Two Members of Cape Cod Heroin Trafficking Ring Sentenced to Prison for Violent Kidnapping
BOSTON – Two members of a Cape Cod heroin trafficking ring have been sentenced to 10 years and nine years in prison for their roles in a violent kidnapping captured on video.
Albert Lee, also known as “Mook,” 32, of Pawtucket, R.I., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to nine years in prison and three years of supervised release. In September 2022, Lee pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Cameron Cartier, 28, of Buzzards Bay, was sentenced on Feb. 14, 2023 by Judge Burroughs to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. In October 2022, Cartier pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice by retaliating against a witness, victim or informant. Lee and Cartier were charged in a superseding indictment that included co-defendants Edwin Otero, Justin Joseph and Anthony Basilici in March 2020.
In 2018, law enforcement began investigating a Cape Cod drug trafficking organization led by Otero. The investigation revealed that Otero and other members of the crew distributed large quantities of heroin throughout Cape Cod, including in Hyannis, Mashpee, Centerville, Osterville and in Pawtucket, R.I. In April 2019, as part of the conspiracy, Otero lured a known victim from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, where Otero, Cartier, Lee, Joseph, and Basilici kidnapped and held him, stripped him naked, assaulted him and threatened to rape him. The purpose of this kidnapping and assault was to retaliate against the victim because the crew erroneously believed the victim was cooperating with law enforcement. Basilici filmed the kidnapping and assault on Otero’s cell phone. Otero’s phone was later recovered with the video on it.
On Jan. 18, 2023, Otero and Joseph each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime; kidnapping conspiracy; and witness retaliation conspiracy. Otero also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and witness intimidation. They are both scheduled to be sentenced on April 27, 2023.
On Jan. 26, 2023, after a week-long trial, Basilici was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin; possession and discharge of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime; kidnapping conspiracy; witness intimidation; and witness retaliation conspiracy. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 26, 2023.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Barnstable Police Chief Matthew K. Sonnabend; and Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Pohl and Lauren Graber of Rollins’ Criminal Division prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.