Two Men Convicted of Marijuana Trafficking, Report

Two Men Convicted of Marijuana Trafficking, Report
Posted by FoM on December 17, 1998 at 11:24:45 PT

Boston-- Two Massachusetts men were convicted in federal court this week of participating in a wide-ranging, multiple-defendant conspiracy to distribute Marijuana in Massachusetts. 
United States Attorney Donald K. Stern, George C. Festa, Special Agent in Charge of the New England Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and Frederick P. Aufiero, Chief of the New England District Office of the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced that HAROLD L. KOBRIN, age 46, formerly residing in Newton and currently residing in Otis, and WILLIAM S. COHEN, age 46, of Belmont, pled guilty this week to a federal indictment charging each with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. KOBRIN pled guilty on Monday, December 14th, and COHEN pled guilty yesterday, both before U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns. KOBRIN and COHEN were among 12 defendants charged in a federal indictment with participating in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana in Massachusetts. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Pelgro stated in court that the conspiracy was headed by co-defendant [name redacted] of Newton and had its origins in the mid-1970's. During the life of the conspiracy, substantial quantities of marijuana were obtained from different sources in Texas and Arizona and then transported to Massachusetts for sale to numerous customers. The conspiracy was operating until December 1993 when federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant at [name redacted]'s home on Woodland Road in Newton and recovered quantities of cocaine, LSD, hashish, and marijuana. [name redacted] pled guilty earlier this year and was sentenced by Judge Stearns to 10 years in federal prison. His Newton home and several other assets were forfeited to the federal government. KOBRIN was identified in court as a lifelong friend and sometimes business partner of [name redacted] who became involved in the conspiracy in 1993. KOBRIN was one of several defendants who regularly congregated at the home of [name redacted] in 1993 in order to break up and repackage for distribution numerous bales of marijuana. The bales were obtained in Texas from smugglers in Mexico and then transported by truck to a location in Maine, where they were transferred into a van and then delivered to [name redacted]'s home in Newton. COHEN was identified in court as another friend of [name redacted] who became involved in the conspiracy in the early 1990's. COHEN assisted [name redacted] in obtaining the marijuana and, on one occasion in March 1991, he traveled to Arkansas to transfer a load of marijuana to other conspirators for transport to Massachusetts. This delivery, however, was intercepted by law enforcement authorities as it was being driven through Memphis, Tennessee and the couriers were arrested and prosecuted in Tennessee state court. Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled KOBRIN's sentencing for January 20, 1999 and COHEN's for March 15, 1999. Both men are facing maximum sentences of 20 years in federal prison without parole, to be followed by terms of supervised release of at least 3 years, and fines of up to $1 million. This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, in cooperation with the Newton Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Pelgro of Stern's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and Shelbey Wright of Stern's Asset Forfeiture Unit. 
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