CONCORD –Michael Francis, 34, of Manchester, was indicted on Monday by a federal grand jury and charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, cocaine; possession of over 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute; possession of over 400 grams of fentanyl and over 50 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; possession of firearms and ammunition by a prohibited person, and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
According to court documents and statements in court, Francis was arrested on September 1, 2021, for parole violations. At the time of his arrest, there was a holster under the driver’s seat of his vehicle. Law enforcement agents later obtained a warrant to search Francis’ Manchester residence and recovered four loaded handguns, two of which were stolen. Law enforcement officers also recovered over 400 grams of suspected fentanyl and over 400 grams of suspected methamphetamine. The charges allege that Francis is prohibited from possessing firearms due to at least one prior felony conviction.
Francis was originally indicted on September 15, 2021, and charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Francis has been detained pending trial.
“To protect public safety in Manchester, we are working closely with the Manchester Police Department and all our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute drug trafficking and firearms crimes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley. “This case is an example of the close working partnership that we have with federal law enforcement agencies and the Manchester Police Department. This collaborative effort to protect Manchester residents from drug trafficking and gun-related crimes is an important priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
“Shutting down the illegal gun and drug trade is key to reducing violent crime and saving lives. The FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify individuals and criminal organizations that we believe pose threats to the safety of our neighborhoods,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.
“This proves how newly implemented crime reducing initiatives and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies has been successful,” says Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg. “We hear the community concerns about safety, and we will continue to work hard to investigate, identify, and arrest those engaged in criminal activity.”
The charges in the superseding indictment are only allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the Manchester Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joachim Barth and Aaron Gingrande.