Boston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 17, 2024
Malden Man Sentenced to 42 Months for Distributing Fentanyl, Trafficking Stolen IdentitiesSource: Google Street View

A Malden man has been slapped with a 42-month prison sentence for peddling the deadly opioid fentanyl and using stolen identities to fund his life of crime, the Justice Department reported on Monday. Derick Coulanges, also known as "Casa," 38, faced the hammer of justice in Boston Federal Court after confessing to a bevy of charges including drug distribution and an identity theft scheme that ensnared 17 unfortunate souls.

According to the Justice Department, the drama unfolded in early 2023 when Coulanges was caught on tape handing over 50 grams of fentanyl from the comfort of his Mercedes Benz. The recordings also captured Coulanges plotting to score counterfeit driver's licenses for an informant, using lifted personal information to potentially rip open bank accounts and snag credit cards for shopping sprees. In an apartment, searching Coulanges' in March, another 28 grams of meth were found. He had snagged using another victim's stolen identity.

And if that wasn't enough, a deeper dive into his luxury ride netted six stolen licenses and a bogus one with Coulanges' mug matched with some poor Ohioan's info. He'd later use that phony ID to get cozy with banks and credit card companies, ringing up tabs like a nearly $12,000 jewelry heist.

The con artist's identity heist reached from his drug clients to victims scattered across the nation. The Mercer Benz Coulanges paraded around in was just another stroke of his fraud pen—bought with a loan wrung out from a customer sweating under his narcotic thumb. Recorded by surveillance footage, at various stores, Coulanges made lavish purchases, flinging around the fraudulent plastic with abandon.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy, along with top brass from the FBI and the Massachusetts State Police, busted the cover off this shadowy operation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit put the legal gears in motion to make sure Coulanges' days of fake IDs and real drugs have ground to a halt.