BOSTON — A Chelmsford man pleaded guilty in Boston federal court yesterday to trafficking counterfeit oxycodone and Adderall pills that actually contain fentanyl and methamphetamine.
Vando Gvozdarevic, 29, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and 40 grams or more of fentanyl. U.S. Primary District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock set his sentence for November 7, 2022.
“Yesterday, Mr. Gvozdarevic admitted to selling deadly narcotics – fentanyl and methamphetamine – disguised as counterfeit prescription pills in neighborhoods in New England. It is part of a drug pipeline that has profited from the destruction of lives, families and communities,” said US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “The fact that he committed the flash crimes while on probation for similar state crimes is an affront to the overwhelming number of people who adhere to the terms of their probation without incident. It was a missed opportunity for Mr. Gvozdarevic Probation can help people find employment and training opportunities I am committed to working with my law enforcement partners to ensure that probationers and the community are aware of all employment and advancement opportunities available to individuals if they come into contact with the criminal justice system There are viable options.
“Convicted felon Vando Gvodarevic is a member of a ruthless gang that showed a flagrant disregard for the law by distributing counterfeit pills containing methamphetamine and fentanyl while on probation for similar crimes. Today he was again convicted today for his role in a multi-state drug trafficking conspiracy that posed a significant threat to our communities,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division. “Removing dangerous criminals from the streets and dismantling the violent, organized criminal enterprises to which they belong is a top priority of the FBI’s North Shore Gang Task Force.”
Gvozdarevic was charged in November 2021 along with 12 others in connection with a massive drug conspiracy centered on Gangster Disciples in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen. The investigation, which began in August 2020, intercepted communications between Gangster Disciples leaders, members and drug dealers regarding their alleged distribution of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and suboxone in Massachusetts, Maine and southern New Hampshire as well as the Essex County Jail. . The investigation identified Gvozdarevic as a methamphetamine and fentanyl supplier disguised as counterfeit Adderall and oxycodone pills. 12,556 counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine and 3,717 counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl were seized from Gvozdarevic’s apartment during the execution of a federal search warrant.
At the time of his arrest, Gvozdarevic was on probation for drug trafficking and Middlesex Superior Court gun convictions, for which he served a five-year prison sentence.
Gvozdarevic is the third defendant to plead guilty in the case.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine carries a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, at least five years and up to life on probation and a fine of $10 million. The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl carries a minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to lifetime probation and a $5 million fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on US sentencing guidelines and the laws that govern sentencing in a criminal case.
U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI SAC Bonavolonta, and Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Colonel Christopher Mason made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by Chelmsford Police Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip C. Cheng of Rollins’ Organized Crime and Gangs Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case is part of an operation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OECDTF). The OECDTF 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 OECDTF program is available at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for all. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the community community to develop effective, local strategies to reduce violent crime.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. Other defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.