Cocaine Distributor in Fidelis Way Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

BOSTON – A drug distributor working for a Boston-area drug trafficking organization (DTO) was sentenced today for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving cocaine and cocaine base.

Nelsin Hernandez, 31, of Brighton, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to one year and a day in prison and three years of supervised release. On June 28, 2022, Hernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

Hernandez was charged with 23 others in June 2020 as part of Operation Snowfall, which ultimately resulted in the charging of two different drug trafficking conspiracies during the overall period of November 2018 through June 2020.

According to the charging documents, the DTO was comprised of Boston-based street gang members and associates in the Commonwealth Development in Brighton, formerly known as Fidelis Way, a multi-apartment public housing development. It is alleged that the DTO assumed control over multiple apartments, where Hernandez and others stored, cooked, packaged and sold drugs – most of which consisted of cocaine or cocaine base, which the DTO supplied to customers, wholesalers and distributors. As a result, the DTO caused a blight of the development and reduced the quality of life of the other residents.

Hernandez distributed between approximately 100 and 200 grams of cocaine base during the course of his participation in the Fidelis Way DTO. Hernandez is the fourth defendant to be sentenced in in the Fidelis-Way related drug conspiracy. The remaining defendants are either pending sentencing or have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. One defendant, Derek Hart, remains at large.

First Assistant United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Field Division; Bryan Kyes, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Braintree, Cambridge, Canton, Randolph and Weymouth Police Departments; the Suffolk, Norfolk and Bristol County District Attorneys’ Offices; and the Suffolk, Plymouth and Norfolk County Sheriffs’ Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin R. O’Donnell and Timothy E. Moran of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit 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.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.