A man who was living in a luxury East Boston duplex under another person's identity while dealing drugs and fraudulently obtaining pandemic unemployment insurance and who was arrested after shooting up a Cambridge street corner and then crashing his car on an I-93 offramp in downtown Boston, all while facing state gun charges in six separate cases, was sentenced last week to nearly eight years in federal prison.
Jammy Alphonse, 28, pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud conspiracy, false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, the US Attorney's office reports. US District Court Judge Leo Sorokin sentenced him to 94 months in prison, followed by four years of the federal equivalent of probation.
In a sentencing recommendation calling for 103 months - 8 1/2 years - of incarceration, a prosecutor wrote:
In the Information [the federal charging statement], the Defendant is essentially being held accountable for three different investigations—one related to fraudulently obtaining pandemic relief, another related to fraudulently obtaining a rental property, and finally an investigation into a shooting that led to a search of the Defendant's apartment and the recovery of a firearm, ammunition, and a very serious and harmful narcotic drug—fentanyl, among other things. Each of these crimes on their own would be very serious, but the fact that the Defendant was engaged in all of this illegal and diverse conduct is particularly concerning and warranting of a within guidelines sentence.
What exacerbates and adds to the seriousness of this offense is the fact that the Defendant committed these crimes while he had multiple state cases pending, including one case where he was charged with trafficking in large quantities of cocaine, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a counterfeit credit card press, forging a credit card, receiving an improper credit card, identity theft, and receipt of stolen property.
Alphonse's downfall began late on July 25, 2021 when he left his duplex at 126 Border St. in East Boston. According to court documents, he drove over to the Port section of Cambridge, where he got out at least one gun around 1:45 a.m. and fired round after round, although he did not hit anyone. He ran at least one red light as he sped away, into Somerville, where he got on I-93 southbound. He got off at Government Center, or at least tried to - he crashed his black Camry at the top of the ramp shortly after 2 a.m. He abandoned his car there, walked over to Faneuil Hall and called for a ride as he walked down Union Street. He got back across the harbor and to his building at 2:33 a.m. and went to sleep in one of his three bedrooms.
That led to an investigation in which Cambridge Police and the FBI teamed up and eventually showed up at his door to arrest him.
In her own sentencing recommendation, calling for a term of seven years, Alphonse's attorney acknowledged her client "has committed a diverse and large quantity of federal offenses," and "was living a fast life, trying to make easy money and living far beyond his means."
But, she continued, this is a direct result of the deprivation Alphonse suffered as the child of a single mother with little money.
They lived on her sole income, and their financial hardship was no secret. He refrained from asking for expensive things, like toys, that any child would want. Ms. Montina recounts times when she would take Mr. Alphonse to the shoe store where he would bypass all the Jordans and Nike sneakers that other children his age would obsess over. He would choose the least expensive ones because he knew his mom could not afford the others. The financial hardships Mr. Alphonse experienced from a young age gave him a more mature perspective on money than would be appropriate for a child. When he got his first summer job at fourteen years old, Mr. Alphonse selflessly gave his first check to his mother, a practice he would continue well into adulthood. While Ms. Montina was an excellent parent, her extended family would often verbally abuse Mr. Alphonse, which was a factor in him needing counseling in school.
Yet despite all this, he was an honor-roll student at Somerville High School, where he played football, basketball and lacrosse teams.
There is no doubt that these offenses are connected to the scarcity he experienced as a child. He made money selling drugs, he made money scamming the government out of resources, and he provided a lavish apartment for his friends to crash at. All of this activity has brought to a halt the life young man who had a very bright future and who must now face the very dire consequences of these reckless choices.