HN FILE IMAGE – March 2015 – Detectives and a drug sniffing dog from the Yarmouth Police Department sweep an area of the mall after arresting Wilkins… (Insert) booking photo of Christopher Wilkins… [CLICK HERE FOR STORY OF ONE OF WILKINS’ ARRESTS]
The following is the actual press statement from acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb, District of Massachusetts:
BOSTON – A Cape Cod man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston today in connection with trafficking heroin and money laundering.
Christopher Wilkins, 29, of Hyannis, pleaded guilty to 15 federal charges: nine counts of possession of heroin with the intent to distribute; conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and money laundering; conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking charges; conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute; and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for August 16, 2017.
In October 2015, law enforcement initiated an effort to address the rising opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, particularly on Cape Cod. As alleged in the charging documents, Wilkins, Denzel Chisholm, Christian Chapman, and other co-conspirators were responsible for a significant quantity of heroin distributed on Cape Cod. A wiretap investigation led to their arrests and indictments.
Wilkins was one of the most prolific heroin distributors of the group. He distributed heroin to other drug dealers and to heroin users on nearly a daily basis. Furthermore, Wilkins distributed cocaine, which he sourced from co-defendant Aaron Mott-Frye.
In addition to the narcotics charges, Wilkins pleaded guilty to firearms and money laundering. On March 7, 2016, Wilkins attempted to obtain a firearm from co-defendant Benjamin Roderick in exchange for 10 grams of heroin. The firearm was recovered from Roderick before it could be passed to Wilkins. Wilkins also laundered over $200,000 in narcotics proceeds by depositing the drug money into bank accounts set up in his wife’s name, thereby concealing the origin and source of the funds.
Chisholm and Mott-Frye pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Their trial is scheduled for June 5, 2017. Roderick pleaded guilty in September 2016 and was sentenced in January 2017. Chapman pleaded guilty in March 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 12, 2017.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and no greater than 40 years in prison, a minimum of four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $5 million; money laundering and conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000; possession of heroin and cocaine with the intent to distribute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years to life of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe; and Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen and Miranda Hooker of Weinreb’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.