Three Brockton men – 33-year old Placido Pereira, 28-year-old Natalio Miranda and 23-year-old Djoy Defrancesco – and 24-year-old Jason Miranda of Taunton were all charged with conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and six counts of distribution of fentanyl, along with other charges, in connection to their alleged fentanyl delivery service around southeastern Massachusetts.
BOSTON — A federal grand jury indicted four members of a “violent” Brockton-area drug crew known as the “Head Shot Mafia” on charges of conspiring to distribute fentanyl and illegal firearm possession Thursday following an investigation into their alleged fentanyl delivery service around southeastern Massachusetts.
Those charged include three Brockton men – 33-year old Placido Pereira, 28-year-old Natalio Miranda and 23-year-old Djoy Defrancesco – and 24-year-old Jason Miranda of Taunton, who were all charged with conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and six counts of distribution of fentanyl.
Pereira and Jason Miranda were charged with possession of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pereira was additionally charged with possessing with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, being a felon in possession of ammunition and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, while Jason Miranda was additionally charged as well with intent to distribute fentanyl.
The four were arrested in October after a month-long investigation by local, state and federal officials into the group’s fentanyl delivery service that distributed large quantities of fentanyl throughout the Brockton area, officials say.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the “customers” placed orders for fentanyl by contacting a cellphone maintained and shared by Head Shot Mafia crew members, who would work together to deliver the order.
In September, an undercover law enforcement officer successfully made six purchases of fentanyl from Pereira, Natalio Miranda, Jason Miranda and Defrancesco, officials say.
Law enforcement agents searched Pereira’s Brockton home and seized approximately 70 grams of fentanyl, a loaded firearm, over $5,000 in cash and the cell phone used by Head Shot Mafia members to distribute fentanyl. Officials also searched Jason Miranda’s home in Taunton and seized approximately 30 grams of fentanyl, a firearm and $2,800 in cash.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the defendants have storied criminal histories. In 2017, Pereira was convicted of illegally possessing a firearm and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to three years in prison. Then, in 2010, Pereira was arrested on drug trafficking charges at Logan Airport as he returned from Cabo Verde and was later sentenced to 2 years and 5 months in prison, with three years on probation. In addition, prosecutors said that Pereira was the target of an assassination attempt in Brockton in February 2014.
Officials say that at the time of the sales to the undercover agent in September, Natalio Miranda was on probation for a state drug trafficking charge and Defrancesco was on pre-trial release after he was indicted on charges of trafficking in fentanyl, possession of a firearm and possession of a high-capacity feeding device, along with other charges.
In federal court, the men could face up to 20 years in prison – the maximum sentence the charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl carries. It also carries a potential sentence of up to three years of probation and a fine of up to $1 million.
The investigation was run by a Mass. State Police-led task force, the Commonwealth Interstate Narcotics Reduction and Enforcement Team South (CINRET), which is comprised of members from the Mass. State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, Brockton Police Department and East Bridgewater Police Department.
The WEB Task Force, a collaborative unit comprised of detectives from Bridgewater, Bridgewater State University, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Whitman that investigate narcotics and other major crimes, first received information regarding a fentanyl drug trafficking organization operating in the Brockton area and provided the information to the state police team.
All four men are currently being detained in federal custody.
Staff writer Corlyn Voorhees can be reached at [email protected]