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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
It was an historic occasion on Monday night when the Chelsea City Council voted unanimously to enact a Wage Theft Ordinance – the first Council in the state to do so.
Workers in the crowd at City hall brought signs encouraging the Council to vote in the new Wage Theft ordinance, which the Council passed 11-0 on Monday.
The City’s wage theft ordinance, brought to the floor by nine councillors earlier this month, would seek to make a statement about the prevalence of wage theft from employees, but in particular from vulnerable immigrant communities in the city. Practically speaking, the ordinance states that no contractor (or any subcontractor) or vendor hired by the City can have a federal or state criminal or civil judgment, administrative citation, final administrative determination, order or debarment resulting from a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act or any other federal or state laws regulating the payment of wages within three year prior to the date of any contract with the City. It also calls for any violation of the above laws during a contract period be reported to the City within five days.
It also includes a provision that allows the License Commission to deny any permit or license if violations of the law have been made within three years of any application. If any violation of the above law occurs during a licensed period, the Commission can also take action on a license for the violations.
Wage theft is defined roughly as not paying minimum wage, not paying overtime, withholding pay and sometimes not paying at all.
After the unanimous vote, the crowded Council chambers erupted in the chant, “Si se puede, si se puede!”
“I think this is more than a statement; it’s the right thing to do,” said Councillor Judith Garcia. “I support this because I can’t help but think of my mother. She is a factory worker in Chelsea and has been for 26 years. I know as the daughter of a single-mother who raised me on minimum wage that it is so important to get that wage. When we deprive people of their wage, we destabilize them and their families. I support this in the name of my mother and all the other workers that are the fabric of our nation.”
Councillor Roy Avellaneda said this is a great opportunity to make a tremendous difference.
“We will be the first City Council to pass this in the state,” he said. “Rarely do we get the opportunity to make such a difference and such an impact. I am telling you from experience we will rarely get a chance to make this much difference and this much of a statement…We are on the front lines of this problem.”
Labor leader Tony Hernandez, also a Chelsea resident, said stealing from workers is a huge problem in Chelsea.
“This will make a statement that the City of Chelsea is open for business as long as you want to do business right,” he said. “The most abused are immigrant workers who don’t speak the language. They hire one guy who speaks English and they pay him well and he is the leader of all the other guys. The other guys who don’t speak the language are abused.”
Maria Aguillar of Cottage Street told the Council that her husband has had his wages stolen, and often their family suffers from not being able to buy food or pay rent.
“We experience what it means every day to have our wages stolen,” she said. “My husband was working for a company and was not paid for two weeks. We had a very, very tough situation. We were behind on rent and behind on bills. That’s why I ask you to pass this because wage theft doesn’t just affect us as parents, but all of our families.”
Rich Rogers of the Greater Boston Labor Council said his organization is very pleased that Chelsea was taking this step.
“Wage theft is an epidemic in our nation,” he said. “Chelsea with its huge population of immigrant workers with limited English proficiency is particularly vulnerable…We’re very pleased Chelsea is jumping into the forefront of preventing wage theft.”
Chelsea Collaborative Gladys Vega said passing the ordinance is a major victory for Chelsea. She related the 2013 action by the Collaborative and the state Attorney General where $1 million was recovered from workers who had their wages stolen by Boston Hides & Furs in Chelsea. Some of those workers were paid $300 for more than 60 hours of work, if paid at all, according to the settlement from 2013.
That was just one case, she said, and one of the few that was caught.
“When the City puts a bid out, people will know Chelsea is not a place to bid if you have dirty laundry,” she said.
Two highly-anticipated high-end restaurant proposals got the thumbs up from the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday night, April 13, for the Everett Avenue Urban Renewal District.
The first approval came for the well-established Fusion Foods, which has been in the downtown district for several years under the ownership of Melissa Vo.
Vo is planning to move the business to the small building near the railroad tracks on Everett Avenue, a building which has housed a florist for several years.
The ZBA voted 3-0 for the plan, and Vo said they planned to open in the coming months at the new location.
Second was the brand new venture from Chelsea resident Mark Nadow and Eastie native and chef Mike Sheridan – called Chelsea Station Restaurant. The restaurant concept would have a bar area and about a 120 seat restaurant at 105 Everett Ave. – which is a former bank, and before that, a former fire station.
“This is going to be the first of its kind here,” said Attorney John Dodge. “This is going to be an economic driver for the City. It’s going to be on par with the restaurants you might see on Newbury Street in Boston. It could be like a Stephanie’s on Newbury Street…It’s really going to be a new experience in Chelsea unlike anything we’ve seen in the past.”
The owners said they planned to accentuate the old firehouse aesthetic in their design, and have several features in the design that remind one of things in an old firehouse. They also plan to expose the original brick in the station, which is one of the few buildings to have survived the two great fires.
The restaurant will provide 17 parking spaces, but has ample spaces that can be used after 5 p.m. in the Simboli properties across the street. One hitch in the process was there wasn’t an official letter saying those could be used. The board did vote 3-0 for the proposal provided that a letter is submitted.
Dave Peach of the Broadway Mini-Mall presented to the ZBA his plan for 15 units of housing above his building at 307 Broadway, also adding a fourth story to the old Masonic Building and Theatre. There are only four parking spots proposed, but the project is one in a spate of proposals that would seek to appeal to the non-car demographic. Peach and his attorney, Jay Duca, indicated they expected to have one-bedrooms at $1,100 and two-bedrooms at $1,500. The proposal moves to the Planning Board for review and will come back to the ZBA on May 12.
City Councillor Roy Avellaneda appeared before the ZBA with his proposal to operate a coffee shop in Cary Square – a venture called Pan Y Cafe. The shop is currently the Chelsea City Cafe and Avellaneda would take it over from current owner, Chuck Finley.
“This will be a great project,” said Councillor Luis Tejada. “My whole life has been in that little area. It always seems to me it could be a little Davis Square…I think this will improve the area.”
Another proposal by the owners of the commercial/residential building that houses Heller’s Liquors at 413 Broadway was less cut-and-dry. The owners proposed to make eight large units into 16 smaller units. ZBA members found several holes in the plan, including parking plans. The matter goes to the Planning Board and then back to the ZBA on May 12.
David Therrien, 20 High St., got approval for a driveway.
Alma Villanueva got permission to change the use at 84 Washington Ave. to open a grocery/meat market.
TJL Series LLC (Dunkin Donuts) got permission to install projecting lights on their new signs at the 232 Everett Ave. store.