A Dorchester man and two alleged accomplices are due to answer fentanyl and methamphetamine charges in federal court on Monday, as part of what could be a larger national investigation that began two years ago.
Jeffry Carmona, also known as “El Gordo” (“Fats” in English), Miguel Polanco and a woman, known at least a week ago only as Natacha, are to appear in court in U.S. District Monday afternoon on charges of distributing 400 grams or more of fentanyl, distributing 100 grams or more of a fentanyl analog, and distributing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, according to court documents unsealed Friday. A fourth person believed to be involved in local trafficking remains at large; his name was removed from court documents.
An affidavit from an FBI agent on the case describes an investigation that began in January 2020 into a growing link between drug suppliers and Bitcoin money launderers. Agents trained in the use of online cryptocurrency began posing as drug buyers and “collected bulk money believed to be drug proceeds from various money launderers and traffickers drug smugglers in several locations in the United States and transmitted Bitcoin to wallets identified by the traffickers.
In the Boston area, agents convinced a man facing broader money laundering charges to work with them, which led them to a money laundering drug supplier in Culiacan, the capital of the Mexican state of Sinaloa. This man, convinced that the agents were themselves money launderers and drug traffickers after helping him launder $100,000 via Bitcoin, connected them with Carmona, to whom he allegedly shipped fentanyl under powder and pill form, methamphetamine and cocaine. According to the affidavit:
“On April 27, 2021, after coordinating with a suspected money launderer, an agent acting as an undercover agent (“UC-1”), conducted a collection in Boston of $100,000 worth of proceeds of suspected drugs to be laundered via Bitcoin transfer. A money courier traveled from New York to Boston with the loose money. UC-1 collected the money from the courier, and another agent acting as undercover agent (“UC-2”) forwarded $100,000 worth of Bitcoin to a wallet identified by the suspected money Shortly after this April 27, 2021 transaction, UC-1 received a text message from a number Mexican phone number, 52-667-207-5815 The user of this phone number identified himself as being from Culiacan, Mexico (hereafter, ‘CO-CONSPIRATOR 1’). stated that he had received many transfers of Bitcoin that UC-1 had made in the Boston area.Since that first introduction on April 27, 2021, CO-CONSPIRATOR 1 and UC-1 have continued to communicate and held several bulk cash offs in Bitcoin exchange in locations across the United States”
Over the next few months, in fact until at least the beginning of this month, according to the affidavit, officers conducted a number of drug purchases and collections in Carmona, including varying amounts of fentanyl and of methamphetamine. Agents would pay Carmona a four-figure fee for his troubles, and then, after receiving the drugs — usually a few grams less than they were promised — they would transfer tens of thousands of dollars to Carmona’s Bitcoin “wallet.” ‘El Patron.
Carmona told undercover agents that he was the “right-hand man” of the contractor whom agents knew as “Co-Conspirator 1” but to whom Carmona referred via the honorific “El Patron”.
Most of the transactions were made outside an apartment building on Blue Hill Avenue and Seaver Street, about two miles from Carmona’s apartment on the third floor of a three-story on Burt Street, near Washington Street, where officers say he was storing drugs.
Unusual for a drug dealer, however, Carmona didn’t drive a fancy car, or any car there: he would take a T bus. In fact, he told one of the undercover officers, he prefers public transport, even to transport drugs to a sale.
The affidavit says officers watch Carmona, partly through a camera slid to a pole outside her three-story, walk a few blocks to board a bus to Blue Hill Avenue. The affidavit does not specify which bus, but the course 22 d’Ashmont, which is a few blocks from his apartment, stops at Blue Hill Avenue and Seaver Street.
After a deal on Blue Hill Avenue, the affiddavit continues, officers watched Carmona walk up Burt Street; another time, however, he took a taxi to a drug sale.
And once, to discuss new sales, and just to relax for a night, he jumped into a car driven by an accomplice of the undercover agent for a ride to the Encore Casino in Everett.
During the investigation, officers bought everything from a five-kilo load of methamphetamine on July 20, 2021, for which they paid Carmona $1,000 in cash and El Patron $34,000 via bitcoin, to three kilos of fentanyl on November 7, 2021. , for which an agent put $70,000 worth of Bitcoin into the Mexican’s online “wallet”.
The last recorded purchase was fentanyl pressed into 2,000 tablets, about 250 grams in total, for which one of the officer’s “cooperating witnesses” handed over $6,000 to Camona. Carmona, according to the affidavit, expressed disappointment at only receiving $6,000, but the undercover buyer said that was all his “boss” gave him.