Brockton Man Pleads Guilty to Operating Nationwide Scheme to Steal Social Media Accounts and Cryptocurrency

A Brockton man pleaded guilty Wednesday to conducting a scheme to take over victims’ social media accounts and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency.

Eric Meiggs, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, four counts of wire fraud, one count of computer fraud and abuse and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Sept. 15, 2021.

Meiggs and co-conspirators targeted victims who likely had significant amounts of cryptocurrency and those who had high value or “OG” (slang for “Original Gangster”) social media account names. Using an illegal practice known as “SIM-swapping,” Meiggs and others conspired to hack into and take control of these victims’ online accounts to obtain things of value, including OG social media account names and cryptocurrency.

As alleged in the indictment, “SIM swapping” attacks involve convincing a victim’s cell phone carrier to reassign the victim’s cell phone number from the SIM card (or Subscriber Identity Module card) inside the victim’s cell phone to the SIM card inside a cell phone controlled by the cybercriminals. Cybercriminals then pose as the victim with an online account provider and request that the provider send account password-reset links or an authentication code to the SIM-swapped device now controlled by the cybercriminals. The cybercriminals can then reset the victim’s account log-in credentials and use those credentials to access the victim’s account without authorization, or “hack into” the account.

According to the indictment, Meiggs and his co-conspirators targeted at least 10 identified victims around the country. Members of the conspiracy stole (or attempted to steal) more than $530,000 in cryptocurrency from these victims. Meiggs also took control of two victims’ “OG” accounts with social media companies.

The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $$250,000. The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of computer fraud and abuse provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of aggravated identify theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Acting Assistant Attorney Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Kosto, Deputy Chief of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit, and Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and are prosecuting the case.




New Bedford Police seize drugs, Glock and $13k cash at Tarkiln Hill Road home

On April 28, New Bedford Police Department narcotics detectives seized 1,175 grams of marijuana, 1.5 grams of cocaine, 59.7 grams of oxycodone pills, 46 pills of fentanyl, 702 packages of edible THC marijuana dressed up to appear as candy, a 9 mm Glock, two ammunition clips, 15 bullets, and $13,067 at 391 Tarkiln Hill Rd.

The target of the search warrant was 21-year old Teagan Dauphin-Potter of 230 Hathaway Blvd. He was and charged with multiple drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

Detective Jordan DaSilva investigated the case.

If you have any information on criminal activity in your neighborhood, the New Bedford Police Dept. wants to hear from you. You can leave an anonymous tip on our voicemail at (508) 991-6300 Ext. 1.




First bald eagle death in Massachusetts from rodenticides confirmed

MassWildlife officials recently confirmed that a bald eagle has died from second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) poisoning. While documented elsewhere, this is the first confirmed case of an eagle dying from rodenticide poisoning in MA.

MassWildlife officials recently confirmed that a bald eagle that died in March was the victim of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) poisoning. While mortalities in bald eagles due to anticoagulant rodenticides have been documented in other states, this is the first confirmed case in Massachusetts.

In mid-March, observers reported odd behavior of an adult female eagle at a nest located on the Charles River in Middlesex County. Unfortunately, within a day, the bird had died on its nest. MassWildlife officials retrieved the eagle and transported it to Tufts Wildlife Clinic at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University where a necropsy was performed. Toxicology testing of a liver sample was performed with the assistance of the Northeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative.

Both the necropsy and toxicology test results confirmed that the cause of death was lethal levels of anticoagulant rodenticides.

Anticoagulant rodenticides are a type of rodent poison that kills by preventing blood from clotting normally, resulting in a fatal hemorrhage. Wildlife can be poisoned by anticoagulant rodenticides in two ways: 1) primary poisoning when an animal directly eats the bait and dies several days later, or 2) secondary poisoning when a predator or scavenger eats prey that has consumed the bait. Secondary poisoning has been documented in birds of prey like hawks and owls, as well as foxes, bobcats, and coyotes. While bald eagles primarily eat fish, they are opportunistic foragers that feed on a variety of animals and are known to scavenge or prey on small mammals.

Given the hunting range of eagles, it’s impossible to determine the exact source of this rodenticide poisoning. Analysis of liver tissue confirmed three different SGARs were ingested by the eagle. In the past 15 years, the US EPA has taken steps to impose restrictions on rodenticides (see table below). SGARs are believed to be most harmful to wildlife and now cannot be sold through general consumer outlets for the typical homeowner to use. SGARs can still be purchased online in commercial use quantities, and licensed pest professionals and agricultural users are able to use them. Other rodenticides, called first-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs) and non-anticoagulant rodenticides, are still approved for residential consumer use if enclosed within a bait station.

“The struggle to control mice and rats is usually viewed in terms of humans vs. rodents, but wildlife such as birds of prey are often not recognized as players in this battle,” said Dr. Maureen Murray, Director of Tufts Wildlife Clinic. “Many people are surprised to learn that the mouse poison they use in their basement can also kill the great horned owl hooting in the neighborhood.”

Studies in other species of birds of prey conducted at Tufts Wildlife Clinic have shown widespread exposure to SGARs among these birds. MassWildife officials, in partnership with Tufts Wildlife Clinic, provide the following advice for homeowners with a rodent problem to minimize harm to wildlife:

• Rodent-proof your home. Before using a poison, remove or securely contain any potential food sources for rodents. Repair any exterior areas of your home to prevent rodents from coming inside.
• Arm yourself with information. Consider alternatives to poison, such as snap traps. Poisons should be used as a last resort. • Be sure to check the active ingredients and opt for products that contain bromethalin, chlorophacinone, or diphacinone. Use poisons only in bait stations as per the label instructions and avoid any in pellet form.
• Ask your pest control company questions. Look for an integrated pest management company that uses multiple approaches to pest control instead of relying solely on poisons. You can request that the company avoid using SGAR products including brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, or difethialone.

While the death of this individual bald eagle is disturbing, MassWildlife officials are encouraged to report that the overall population of bald eagles in Massachusetts continues to recover and grow in numbers and geographic distribution. In fact, the nest where the female bald eagle died in March may already have a new resident.

According to observers, within a week of the female’s death, another adult female eagle was observed at the nest with the male adult. “The appearance of a new female in such a short period of time speaks to the state’s robust eagle population,” said Andrew Vitz, MassWildlife’s State Ornithologist. “Though it is late in the mating season, it is possible that this bird may lay eggs this spring. If not, pair bonding between the two birds will strengthen over the year and nesting will likely be attempted in the early spring of 2022.”

Thanks to the efforts of MassWildlife and other conservation partners, there are currently over 80 pairs of bald eagles nesting in Massachusetts from the Cape to the Berkshires. Click here to learn more about bald eagle conservation in Massachusetts.




Dartmouth Police seeks “super sleuth’s” help in identifying woman who ransacked motel room

“Calling all cAHs…Calling all cAHs!

Because we are so darn good at our jobs, and because we have one of THE best crime analysts in the area helping us out 24/7, we haven’t needed much assistance with identifying suspects lately. However, with that being said, every so often we still need to call on all of our digital super sleuths, i.e., you, to help us catch a criminal 🤗.

Though we have already figured out that when this gem put on her Nike pants yesterday, she already had in mind that “Just Do It,” meant that “I’m going to break into a motel room and break just about everything in it, causing approximately $1,000 worth of damage,” we haven’t quite figured out who she is….YET!

I an effort to help us remind her that the true definition of “Just Do It” means that we are going to do our jobs by catching her, we are requesting that anyone who knows who she is either send us a private message or submit an anonymous tip by clicking on the following link: https://www.dartmouthpd.org/resources/tip411-submit-a-tip/

Thank you 😉
PLEASE SHARE!”-Dartmouth Police Department.


Dartmouth Police Department photo.




Traffic stop in Dartmouth results in arrest of New Bedford man, possession, and firearms charges

Just after 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, A Trooper assigned to the Massachusetts State Police Troop D Community Action Team was observing eastbound traffic on Route 195 in Dartmouth. While stationary, The Trooper’s attention was drawn to a white Toyota sedan with window tint so dark that the Trooper could not see into the vehicle, despite the daylight hour. The Trooper found an opening in traffic, accelerated his cruiser, and positioned himself behind the Toyota. An electronic query of the vehicle also revealed that the registered owner had a driver’s license that was currently suspended. It was then that the Trooper turned on his blue lights and initiated a motor vehicle stop.

The Trooper made contact with the owner, operator, and sole occupant of the vehicle, EDWIN POLANCO, 27, of New Bedford. When the Trooper directed POLANCO to produce his license and registration, it was confirmed through conversation that POLANCO’s license was in fact suspended. As the traffic stop continued, POLANCO became increasingly anxious and reluctant to follow the instructions of the Trooper. After POLANCO eventually agreed to step out of the vehicle due to his suspended license, a tow was called for to remove the vehicle from the roadway.

As the Trooper was conducting an inventory of the vehicle’s contents for accountability purposes, he located an open backpack belonging to POLANCO with a large amount of marijuana inside of it. When the Trooper removed the marijuana from the backpack, he discovered a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun loaded with 8 rounds of ammunition. POLANCO ‘s license to carry a firearm has been suspended in Massachusetts. At this time POLANCO was secured in handcuffs and placed under arrest.

The Trooper secured the firearm and marijuana and transported POLANCO to the Dartmouth barracks in his cruiser for booking.

POLANCO was scheduled to appear in New Bedford District Court on the following charges:

1. Carrying a Loaded Firearm;
2. Possession of a Firearm in a Felony;
3. Possession of a Firearm without an FID Card;
4. Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card;
5. Improper Storage of a Firearm;
6. Possession of Marijuana with intent to Distribute;
7. Operation of a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License; and
8. Window Tint violation (7% visible light transmission).




New Bedford Latin King sentenced for being felon in possession of firearm after robbery and shooting

A member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) was sentenced yesterday for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition following an investigation into an armed robbery in New Bedford and a shooting in Boston in April 2020.

Ramon Martinez, a/k/a “King Razor,” 26, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In November 2020, Martinez pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On April 30, 2020, an individual in New Bedford was robbed and punched by two men who were in a black Ford Fusion. The men put a knife to the victim’s back and stole his wallet and motorized scooter. Martinez was later identified as one of the robbers.

Also on April 30, 2020, police responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Callender Street in Boston where three .45 caliber casings were recovered. Martinez’s SnapChat account included postings related to this shooting incident.

On May 7, 2020, police witnessed Martinez exit a residence on Crapo Street in New Bedford and walk to the rear of a black Ford Fusion. They observed Martinez open the trunk and quickly close it, and then get into a nearby vehicle. Officers stopped the vehicle, placed Martinez under arrest for the April 30 armed robbery and located a set of keys for the Ford Fusion. In the trunk of the Fusion, police recovered a Glock Model 30S .45 caliber firearm with four rounds of ammunition. Ballistics testing matched the Glock Model 30S to the casings recovered on Callender Street.

Due to prior felony convictions, Martinez is prohibited from possessing firearms.

A plea hearing pertaining to the New Bedford armed robbery charges is scheduled for May 19, 2021 in Bristol County Superior Court. The case is being prosecuted by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Kelly Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New England Field Division; New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro; and Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long made the announcement. Valuable assistance was also provided by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of Mendell’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit prosecuted the case.




New Bedford Police Department seize cash and cocaine at County St. apartment

On April 26, NBPD Narcotics and Gang Unit Detectives seized approximately 297 grams of cocaine, digital scales, and $1675 at 535 County St., Apt. 2N.

As a result, Wyllie Monteiro, 23, 503 Kempton St., Apt. #3, was charged with trafficking in cocaine. At the time of this arrest, Monteiro already had two open cases for narcotics distribution out of Third District Court. He was charged in September of last year for distributing crack cocaine, and again in March of this year for distribution of Oxycontin.

Detective Matthew Sylvia investigated the case.If you have any information on criminal activity in your neighborhood, the New Bedford Police Dept. wants to hear from you. You can leave an anonymous tip on our voicemail at (508) 991-6300 Ext. 1




Massachusetts State Troopers arrest repeat firearm offender

“At approximately 2 a.m. on Sunday Trooper Alexandria Rodrigues, assigned to State Police-Concord, was patrolling Route 2 in Littleton. While traveling eastbound she observed a gray Volkswagen sedan traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. She was able to clock the vehicle at 81 miles per hour in a 45 mph posted zone. Trooper Rodrigues activated her cruiser’s emergency lights and initiated a motor vehicle stop.

Upon the vehicle coming to a full stop Trooper Rodrigues approached it and identified the operator as GARY ADAMS, 44, of Jamaica Plain. While speaking to ADAMS Trooper Rodrigues observed signs of impairment and eventually removed him from the vehicle to determine if he was safe to continue driving. After several roadside sobriety tests ADAMS was placed under arrest and placed in the rear of a cruiser.

Prior to ADAMS’ vehicle being towed from the scene Trooper Rodrigues conducted an inventory of its contents. During the inventory the Trooper located a Sig .45 caliber pistol loaded with seven rounds of ammunition along with a second magazine also loaded with seven rounds. ADAMS does not possess a license to carry firearms. ADAMS was transported to the Concord Barracks for booking where a bail commissioner was contacted and ordered him to be held for his arraignment at Ayer District Court on the following charges:

1. Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor;
2. Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Intoxicating Drugs;
3. Possession of a Firearm without FID Card;
4. Possession of Ammunition without FID Card;
5. Carrying a Loaded Firearm;
6. Possession of a Firearm with 3 Prior Violent/Drug Crimes;
7. Improper Storage of a Firearm;
8. Carrying a Firearm while Intoxicated;Troopers Arrest Man for Repeat Firearm Offenses
April 28, 2021
9. Illegal Possession of a Firearm, 2nd Offense;
10. Possession of Open Container of Marijuana in a Vehicle;
11. Speeding; and
12. Failure to Signal.




Massachusetts man pleads guilty to operating nationwide scheme to steal social media accounts and cryptocurrency

A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty today to conducting a scheme to take over victims’ social media accounts and steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency.

According to court documents and statements made in connection with the plea proceeding, Eric Meiggs, 23, of Brockton, admitted that he and one or more co-conspirators targeted victims who appeared to have significant amounts of cryptocurrency and those who had high value or “OG” (slang for “original gangster”) social media account names. Using an illegal practice known as “SIM-swapping,” Meiggs and others conspired to hack into and take control of these victims’ online accounts to obtain things of value, including OG social media account names and cryptocurrency.

As alleged in the indictment, SIM-swapping attacks involve convincing a victim’s cellphone carrier to reassign the victim’s phone number from the SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module card) inside the victim’s cellphone to the SIM card inside a cellphone controlled by the cybercriminals. Cybercriminals then pose as the victim with an online account provider and request that the provider send account password-reset links or an authentication code to the SIM-swapped device now controlled by them. The cybercriminals can then reset the victim’s account log-in credentials and use those credentials to access the victim’s account without authorization, or “hack into” the account.

According to the indictment, Meiggs and his coconspirators targeted at least 10 identified victims around the country. Members of the conspiracy stole, or attempted to steal, more than $530,000 in cryptocurrency from these victims. Meiggs also took control of two victims’ “OG” accounts with social media companies.

Meiggs pleaded guilty to each of seven counts in an indictment, charging him with conspiracy, wire fraud, computer fraud and abuse, and aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15, and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other sentence. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell for the District of Massachusetts; Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

The FBI and IRS-CI are investigating the case.

Senior Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Kosto of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts are prosecuting the case.




Former Boston Police Officer Pleads Guilty to $20,000 in Overtime Fraud

A former Boston Police Officer pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Boston in connection with committing over $20,000 in overtime fraud at the Boston Police Department’s (BPD) evidence warehouse.

Officer James Carnes (retired), 57, of Canton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Sept. 10, 2021.

In September 2020, Carnes and eight other Boston Police Officers were arrested and charged for their roles in an overtime fraud scheme that is alleged to have collectively embezzled over $200,000 between May 2016 and February 2019.

Carnes admitted that between July 2016 and February 2019, he submitted false and fraudulent overtime slips for overtime hours that he did not work for two overtime shifts at the evidence warehouse. The first, called “purge” overtime, was a 4-8 p.m. weekday shift intended to dispose of old, unneeded evidence. The second shift, called “kiosk” overtime, involved driving to each police district in Boston one Saturday a month to collect old prescription drugs to be burned.

For the “purge” shift, Carnes admitted that while he had claimed to have worked from 4-8 p.m., he and, allegedly, the other members of his unit routinely left at 6 p.m., or earlier. For the kiosk shift, Carnes admitted that while he and other members submitted overtime slips claiming to have worked eight-and-one-half hours, he and, allegedly, other members of the unit only worked three to four hours of those shifts.

From 2016 through 2018, BPD received annual benefits from the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Justice in excess of $10,000, which were funded pursuant to numerous federal grants.

The charge of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Russell W. Cunningham, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Washington Field Office; and Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Mendell’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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