Shelby Kleffman.

Trafficking conspiracy alleged



ELLSWORTH — A Trenton woman has been charged along with two Massachusetts men in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving cocaine, crack cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice District of Massachusetts.

Shelby Kleffman, 31, and her co-defendant, Armani Minier-Tejada, 22, of Salem, Mass., were each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances including cocaine, cocaine base, fentanyl and methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to possess, use and carry firearms to further a drug trafficking conspiracy.

Kleffman and Minier-Tejada, who goes by the street names of “Shotz” and “Gustavo,” were arrested in Maine last Friday morning, the Department of Justice stated.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell, Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Field Division, and Kelly D. Brady, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Boston Field Division, made the announcement.

A third defendant, Miguel Minier, 55, of Lynn, Mass., has also been charged by criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances including cocaine, cocaine base, fentanyl and methamphetamine. As of Friday, Minier was still wanted on the federal warrant.

“At a later date, Minier-Tejada and Kleffman will appear in federal court in Boston before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell,” the Department of Justice stated.

“As alleged in the charging documents, Minier-Tejada and Minier conspired to obtain large quantities of controlled substances, including cocaine, cocaine base, fentanyl and methamphetamine, from Massachusetts suppliers and distribute them to contacts in Maine, who then distributed the controlled substances on a retail level,” the agency stated. “Members of the conspiracy also allegedly possessed numerous firearms, including at least one fully-automatic firearm with a ‘selector switch’ that converts a semi-automatic firearm into a machine gun, in order to protect the drug trafficking operation and target rival drug trafficking operators.”

“Minier-Tejada and Minier brought large quantities of controlled substances, including distinctive purple fentanyl, to sell to dealers in Maine who would in turn resell the controlled substances for higher profits in Maine,” the department stated. “Kleffman was one such Maine-based dealer who received large quantities of controlled substances from Minier-Tejada and Minier. Minier-Tejada and Minier also allegedly obtained rental vehicles and rental homes in Maine that served as distribution hubs for the conspiracy.”

The charge of conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute carries a possible maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and supervised release for life as well as a fine of up to $1 million. The charge of conspiring to possess, use and carry firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy provides for a maximum sentence of life in prison because a machine gun was involved in the alleged offense, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district judge based on the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Numerous agencies helped with the case including the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office; the Bangor Police Department; the Westbrook Police Department; the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency; the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine; the Essex County (Mass.) Sheriff’s Department; the Lynn Police Department; the Malden Police Department and the Salem Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip A. Mallard and Sarah Hoefle of Mendell’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit are prosecuting the case.

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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