BOSTON – An Osterville man was sentenced in federal court in Boston today for his role in a wide-ranging heroin trafficking conspiracy.
Eric Brando, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 66 months in prison and six years of supervised release. In February 2020, Brando pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.
In May 2019, Brando and 10 co-defendants were arrested and charged with various drug distribution offenses.
According to court documents, in 2019, law enforcement began an investigation into a Cape Cod drug trafficking organization, allegedly led by co-defendant Edwin Otero. It is alleged that Otero and his co-conspirators distributed large quantities of heroin throughout Cape Cod, including Hyannis, Mashpee, Centerville and Osterville, as well as Pawtucket, R.I. Interceptions from Otero’s phone identified Brando as a drug trafficker supplied by Otero. In addition to moving sizeable quantities of heroin, the investigation revealed that members of the Otero crew shot at a drug customer over an unpaid debt and videotaped themselves beating another man they incorrectly believed had provided information to the police.
Brando is the first defendant to be sentenced in this case and the fourth to have pleaded guilty. The remaining seven defendants have pleaded not guilty and are pending trial.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin provides for a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; and Barnstable Police Chief Matthew K. Sonnabend made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Pohl and Lauren Graber of Mendell’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit are prosecuting the case.
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.