Milton Woman Sentenced for Role in Multimillion-Dollar Marijuana Enterprise

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BOSTON – A Milton woman was sentenced today in federal court in Worcester for her role in a multimillion-dollar marijuana delivery service.

Deana Martin, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Hillman to four years in prison and three years of supervised release. Martin was also ordered to pay restitution of $528,146. On May 4, 2021, Martin pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion, one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and three counts of money laundering.

Martin and co-defendant Tatiana Fridkes were indicted in May 2019 in connection with their management of Northern Herb, a marijuana delivery service that operated in Massachusetts from 2015 to 2018. On Sept. 10, 2021, Fridkes was sentenced by Judge Hillman to time served and two years of supervised release after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Fridkes was also ordered to pay restitution of $82,000.

Martin owned and managed Northern Herb, which operated a website offering marijuana products for sale including raw marijuana, pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes and marijuana edibles. While Northern Herb purported to provide medical marijuana, it did not require a customer to provide proof of a medical marijuana card. Furthermore, Northern Herb delivered marijuana to unattended locations (such as a front door or hallway) where unknown third parties could have accessed it. Northern Herb used locations in Canton, Milton, Foxborough and Hyde Park to store and distribute marijuana, and employed at least 25 workers.

From May 2016 through July 2018, Northern Herb’s revenue exceeded $14 million. Northern Herb did not withhold or pay taxes on its millions of dollars in marijuana sales and did not pay taxes on its profits. Much of the cash collected by Northern Herb from customers was used to pay its suppliers and its workers. In paying cash wages, Northern Herb did not withhold, remit, or pay any payroll or income taxes. Northern Herb did not report worker wages to the IRS via Form 941, nor did it issue W-2s or 1099s to its workers.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division; and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The United States Postal Inspection Service also provided valuable assistance with this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Abely, Chief of Mendell’s Criminal Division, John Mulcahy of Mendell’s Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit and Assistant Chief Kathleen Barry of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.

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