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Malden man and woman charged in alleged drug conspiracy, 5 shootings

A man and a woman from Malden are facing federal drug and firearms charges, including possession of a machine gun, related to multiple shootings in Cambridge, Chelsea and Somerville and the distribution of drugs in Maine, the US Attorney’s office for Massachusetts said Wednesday.

Jaiir Coleman, 22, who was arrested in January on a driving offense, and Christina Bernbaum, 23, allegedly participated in a long-running conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess controlled substances, including in large quantities in the Bangor, Maine area, prosecutors said in a statement.

Bernbaum, who was arrested Wednesday, allegedly conspired to distribute controlled substances on Coleman’s behalf during his incarceration, the statement said.

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The charging documents allegedly describe numerous recorded conversations in which they discuss the sale and distribution of controlled substances, including explicit instructions by Coleman about the manner in which to adulterate fentanyl and the prices to charge, the statement said.

The documents also describe numerous photos and videos that allegedly depict Coleman and Bernbaum brandishing and holding firearms including a suspected machine gun, the statement said.

Coleman allegedly committed five shootings during the course of the conspiracy, the statement said. Four occurred in Chelsea and Somerville on Nov. 11, 2019, and one took place in Cambridge in July 2020, during which Coleman allegedly used a machine gun to shoot into a crowd.

Coleman was arrested for driving with a suspended license on Jan. 6, and a machine gun was allegedly recovered from the vehicle, the statement said.

A music video posted online earlier that week allegedly depicts him brandishing what appears to be the same machine gun from the vehicle, the statement said.

Coleman is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to possess, use, and carry firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy, possessing a machine gun, and possessing a machine gun in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy, the statement said.

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Bernbaum is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiring to possess, use and carry firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking conspiracy, the statement said.


Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.