015 to 2018.

Tatiana Fridkes, a/k/a Sonya, 34, of Dorchester, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Feb. 1, 2021. 

Fridkes and Deana Martin, 52, of Milton, were indicted in May 2019 in connection with their management of Northern Herb, a marijuana delivery service that operated in Massachusetts from 2015 to 2018. Martin was also charged with one count of possessing more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and three counts of money laundering, and has pleaded not guilty.

According to court documents, Fridkes served as the office manager for Northern Herb. Fridkes coordinated with Martin on finances, marijuana suppliers, marijuana inventory, deliveries, workers and warehouse operations. Fridkes managed Northern Herb employees when Martin was not present, collected and organized cash from marijuana sales and paid cash wages to Northern Herb employees.

From May 2016 through July 2018, Northern Herb had total revenue exceeding $14 million. Northern Herb did not withhold or pay taxes on its millions of dollars in marijuana sales, did not remit or pay employment taxes in connection with its workforce and did not pay taxes on its profits. Northern Herb was not licensed by Massachusetts or any other governmental entity to sell or distribute marijuana. While Northern Herb purported to provide medical marijuana, it did not require a customer to provide proof of a medical marijuana card and would deliver marijuana to unattended locations (such as a front door or hallway) where unknown third parties might have access to it.

Fridkes faces a sentence of five to 40 years in prison, a minimum of four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; and Joleen Simpson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. The United States Postal Inspection Service also provided valuable assistance with this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely of Lelling’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment and complaint are allegations. The remaining defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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