A Hyde Park man is among nine people charged today with running a coke ring that imported the drug from Puerto Rico through parcel post.
Oscar Nieves-Sosa of Davison Street in Hyde Park and the eight other men were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base in a case unsealed this morning in US District Court. A Dorchester man was named in an affidavit by a Postal inspector on the case, but was not among those formally charged. Patrick Joseph of Stoughton was named as the ring leader.
According to the affidavit, the men commonly often imported their drugs by packing them either in air fryers or air-fryer boxes and then shipping them to a variety of addresses in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
In many cases, the affidavit says, the 20-pound packages, which typically included some 4 1/2 pounds of cocaine, would be shipped to people who didn't exist at real addresses. Ring members would then wait in a car outside the addresses and, after the letter carrier dropped them off, would retrieve them and then drive off. The affidavit describes one of the packages:
Parcel #8 contained an air fryer. Hidden inside the air fryer were two plastic-wrapped, brick-shaped bundles of a white compressed powder, both of which field-tested positive for cocaine and weighed approximately one kilogram each. Investigators have seized other cocaine parcels that concealed cocaine inside air fryers and have observed members of the [ring] transporting air fryer boxes and discarding air fryer packaging, including on January 23, 2021.
Ring members did sometimes have the air fryers sent directly to their own homes, the affidavit states. In one case, the affidavit continues, a letter carrier dropped one of the parcels at Nieves-Sosa's front door, but he did not come out at first to retrieve it, waiting until after a bit of anti-surveillance surveillance by another possible ring member in a Mercedes who slowly drove down the block, then parked:
I am familiar with the black Mercedes because I have observed it transporting other suspicious parcels in the past. This day, I believe the driver of the black Mercedes was conducting counter-surveillance in an effort to identify law enforcement.
The driver, an unidentified Hispanic male, parked, exited the black Mercedes, and walked down the street while scanning parked vehicles in the area. I believe that the driver of the black Mercedes was continuing his counter-surveillance effort on foot. The driver then re-entered the black Mercedes and drove away.
Only then did Nieves-Sosa come out and get the box, the affidavit states.
The affidavit lists Nieves-Sosa as a ring courier, who was observed picking up air-fryer cocaine, which he would then ferry to 1 Webster Ave. in Chelsea, where an apartment served as a drug distribution center.
Complete affidavit (6M PDF).