Christina Bernbaum, 23, of Malden, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal drug and gun charges related to the crack and guns she and her boyfriend allegedly sold to gang members north of Boston, who used the guns to spray rivals and rival territory with gunfire.
Because at least one of the guns was a machine gun, she faces a potential life sentence, the US Attorney's office reports. Her sentencing hearing was set for April 6, 2022.
Her beau, Jaiir Coleman, has agreed to plead guilty as well. He faces a formal plea hearing on his request in January. Both were arrested this past April.
Bernbaum was formally charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base and one count of conspiracy to possess, use and carry firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
According to the US Attorney's office:
Bernbaum participated in a long-running conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess controlled substances, including in large quantities in Massachusetts and in Maine, including on Coleman’s behalf during his incarceration.
An affidavit by an FBI agent who participated in building a case against the couple linked the guns they sold to "650 separate shootings and over 1,900 rounds fired" in Chelsea, Cambridge, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Somerville and neighboring communities.
That includes Boston, where officials say a gun used as part of a fusillade that left Martin Luther King Boulevard and two intersecting streets strewn with 32 spent shells in August, 2020 was linked to Coleman - whom they charge had used it earlier to spray streets in Somerville and Chelsea with bullets. Two Canton residents were arrested in connection with the Boston gunfire.
Coleman and Bernbaum were the first to be formally charged in connection with what the Boston-based feds codenamed "Operation Street Sweepah: Kings of Belaire" - the second part of the name for the way the couple and their buds are frequently seen swilling Belaire champagne on recovered photos and videos.