Rhode Island man convicted of marijuana trafficking in Wareham

Jan 11, 2019

A Providence, Rhode Island man has been convicted of trafficking more than 100 pounds of marijuana from California using a Wareham-based shipping company in 2017. 

On Jan. 9, a jury found Michael Chen, 41, guilty on one count of trafficking marijuana over 100 pounds/less than 2,000 pounds. Brockton Superior Court Judge Cornelius Moriarty sentenced Chen to serve two and half years in state prison.

Chen was arrested on Dec. 27, 2017, after Wareham Police received a call from a Cape Cod Express shipping company employee. Police said the caller reported two suspicious crates were received. The crates, believed to be filled with illegal drugs, were addressed to “Michael Chen.”

Police said Chen had received about 10 similarly packed shipments in 2017 from the same California address. All of the packages were listed as containing “plastics,” according to police.

On Dec. 27, police approached Chen as he was loading the crates into his truck and questioned him. Chen said he was unaware of the crates’ contents. He then consented to a search and a K-9 alerted that narcotics were present. Police opened the crates, discovering 112 vacuum sealed bricks of marijuana. In total, 109 pounds of marijuana were found.

Chen was arrested and taken to the Wareham Police Station. Authorities say Chen’s phone had conversations consistent with narcotics distribution and photographs of marijuana bricks, similar to those confiscated.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brian Fahy and was investigated by the Wareham Police Department and Lead Investigator Bryan Whalen.