Three 18th Street Gang Members/Associates Plead Guilty to Gun Trafficking Charges

Three 18th Street Gang Members/Associates Plead Guilty to Gun Trafficking Charges

Thee members/associates of the 18th Street Gang, including one Chelsea man, pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Boston in connection with illegal, street-level gun trafficking.

Oscar Oliva, a/k/a “Droopy, 26, of East Boston; Ralph Bonano, 23, of East Boston; and Dennis Pleites Ramos, 23, of Chelsea, pleaded guilty to engaging in the business of dealing with firearms without a license. Oliva also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for January 2018.

In 2015 and 2016, a federal investigation identified a network of street gangs, which had created alliances to traffick weapons and drugs throughout Massachusetts and generate violence against rival gang members.  Based on the investigation, 53 defendants were indicted in June 2016 on federal firearm and drug charges, including defendants who are allegedly leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, the East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Street Gang.  These gangs operated primarily in the East Boston, Boston, Chelsea, Brockton, Malden, Revere and Everett areas.  During the course of the investigation, over 70 firearms, cocaine, cocaine base (crack), heroin and fentanyl were seized.

Oliva was a leader in the 18th Street gang, a multi-national criminal organization that operates throughout the United States, and was involved in a large conspiracy to deal in firearms in the Greater Boston area.  Oliva was personally involved in at least 12 firearms deals involving at least 13 firearms to a cooperating witness.  In total, the cooperating witness was able to obtain over 30 firearms from the conspiracy during the investigation, including assault rifles, shotguns, and handguns – several of which had obliterated serial numbers.  Bonano and Pleites Ramos were involved with selling handguns in the Greater Boston area.  In addition to the firearms trafficking, Oliva also sold cocaine base (crack cocaine) to a cooperating witness.

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Henry Wilson Announces Candidacy for District 5 Seat on City Council

Henry Wilson Announces Candidacy for District 5 Seat on City Council

Since I announced my candidacy for District 5 City Councillor, I have had the opportunity to speak and meet with many of you about your vision for the district. Each conversation has reminded me once again that our city’s greatest asset is our people.

Whether you live on Beacon, Ash, Cottage, Chester Avenue, or Lynn Streets, we all share a common commitment to doing everything we can to make our community and district stronger.

For over 20 years, I have lived here in our great city and district as a homeowner, and as a community activist, one that cares deeply in the direction that our city is heading.

As an activist along with other concerned residents, we were able to lower the speed limit in our city to 25 miles per hour. Also we were able to make our streets safer by working with City Hall and others to raise the streets to their highest levels to help combat the safety concerns of our residents. In addition I have been a strong advocate of a healthier and cleaner Chelsea. Having been a member of the Chelsea Enhancement Team, Chelsea Shines, and the Beautification Committee, and a supporter Green Roots,  the city is looking much better. The air quality is getting better, and both the homeowners and business owners are maintaining their properties better, all because of the commitment and hard work of concerned residents and myself.

Yes, there is still much more work to be done in our district. Being a current member for eight years on Planning Board, one of several of my concerns is to make sure that our residents are being forced out of their city that they have called home for many years. I also want to make sure that all new developments have fair and adequate affordable housing both at rental price and percentage of housing units.

With the recent Inclusionary Zoning Ordiance of 30, 50, 80, this will will help to insure housing for our residents. Being involved with the Re-Imaging process of the Downtown Business District, we are in desperate need of housing in this area. I will work hard to make sure that our city does not become an unaffordable city for those who choose to live here.

I will continue to make sure that City Hall and all departments are fiscally sound. I am committed to working with all departments, item by item, prior to and during the budget hearings. I will look to see where we able to save our residents money.

I am running because I want to be your voice at City Hall. As a district, we deserve a leader that is ready to work on Day 1. I am a person that is committed to the district and willing and able to vote with the residents that you are to serve.

District 5 deserves a councillor that wants to help lead our city and district. I believe that our city is on the verge of receiving amazing and wonderful opportunities. We as residents have an opportunity to grab this moment and move forward stronger together. This is why as District 5 city councillor, I will be committed to helping to continue rebuilding our city, preparing and giving our youngest residents the tools they need to succeed in their future goals. I will never stop working for you as a resident and as your city councillor.

If you believe in this vision for our city’s future – one of working together, growth, affordable housing, cleaner and safer neighborhoods, and preparing our future leaders – then I hope you will consider becoming part of our campaign.

Please vote for Henry David Wilson on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

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Recupero Celebrates New Crossing Light as Opponent Drops out of Race

Recupero Celebrates New Crossing Light as Opponent Drops out of Race

By Seth Daniel

For at least three years, Councillor Giovanni Recupero has been pleading for a pedestrian crossing light on Marginal Street so as to make getting to the new PORT Park safe.

With tractor trailers and vehicles of all types flying down the thoroughfare, reaching the new park is very dangerous, especially for a child or a mother with a stroller.

For all those three years, he was told to find the money and maybe he could get it.

Well, he did, and last Monday night, Sept. 25, the crossing area was voted in by the City Council.

“This is one of the best things I have done,” he said. “I worked very hard for this. It took me three years. There was no funding, they said. Well, I found the funding. Now we have it.”

With the money he found, and a significant amount of extra funds allocated due to cost overruns, the signal is now designed and ready to be installed in the spring, hopefully in time for next summer.

Recupero identified $145,000 in funds from the Eastern Salt mitigation fund that came in 2007 as a result of adding the second salt pile. Part of that money went to the Highland Park Field, and some was left over.

Recupero said that’s the money he found.

However, earlier this month, City Manager Tom Ambrosino reported that a major increase in the cost had occurred. The design and construction had gone from $145,000 to $402,000 due to the signal being far more expensive that estimated.

However, Ambrosino still supported it.

“Although this is a major change in scope, I still feel this signalization is a worthwhile effort,” he wrote. “If we want pedestrians to get safely to the park from the abutting neighborhoods, the new scope of work is essential.”

The additional funding of $257,000 was voted in by the Council Sept. 25 as well.

For Recupero, it’s a double celebration as on Monday his opponent, Kris Haight, withdrew from the Council race.

Haight, a public transportation advocate, said his work was too demanding to also give attention to a Council position.

“After great consideration, I have decided to bow out of the Chelsea City Councilor’s race,” he wrote in a statement. “I am dropping out for a number of reasons, but time and effort is the biggest one. My day job has become a bear, to the point where I am going non stop most of the day. I’m just exhausted when I get home, let alone have to get on my feet to canvass for a few hours to meet the voters.”

He said the demands of his job would not allow him to be an effective councillor, and if elected, that wouldn’t be fair to the residents.

He said he is no longer a candidate.

Recupero said he is running and hopes the voters notice the things he’s done, such as the pedestrian crossing signal, and believe he’s doing a good job for them at City Hall.

“It would be my honor and pleasure to continue representing the people of District 6 for another term,” he said. “I will try my hardest, and I hope they will help me get back to City Hall for another term.”

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Bishop Tops in District 1, Brown Cruises in District 8

Bishop Tops in District 1, Brown Cruises in District 8

By Seth Daniel

Calvin Brown

Calvin Brown

Tuesday’s Preliminary Election in Districts 1 and 8 featured a severely light turnout, but some excitement politically nonetheless for two seats that will be hotly contested in the Nov. 7 election.

The District 1 Prattville contest featured three very well-known and seasoned candidates, and they duked it out on a day that saw only 10 percent voter turnout.

In the end, former City Clerk Bob Bishop topped the ticket in District 1 with 132 votes (45 percent). Second place went to Planning Board member Todd Taylor with 101 votes (34 percent).

Those two will now move on to the City Election on Nov. 7, and reports from the neighborhood indicate that both have been working hard and hitting the streets for some time.

Look for that to pick up in the next six weeks.

Knocked out of the race, in somewhat of a surprise, was School Committeeman Shawn O’Regan – who gave up his seat to run for Council.

He lost with 60 votes (20 percent).

In District 8, former Councillor at-Large Calvin Brown cruised to a victory over two newcomers to the political scene.

Brown captured 73 percent of the Admirals Hill vote, which was 171 votes.

Second place went to Jermaine Williams, who gathered 35 votes (15 percent).

Knocked out was Zaida Ismatul Oliva, who was rumored to have suspended her campaign weeks ago. Nonetheless, she gathered 24 votes.

The two seats opened up with District 1 Councillor Paul Murphy and District 8 Councillor Dan Cortell stepped down from their positions earlier this year.

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Man, Woman Shot on Congress Avenue Tuesday Night

Man, Woman Shot on Congress Avenue Tuesday Night

Chelsea and State Police Detectives assigned to the Suffolk County District Attorneys Office are investigating a shooting that occurred in front of 119 Congress Ave. Tuesday evening.

Chelsea officers responded to a call for shots fired in front of that address at 7:45 p.m. Upon arrival officers observed two gunshot victims in the street. EMS transported both a male and female victim to Massachusetts General Hospital for treatment. Both injures were considered serious.

The names of both are not being released at this time.

The investigation is ongoing. Chelsea Police are asking for anyone with information on this incident to call Chelsea Police at 617-466-4800.

Chelsea Police remind the community they can report crimes or suspicious activity anonymously in various formats. Citizens can call the 24 hr “tips” line at 617-466-4880, email reports directly from the departments website at www.chelseapolice.com or download for free the MYPD App that is compatible with both Android and Apple  smart phones. All three ways are monitored and totally anonymous.

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Alleged Assailant Indicted for Assaults on Two Homeless Women

Alleged Assailant Indicted for Assaults on Two Homeless Women

A man was ordered held on high bail at his arraignment Monday on charges he sexually assaulted two homeless women in Chelsea.

Osmar Flores, 23, was arraigned Monday in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of aggravated rape, armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and strangulation in connection with an assault that occurred in July, and charges of rape, assault and battery, and strangulation in connection with a 2015 case that was previously charged in Chelsea District Court.

Assistant District Attorney Myriam Feliz requested bail of $100,000 and requested that Flores be ordered to stay away and have no contact with the victims and submit to GPS monitoring and home confinement in the event he is to be released on bail. Clerk Magistrate Edward Curley imposed $50,000 bail and the requested conditions of release.

Feliz told the court that the victim in the 2017 case met Flores some time after midnight on July 18, 2017, in the area of Bellingham Square in Chelsea.

A short time after their first encounter, Flores approached the victim and offered to accompany her and carry her bag as she walked to a bus stop. As they approached the Route 1 underpass, Flores grabbed the victim, sexually assaulted her, and strangled her until she lost consciousness, prosecutors said.

Flores was gone when the victim regained consciousness, and she was able to locate Chelsea Police officers who were in the area and reported the assault. Officers observed that the victim had a cut to her lip, blood and bruising on her face, and bruises and marks on her neck and collarbone. She was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she underwent a sexual assault exam.

Security cameras in the area captured footage of the victim walking with a man toward the overpass and then showed the man leaving the area alone following the assault.  Flores was identified as the man in the images by a Chelsea Police officer who was familiar with him and had seen him earlier on that date.  In a post-Miranda interview with detectives, Flores allegedly made statements identifying himself in the images, prosecutors said.

Flores was previously charged in Chelsea District Court in November 2015 in connection with an assault at the same location. Following a dangerousness hearing and probation surrender, Flores was sentenced to two years behind bars for violating the terms of his probation in an earlier auto theft case. The sexual assault charges, however, were dismissed in 2016 over prosecutors’ objections after the victim – who was also homeless – became unavailable.  Suffolk prosecutors were subsequently able to locate the victim and present her testimony to the grand jury, resulting in indictments in the earlier assault.

The victim in that case was walking alone in the area of the Route 1 underpass in Chelsea on Nov. 19, 2015, when Flores, who had been following behind her, asked her for a lighter.  As the victim reached into her pocket, Flores allegedly grabbed her and forced her onto a mattress in a nearby homeless encampment.  He repeatedly struck the victim in the face and head, sexually assaulted and strangled her, prosecutors said.

The defendant then left the area and the victim located a Chelsea Police officer to report the assault.  She was transported to Whidden Memorial Hospital, where biological evidence from her attacker was collected during an exam.  State Police criminalists developed a unique DNA profile of the attacker that was then entered into the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.  The database matched the profile to that of Flores, prosecutors said.

Sarah MacIsaac is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate.  Flores is represented by Richard Doyle.  He returns to court Oct. 27.

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Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh Announces Candidacy for District 2 City Councilor

Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh Announces Candidacy for District 2 City Councilor

Chelsea attorney, Olivia Anne Walsh, has announced her candidacy for election to the City Council, District 2 Seat, where she will be a fulltime Councilor. As a longtime resident of District 2, I have a true and unwavering sense of appreciation and loyalty to the City and my fellow residents,” said Walsh.

Walsh brings over four decades of experience in government at both the City and State levels, serving most recently as Legislative Chief of Staff to a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She also has the educational credentials to match this experience:

1976 University of Massachusetts, Boston

BS in Management

1981 Suffolk University, Boston

Master of Public Administration

1987 New England Law, Boston

Doctor of Juris Prudence

She has been a member of the Massachusetts Bar for almost 30 years. “I have been fighting for Progressive values my whole life, growing up in the Mattapan section of Boston, and for many years in the City of Chelsea,” Walsh noted.

Among community affiliations Walsh included:

Chair, Chelsea Ward 4 Democratic Committee

Commander, Chelsea Disabled American Veterans Chapter 10

Member, The Neighborhood Developers

Member, Green Roots Chelsea

“Progressive change takes a willingness to listen, hard work, and a commitment to bring people together for the common good. That’s what I will do each day for everyone in District 2,” added Walsh. “So many issues must be addressed: City services, economic development, affordable housing, public safety, elder services, Veteran care and traffic concerns, to name a few,” Walsh stressed.

“Together we can ensure that we have a strong consistent voice for our community. I look forward to having your support and ask for your vote in the City Election on Tuesday, November 7,” Walsh added.

Attorney Olivia Anne Walsh resides at 91 Crest Avenue and is available to hear your concerns at 617-306-5501.

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Robert H Bishop Announces his Candidacy for District One City Council

Robert H Bishop Announces his Candidacy for District One City Council

Bob Bishop recently announced his intention to seek the District One City Councillor seat in the upcoming City Primary Election, to be held on September 26, 2017.

Prior to his retirement, Bob Bishop served as Chelsea City Clerk for fifteen years and also held the position of Chief Procurement Officer for the City of Chelsea. Bob also enjoyed owning and operating a small business in the city for fourteen years.

Bob Bishop has stated that he is seeking this office because he has the interest in the betterment of the community, the time that is necessary to do the job well, and the experience to achieve the best results for the taxpayers and residents.

Addressing the recent increases in taxes, property values, and water and sewer rates will be a top priority. Bob has stated, “I have been involved as a department head in 25 of the last 30 city budgets. I know the budge process and how to do what needs to be done for the taxpayers and residents of District One.”

Bob has observed that unfortunately the number of voters participating in local elections has dropped over the past few years. All voters are urged to take part it he upcoming primary election September 26, 2017.  Bob is committed to addressing the issues and concerns of the homeowner and residents of the city…Anyone wishing to contact Bob Bishop can do so by calling 617-884-9265 or via e-mail at bishopbob46@gmail.com.

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A Comfortable Fit:Former School Committeewoman Lineweaver Brings a Wealth of Experiences to Kelly School

A Comfortable Fit:Former School Committeewoman Lineweaver Brings a Wealth of Experiences to Kelly School

By Seth Daniel

After having worked in Boston schools, and having also served on the Chelsea School Committee, Lisa Lineweaver is bringing her talents this year to the very school where her own kids go – the Kelly School.

Joining Principal Maggie Sanchez, Lineweaver came on earlier this summer as the new assistant principal at the school – coming over after having worked in the same role at the Blackstone Elementary School in Boston’s South End for seven years.

Now, she’s back on this side of the Mystic/Tobin Bridge, and enjoying the idea of working where she lives – ready to welcome students back to school this coming Tuesday, Aug. 29.

“There were some changes coming at the Blackstone and I had worked there for seven years and saw this opportunity to come home to Chelsea,” she said. “It was a fantastic opportunity…There is so much I’ve learned in Boston that is a great compliment to what Chelsea and the Kelly School are doing. There are things I saw at the Kelly I borrowed for the Blackstone and things at the Blackstone that I have brought to the Kelly. I bring a few missing pieces of the puzzle.”

One interesting new experience for Lineweaver, whose husband is former Councillor Brian Hatleberg, is that she has also been a parent at the Kelly. Both of her daughters have attended the Kelly, with Holly moving on to the Browne Middle School this year. However, Hazel is still at the Kelly and going into the third grade.

“She keeps saying how cool it’s going to be to go to school with mom,” she said. “But it also means I bring a parent perspective to the job. We have this long, complicated school supply list. Do we need it to be that complicated? Do parents find it frustrating? It’s not a transformative change, but it can help parents. If someone is having trouble with something at the school, I have that connection. I live here. My kids are here too. We’re going to make this work for you.”

Beyond that, Lineweaver also brings the experience of having served on the Chelsea School Committee for eight years – just a few years ago leaving the seat.

She said that is an experience that helps her see beyond the four walls of the school building, and to bring a birds-eye view of the district and all of its moving pieces to the building.

Lineweaver completed her graduate degree from the Harvard School of Education in 2001 and worked for the Boston Plan for Excellence eight years before taking the job at the Blackstone.

Now, being home feels rather comfortable after so many years working elsewhere, she said.

“It feels like joining a community I have one or two feet in already,” she said.

Classes start for schools throughout the district on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

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MS-13 Member Sentenced for Assaulting Gang Members

MS-13 Member Sentenced for Assaulting Gang Members

A member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha clique in Chelsea was sentenced Aug. 2 in federal court in Boston for RICO conspiracy involving the assault of two rival gang members.

Kevin Ayala, a/k/a “Gallito,” 23, a Salvadoran national residing in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor to 42 months in prison and will be subject to deportation after completion of his sentence. In February 2017, Ayala pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as a RICO conspiracy.

Ayala was identified as a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha clique operating in Chelsea. Ayala admitted that in April 2014, he engaged in an aggravated assault upon two members of the rival 18th Street gang in Chelsea.

After a three-year, multi-agency investigation, Ayala was one of 61 individuals charged in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. In documents previously filed with the Court, MS-13 was identified as a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including Massachusetts, as well as in Central America. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the group, such as attacking and murdering gang rivals and individuals believed to be cooperating with law enforcement.

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