Ward 4 Democratic Committee Elects Delegates to the State Convention

Ward 4 Democratic Committee Elects Delegates to the State Convention

Registered Democrats in the City of Chelsea Ward 4, held a Caucus on February 3, 2018 at the Chelsea Public Library to elect Delegates to the 2018 Democratic State Convention.

Elected Delegates are:

Olivia Anne Walsh

91 Crest Ave.

Luis Tejada

103 Franklin Ave.

Thomas J. Miller

91 Crest Ave.

Theresa G. Czerepica

21 Prospect Ave.

This year’s State Convention will be held June 1-2 at the DCU Center in Worcester, where thousands of Democrats from across the Commonwealth will come together to endorse Democratic candidates for statewide office, Including Constitutional officers and gubernatorial candidates

Those interested in getting involved with the Chelsea Ward 4 Democratic Committee should contact Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh, Ward 4 Chair, at 617-306-5501.

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Standish Reflects on his Tenure at Housing Authority

Standish Reflects on his Tenure at Housing Authority

By Seth Daniel

In 2011, the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) was in total disarray, and Chelsea resident Tom Standish had a long history of putting things back together.

As the chair of the CHA since 2011, putting things back together is exactly what Standish, the other Board members and the staff at CHA did in the wake of the Michael McLaughlin corruption scandal.

Now, with his work seemingly done and the CHA now a high-performer in the public housing world, Standish has stepped aside from his long-time role as chair of an organization that was quite literally brought back from the grave.

“It was a clear case of corruption and the need to restore normalcy to the government,” said Standish recently from his home on the waterfront, a few weeks after stepping down as chair. “Really, it was transparent that someone was controlling the situation and had everyone in line. There needed to be five people who had the strength of character and expertise to guide the CHA back to normalcy. As it turned out, we guided it to high performance.”

After the McLaughlin scandal, few thought that the CHA would ever be put back given the tangled web of accounting fraud and the money not expended on facilities for so long.

Tenants were angry.

The public was angry.

The federal government was angry.

Those five board members, led by Standish, helped restore the confidence.

Standish said he saw a posting about the City looking for talented people to serve on the new board – as the old board had been removed quickly on suspicion of corruption with McLaughlin. With a deep resume as a regulator in the Connecticut government and in other endeavors, he was chosen right off. At the first meeting, his other four colleagues quickly elected him as the chair when he voiced concern over the minutes from the previous meetings – challenging the Board’s attorney.

From there, the rebuilding took place, including the hiring of current CHA Executive Director Al Ewing – who had served previously in the CHA administration.

“It was our task to establish a route that would bring us to restoration of faith in the performance of the duties,” said Standish. “We went on the war path. We got the support of Al Ewing and he did a fabulous job of brining a fee accountant in and an accountant from outside to do an audit…That gave us a lot of confidence in Al. You can change a lot with a big organization if you can get competent, honest people. For me personally, that was a turning point in the organization.”

Another turning point, he said, was when they were able to get the full services of the Nixon Peabody law firm and Attorney Jeff Sacks to help them guide the case against McLaughlin on behalf of the CHA. That was also assisted by Charlestown attorney Susan Whalen, whom the CHA hired.

Standish said, through a mutual friend, he had heard that Nixon Peabody was looking for a case to work on pro bono that would make a difference. As it happened, that case was the CHA’s.

“They were going to pay for it 100 percent,” he said. “It wasn’t one of those where they said they would help us for 75 cents on the dollar. It was 100 percent…Susan Whalen in conjunction with Nixon Peabody were able to move the case forward and were able to get a decision.”

While the matter of McLaughlin’s $200,000 pension is still outstanding, and the McLaughlin matter still appears as a potential Executive Session item on every CHA meeting agenda – for the most part justice was done.

Standish said he was very relieved on the day McLaughlin was sentenced in Boston Federal Court, knowing that justice had been rendered for the tenants and the taxpayers. However, he said he was conflicted about the time and type of sentence – noting that he is glad he did not have to make a recommendation to the court.

“In the end, McLaughlin said he was just trying to keep up with his neighbors,” he said. “He said they all had nice cars and nice houses and he just wanted to keep up with them. It was a totally different McLaughlin than we had seen up to then.”

Overall, Standish said he would look back at his time on the CHA as something of a gift – a way he could give back, and in turn, be given to.

“I was energized by it,” he said. “There are a lot of people who run out and look to be fulfilled in life by making money, but try as they may, nothing is more fulfilling than giving to society…The thing that’s great for me is to see public housing work in Chelsea. I’ve come to realize that high-minded people make this world work. We have been a high-performer every single year since the first one. We worked very hard – many long hours and all uncompensated. It has been invigorating and exciting. I regard it as a gift to have had the opportunity.”

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MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy

A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 in federal court in Boston to RICO conspiracy involving the attempted murder of a rival gang member.

Domingo Tizol, a/k/a “Chapin,” 23, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and admitted responsibility for the attempted murder of a rival 18th Street gang member in Chelsea in May 2015. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 4, 2018. Tizol is the 17th defendant to plead guilty in this case.

On May 26, 2015, Tizol and, allegedly, Bryan Galicia-Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” another MS-13 member, repeatedly stabbed an 18th Street gang member on Bellingham Street in Chelsea. The victim survived the attack.

After a three-year investigation, Tizol was one of 61 defendants named in a January 2016 superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. According to court documents, MS-13 was identified as a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder gang rivals whenever possible.

The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will recommend that Tizol be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Tizol will also be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Turco of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary; Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Chelsea Man Sentenced for Running Illegal Guns

Chelsea Man Sentenced for Running Illegal Guns

A Chelsea man has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to two years in jail in connection with trafficking illegal guns in Greater Boston, Attorney General Maura Healey announced.

Jesse Cardona-Restrepo, 22, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday to the charges of Trafficking a Firearm (one count), Carrying a Firearm (one count) and Possessing Ammunition (one count). Following the plea, Judge Peter M. Lauriat sentenced Cardona-Restrepo to two years in the House of Correction followed by four years of probation. The AG’s Office recommended a sentence of two and half to four years in state prison followed by three years of probation.

Cardona-Restrepo was one of nine defendants indicted in seven separate cases in April 2016 in connection with a gun and drug trafficking operation in East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Jamaica Plain.

The charges were the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which uncovered that the defendants were members and associates of the 18th Street Gang and the East Side Money Gang and were allegedly trafficking illegal guns and drugs including heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The defendants were arrested as part of a larger sweep where 66 gang members were arrested and charged with federal and state charges.

An investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives(ATF) revealed that Cardona-Restrepo illegally sold a revolver and ammunition in Chelsea.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Sara Shannon, of AG Healey’s Criminal Bureau, and Assistant Attorney General Gina Kwon, Deputy Chief of AG Healey’s Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crimes Division. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Chelsea Police.

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Public Health Alert:Chief Kyes, Area PDs, Send Out Warning on Bad Heroin; Four Dead in Chelsea Over 48 Hours

Public Health Alert:Chief Kyes, Area PDs, Send Out Warning on Bad Heroin; Four Dead in Chelsea Over 48 Hours

By Seth Daniel

Four people in Chelsea died of suspected opiate overdoses in a 48-hour period last weekend, with a fifth dying in Revere as well.

The surge in opiate deaths sparked Chief Brian Kyes to issue a community public health alert on Sunday, Aug. 13, warning everyone that it appeared a batch of illegal drugs on the streets of the area was dangerous and likely laced with Fentanyl.

“The Chelsea Police Department and State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office are investigating a sudden spike in overdoses, some fatal, within the last 48 hours,” read the alert. “The police want to alert the community of the danger of this recent influx of Fentanyl into the area which could possibly be the cause of these incidents. Police are actively seeking to find the source through chemical analysis.”

Kyes said the deaths happened so fast that he felt like there was a need to alert the public.

“We had four deaths from overdoses and Revere had one in a 48-hour period,” he said. “That’s five in our general area in a 48-hour period. Based on that spike and the overdose fatalities in only 48 hours, I sent out a warning in the form of a community alert or public health alert to let people know there appeared to be illegal drugs on the street that could be laced with Fentanyl and dangerous.”

On Friday, the first Chelsea overdose and death happened in the early evening when a 65-year-old man died. At 10 p.m. on Friday, a 28-year-old woman overdosed and died.

In Revere on Friday, an unidentified man died in the afternoon from a suspected drug overdose.

Back in Chelsea, on Saturday, a 48-year-old man overdosed and died.

Finally, on Sunday, a man was found outside in the shrubbery behind Beth Israel on Broadway who had overdosed and was deceased.

Kyes said that made 11 deaths from overdoses in Chelsea this year, which is actually lower that at this time last year.

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Chelsea Store Owner Sentenced for Trafficking Counterfeit Merchandise

Chelsea Store Owner Sentenced for Trafficking Counterfeit Merchandise

A Chelsea man was sentenced last month in federal court in Boston for trafficking counterfeit merchandise at three retail locations in the Boston area.

Arif Ali Shah, 66, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to 18 months in prison, two years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $145,531. In May 2017, Shah pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

From approximately 2005 to February 2015, Shah knowingly sold counterfeit merchandise at three retail stores he owns: Nadia’s in Dorchester; East Boston Wireless in East Boston; and Todo Wireless in Chelsea. Shah sold counterfeit Apple, Samsung, and Speck components at all three retail locations. He also sold a variety of counterfeit apparel and accessories, including Chanel, Michael Kors, Nike, Prada, Timberland, and Uggs. Shah purchased the counterfeit merchandise from foreign and domestic sources and purchased a number of the counterfeit cell phone components from a domestic supplier, Flexqueen, the owner of which was prosecuted in California.

Acting United States Attorney William Weinreb and Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart of Weinreb’s Cybercrime Unit prosecuted the case.

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Scholarship Established Honoring Richard Clayman

Scholarship Established Honoring Richard Clayman

The Richard I. Clayman Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at Suffolk University Law School.

The purpose of the fund is to endow a perpetual Scholarship in Richard’s name which will assist students in their legal education from places like Chelsea, where Richard, this kid from Chelsea as he would say, spent his entire professional life. Training new lawyers to serve the needs of Chelsea’s most at risk, and those in communities like Chelsea, is an aspiration that Richard would applaud because that is how he lived.

Richard I. Clayman spent his life helping people. Whether it was in his youth as a Park Counselor, as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney, on the Chelsea School Committee, the Chelsea Board of Alderman, or as a lawyer in the City of Chelsea, Richard never hesitated to reach out his hand to lift people up. Richard learned growing up in Chelsea how much it meant to have a mentor and a friend. He benefited from the community that raised him and then dedicated his life to giving back to that community.

Richard helped people in need, regardless of their ability to pay. He helped those suffering from addiction, mental health issues and those just trying to live day to day. His legal education at Suffolk University Law School gave him greater tools to accomplish the goal of helping those who needed help, raising the hopes of people in despair, and protecting people without the ability to protect themselves.

A moving video tribute to Richard can be found at:   https://tinyurl.com/RememberingRichieClayman

The Richard I. Clayman Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to award scholarships to deserving Suffolk Law Students who share the same passion and desire as Richard to help and nourish the people in the greater Chelsea area. The Founders of the Fund are Kate Clayman, Joshua Huggard, Steven G. Clayman, Nancy Clayman, Amy L. Nechtem, John L. Dodge, Amanda Clayman, Thomas O. Levenberg, Alyse Clayman and Drew Bulfer.

Donations may be sent to: Richard I. Clayman Memorial Scholarship Fund, Suffolk University Law School, Office of Advancement, Attention: Jeffrey P. Foss, 73 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108, or online at:  http://www.suffolk.edu/law/alumni/52314.php

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Police Briefs 07-13-2017

Police Briefs 07-13-2017

LITTLE OFFICER

Officer Robert Moschella, while doing a detail last week, took a moment to retrieve a plastic police badge from his motor vehicle to give to a little girl who wanted to be a junior officer.

 

BUSTED ON SCOOTER

A Chelsea man with six OUI convictions and a revoked driver’s license was held pending a dangerousness hearing after he allegedly operated a scooter with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, then threatened to shoot “random civilians” in Brighton.

Peter McIsaac, 53, of Chelsea, was arraigned July 7 in Brighton Municipal Court on charges of operating under the influence as a fourth or subsequent offense; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; operating with a revoked license; malicious destruction of property; and making threats of death, injury, or substantial property damage under Ch. 269, Sect. 14, of the Massachusetts General Laws.

At the request of Assistant District Attorney Margaret Hegarty, Judge Myong J. Joun held him without bail pending a July 14 hearing to determine whether there is “clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community.”

McIsaac has OUI convictions from Middlesex County in 1985, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993, prosecutors said in court.

State troopers came across McIsaac’s red 2017 Agility scooter stopped along Nonantum Road at about 10:20 p.m. on July 6. Its lights were off and two men were standing nearby. When troopers approached, the men walked away in different directions.

The first man told troopers that McIsaac had picked him up on the scooter earlier, and that they had stopped at a liquor store before hanging out together. They were on their way back to McIsaac’s home when the scooter ran out of gas just moments before the troopers arrived.

As troopers spoke to this man, McIsaac allegedly staggered toward them and stated that he owned the scooter. The troopers immediately noted his slurred speech and detected the strong odor of alcohol as he spoke.

“I’m very intoxicated,” he allegedly added.

Troopers ran McIsaac’s license status and learned that it had been revoked. Based on McIsaac’s unsteadiness on his feet, troopers determined that field sobriety tests could result in him falling and injuring himself. Having formed an opinion that McIsaac was intoxicated and had moments earlier been operating the scooter, troopers took him into custody.

On arrival at the Brighton barracks, McIsaac fell out of the cruiser and required assistance to stand. He allegedly consented to a breath test, which revealed a BAC of .185, prosecutors said in court.

Following the breath test, McIsaac allegedly became very angry and began threatening troopers, their families, and others. He allegedly stated that he had access to firearms and would “kill 15 people,” including uniformed officers, “random civilians,” and children, because he “was wronged.” McIsaac allegedly urinated throughout his holding cell, requiring the response of a HAZMAT-certified cleaning company.

ROBBED WITH A ROCK

On June 26, at 9:51 p.m., officers were dispatched to Shop and Go, located at 354 Washington Ave., for a panic alarm. Upon arrival, officers observed two males standing in close proximity to the store’s entrance and two additional younger males exiting the store. All four males took off in different directions at the sight of responding officers. After further investigation, officers were able to locate a juvenile male and place him into custody.

Officers spoke with the store clerk, who informed them that a male party had threatened him with a rock while the other male placed various items into a backpack.

The clerk identified the juvenile.

A 16-year-old Chelsea youth was charged with Armed Robbery.

WARRANT ARREST

On June 28, at 5:57 p.m., a male subject was located in the area of Shurtleff Street and Chester Avenue and placed into custody for two outstanding warrants. A warrant was issued for ABDW, POSSESS 94C, and CARRY DANGEROUS WEAPON. During his arrest, officers seized a knife.

Luis Rivera Rosario, 27, of 40 Marlborough St., was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon and two warrants.

FOUND WITH HEROIN

On June 29, at 3:50 p.m., officers responded to 794 Broadway for a report of two male parties asleep inside of a vehicle. Upon arrival, both parties were awoken.

During the course of the investigation, officers located a knife and a brown powdery substance, believed to be heroin. The subject was placed into custody for three active warrants.

The other male was released on scene.

Martin Mateo, 43, of 41 Shawmut St., was charged with possession of a Class A drug (heroin), carrying a dangerous weapon and furnishing a false name.

HIT WITH BEER BOTTLE

On June 26, at 6:42 p.m., a female subject was placed into custody after an investigation was conducted in reference to incident that occurred earlier in Chelsea Square.

In the earlier incident, it was alleged that the female subject had struck the victim over the head with a beer bottle while he was talking on his cellphone in Chelsea Square.

Rene Rosales Vindel, 45, of 82 Pearl St., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (bottle).

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Police Briefs 06-15-2017

Police Briefs 06-15-2017

NO BAIL IN FATAL BEATING

A Chelsea man will continue to be held without bail in the beating death of 32-year-old Melvin Cortes earlier this year, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Kamaya Farikafi, 23, of Chelsea, was arraigned Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 5 assault in Chelsea that claimed Cortes’ life nearly a week later.  At the request of Assistant District Attorney Lynn Feigenbaum of the DA’s Senior Trial Team, Clerk Magistrate Lisa Medeiros ordered Farikafi held without bail.

Farikafi has remained in custody since his Feb. 23 arraignment in Chelsea District Court.

Feigenbaum told the court that on the morning of Feb. 5, Farikafi and Cortes became involved in a verbal altercation with a man known to Farikafi. At the time, Farikafi had a metal baseball bat visible under his distinctive camouflage jacket.

During the course of the argument, Cortes produced a screwdriver from his pocket. Farikafi then struck Cortes in the head with the bat and continued to hit him after he was on the ground.

Cortes was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he remained until his death Feb. 11.

After the fatal encounter, Farikafi disposed of the bat in a nearby dumpster and abandoned the distinctive jacket in an alleyway. Those items were recovered by Chelsea Police detectives and State Police detectives assigned to Conley’s office, who also recovered surveillance imagery and interviewed witnesses during the course of an investigation that identified Farikafi as the alleged assailant.

On Feb. 6, Farikafi traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was apprehended Feb. 15 with the assistance of the State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and US Marshals.

Jennifer Sears is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Farikafi was represented by attorney Bernard Grossberg.  He returns to court July 27.

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Stanhope Garage Asks for Extension Letter

A parking lot on Shawmut and Washington Streets has asked the New York Streets Neighborhood Association (NYSA) for a support letter to present to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a three-year extension of their parking facility – perhaps signaling that property owner Ron Druker may continue to put on hold his proposed 11-story office building slated for the empty lot.

Attorney David Gottlieb appeared before NYSA Tuesday night to ask for the letter on behalf of Stanhope, which leases the property from Druker. Gottlieb explained that the letter is a formality that Stanhope has to complete every three years to get an extension for the parking use on the the property. Gottlieb didn’t say whether or not his request meant the office building had been postponed. It was first proposed in 2013 and has yet to break ground.

“It is approved for an office building with about 300,000 sq. ft.,” said Ted Tye of National Development, who sits on the Board of Ink Block. “He does own the adjacent parcel up Washington Street, so he could do a larger project. Druker has been around 100 years and it’s because they aren’t conservative…They don’t take the risks some of those here do. They won’t break ground unless they have a tenant in place.”

Stanhope has operated the lot since 1971 on the site and offers 89 parking spots, also doing monthly rentals, and that will not change.

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