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Published on February 28, 2024
Fall River Man Pleads Guilty to Oxycodone Distribution, Faces 20 Years in PrisonSource: Google Street View

A Fall River man is slated to swap his home comforts for a cell after pleading guilty in a federal court to running an oxycodone ring. Thirty-seven-year-old Austin Gonsalves is now facing the music with a sentencing date set for May 30, after he was part of a group distributing pain pills across Southeastern Massachusetts.

Gonsalves was busted and charged alongside five other individuals in July of last year following investigations by federal agencies determined to crack down on opioid distribution networks. Allowing ambition to tragically overstep the bonds of legality, Gonsalves distributed the narcotic pills, which he obtained from co-defendant Kenneth Veiga, according to a statement by the Department of Justice.

This guilty plea could land Gonsalves in prison for up to two decades, on top of a potential lifetime of supervised release and fines up to $1 million. His indictment followed the significant seizure at his residence, where authorities discovered around $16,000 in cash and roughly 400 oxycodone pills.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, along with an ensemble of federal and state law enforcement agencies, collaboratively brought Gonsalves to justice. This case is yet another win for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces whose purpose is to systematically dismantle high-level criminal organizations that attempt to corrode American neighborhoods with illegal substances. As Gonsalves prepares to possibly trade freedom to undoubtedly serve time, the multi-agency approach highlights the government's intensified effort against drug trade.

While Gonsalves has admitted to his part in the conspiracy, the allegations against the remaining defendants are still just that – allegations. They remain innocent until such time as they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Mulcahy of the Narcotics & Money Laundering Unit. More information on the government's fight against drug trafficking can be found at the OCDETF's official website.