Three face first-degree murder charges

– Thirteen individuals have been charged with federal drug trafficking and firearms charges following an investigation led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Three face state first-degree murder charges for the murder of Christine Santos Ferreira following a State Police and Barnstable Police investigation led by District Attorney Michael O’Keefe. Those charged with first degree murder are Denzel Chisholm, Shannelle Chisholm and Tyrone Gomes.

Thirteen Cape Cod residents affiliated with the Nauti street gang and drug trafficking organization were charged with federal drug and firearm violations. One individual was charged in a separate, related complaint with possession of a firearm by a felon.

In October 2015, law enforcement initiated an effort to address the rising opiate epidemic in Massachusetts and on Cape Cod in particular.  Barnstable and Bristol counties each have an overdose death rate of 16-20 per 100,000 people, which is the highest in Massachusetts and exceeds the national average. As alleged in the federal criminal complaint, Denzel Chisholm and Christopher Wilkins, along with the other charged defendants, are responsible for a significant quantity of the heroin that has been distributed on Cape Cod.  The investigation led to the state murder charges against Denzel Chisholm, Shannelle Chisholm and Tyrone Gomes.

According to state and federal criminal complaints, Ferreira was found shot and stabbed numerous times in the east bound rest area between Exits 6 and 7 on Route 6 in Barnstable on Sept. 19, 2015.  Investigators believe that Chisholm orchestrated the murder of Ferreira in retaliation for her testimony against a fellow member of the Nauti street gang in 2011.

According to the federal criminal complaint, Chisholm and Wilkins pooled money and purchased heroin from a common source, which they then distributed to their customers who included Oliver Hamilton, Brooke Cotell, Shaun Miller, Tyrone Gomes, Stephanie Davis, Anthony Hall, and Benjamin Roderick, for further distribution.

According to the affidavit, in February 2016, Wilkins and Chisholm began distributing heroin tinted “blue” due to the “cut” put in the heroin, which was later seized from multiple sources on Cape Cod, indicating its widespread distribution.  The complaint describes the lengths that Chisholm and Wilkins went to in order to shield themselves from law enforcement detection.  Chisholm allegedly employed a girlfriend, Eelyese Mateo, to deliver heroin and store it at her Hyannis home.  Chisholm and Wilkins also stored and sold heroin from a stash house operated by Bethanne Hutchings.  On March 12, 2016, Chisholm left Hutchings a sample of heroin at her home for her to try.  That night, Hutchings overdosed, was found unresponsive by local authorities, and was administered Narcan which ultimately saved her life.

In addition to heroin trafficking, it is further alleged that Wilkins, Chisholm and their co-conspirators possessed and used firearms.  In March 2016, investigators intercepted telephone calls in which Benjamin Roderick, a heroin customer of Wilkins, offered to trade a .38 caliber firearm to Wilkins for 10 grams of heroin.  Wilkins agreed to the deal, but just before they were to meet, law enforcement officers stopped Roderick’s vehicle and recovered the firearm.   In a related complaint, Matthew Monroe was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon after he sold an Uzi semi-automatic rifle to a cooperating witness in a Hyannis hotel room.

(See related story here)

The following defendants were charged in a federal criminal complaint with:

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin:

  1. Denzel Chisholm, aka “Den” and “Din,” 26, of Barnstable;
  2. Christopher Wilkins, aka “Degree” and “Half Circle,” 29, of Hyannis;
  3. Tyrone Gomes, 31, of Hyannis;
  4. Eelyese Mateo, aka “El Chapo,” 20, of Hyannis;
  5. Bethanne Hutchings, 50, of Hyannis;
  6. Oliver Hamilton, 26, of Hyannis;
  7. Stephanie Davis, 21, of Harwich; and
  8. Anthony Hall, aka “Nova,” 31, of Sandwich.Possession of heroin with the intent to distribute:
  9. Brooke Cotell, 22, of Hyannis;
  10. Shaun Miller, aka “Shizz” and “Shizz Miller,” 31, of Hyannis; and
  11. Jason Mello, 27, of Barnstable.Conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense:
  12. Benjamin Roderick, aka “B Dot,” 26, of Hyannis; and
  13. Christopher Wilkins.


Matthew Monroe, 25, of Barnstable, was charged in a related federal criminal complaint with possession of a firearm by a felon.

The defendants will appear in U.S. District Court in Boston. Gomes and Chisholm will appear in federal court after first being arraigned and charged with related murder charges in Massachusetts state court. Gomes was previously in custody.

The charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and possession with the intent to distribute heroin provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $1,000,000. The charge of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe; Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings; Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson; Barnstable Police Chief Paul MacDonald; Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson; and U.S. Marshal John Gibbon for the District of Massachusetts made the announcement today.  The federal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen of Ortiz’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit.  The state cases are being prosecuted by the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office.The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Media release furnished by U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston; photo courtesy of Yarmouth Police


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