William Brantley, 48, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Oct. 10, 2019.
Mirelvy Vasquez, 29, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute heroin. Judge Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Nov. 21, 2019. Brantley, Vasquez and 16 co-defendants were indicted on heroin conspiracy charges in August 2017.
Vasquez and Brantley purchased large amounts of heroin, which they then distributed to various retail-level dealers in the Springfield area, from Alberto Marte, the leader of the Springfield-based drug trafficking organization, which consisted of at least 17 members. Marte had direct contact with heroin supply sources in the Dominican Republic. On a monthly basis, members of the organization transported between eight and 20 kilograms of heroin to the Springfield area.
Brantley admitted to purchasing 300 packs – or 30,000 doses – of heroin from Marte on a number of occasions from July 2016 to September 2016. Vasquez admitted to purchasing 300 grams of heroin from Marte on various occasions beginning in January 2016 and continuing through September 2016. Vasquez then repackaged his purchases into dosage units for further distribution.
Marte and five other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. The remaining defendants have pleaded not guilty.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, at least 10 years of supervised release and a fine of $20 million. The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute heroin provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.