CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire-based ringleader of a major drug trafficking operation has pleaded guilty to charges he conspired to sell oxycodone and to launder money, federal prosecutors said.
Randall Noe, 37, of Belmont, faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 14.
In June, authorities arrested Noe, his 75-year-old mother, Rita, of Everett, Mass., and 22 other people in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, and Nevada on money-laundering and drug-trafficking charges.
Noe and eight others have pleaded guilty so far, the US Attorney's office said yesterday.
Noe obtained hundreds of oxycodone tablets every week for several years and sold them to lower-level distributors around New England, investigators said. Oxycodone is a controlled narcotic.
Noe sent groups of couriers from Boston to West Palm Beach, Fla., to visit a doctor and get oxycodone prescriptions, fill them, and bring back the drugs. He also used private parcel couriers to exchange large amounts of cash for hundreds of tablets of oxycodone supplied by another defendant, Victor Mendes of Margate, Fla., authorities said.
Noe and the other defendants laundered their money by gambling at Las Vegas casinos and the former Lakes Region Greyhound Park in Belmont, authorities said.
A task force composed of federal agents and local police in New Hampshire and Massachusetts investigated the drug ring for two years.
Those pleading guilty in US District Court in Concord include: Joseph Silva, 29, of Wakefield, Mass.; Stephen Assante, 32, of Cranston, R.I.; Dennis ''Mike" Kaminski, 33, of Belmont and Concord; Stacey Mellor, 30, of Belmont; Michael Cucchiello, 33, of Las Vegas; Stephen Long, 43, of Lynn, Mass.; Harold Mayo, 48, of Everett, Mass.; and Gerald Valcour, 59, of Boston.