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No 'relaxation' in cracking down on pot
“We intend to attack organized drug distribution rings and to bring them to justice as best we can. If you think you can continue in the distribution of marijuana just because there is some relaxation about marijuana, you have to think twice,” Feith said at a media conference while flanked by federal agents, state and local police involved in the probe.
The government has 30 days to bring its case before a federal grand jury for possible indictment, Feith said.
The charges against Nakos relate to the last six months only, during which authorities intercepted four alleged drug-related telephone calls between Nakos and Koustas.
“He utilized Mr. Koustas to quote-unquote do the dirty work,” MacKenzie said.
“We’ve never seen a pizza come out of that operation,” she testified.
Nakos and Koustas are accused of coordinating large shipments of marijuana into New Hampshire from Canada via Vermont, New York and Massachusetts, overseeing its distribution to lower-level dealers and collecting cash proceeds, which specially designated couriers transported to California to buy more drugs, federal officials allege.
Also charged in the complaint are: Charles Fowle, 35, of 267 Waverly St., Hooksett; his brother, Frank Fowle, 36, of 330 Milford St., Manchester; Christopher Ranfos, 36, of 241 Boutwell Rd., Manchester; Kristopher Venturini, 35, of 374 Thornton St., Manchester; Marc Guillemette, 37, of 255 Waverly St., Manchester; John Horne Jr., 32, of 301 Prescott St., Epping; Jonathan Venturini, 32, of 516 Notre Dame Ave., Manchester; and Jonathan Handschumaker, whose address and age were not immediately available.
Ranfos and Horne have been released, Feith said. The others have been detained or will face detention hearings this month.
A detention hearing for Koustas will be held today.
Marijuana flowed into Canada and, from there, was smuggled through Vermont, upstate New York and northern New Hampshire to Massachusetts.
Feith would not discuss efforts to trace the alleged drug operation to its source or potential ringleaders in other states, saying only: “It is always our goal to move up the chain of command.”
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