Chelsea City Councilor Judith Garcia announced that she has been selected as a political surrogate on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s reelection campaign, chosen from a sprawling list of notable political figures in the state.
Councilor Judith Garcia.
The 26-year-old, now in her second term, kicked off her efforts to reelect Sen. Warren at the Chelsea Public Library during this past Saturday’s caucus, where Garcia served as a spokesperson for the campaign.
“Senator Warren has remained committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our community, rebuilding economic security for our working families, and making a difference in our state,” Garcia said.
“During the last six years, Elizabeth has been a devoted leader who remains connected to our residents and the issues that affect us,” continued Garcia. “She pushed for the permanent extension of Earned Income and Child Tax Credits helping to keep 250,000 Massachusetts residents and more than 100,000 children out of poverty. Her values and morals are where they need to be.”
Councilor Garcia is a native of Chelsea, who grew up in a proud Spanish-speaking household. As the City Councilor of District 5, she is the first Honduran American woman to serve on the Chelsea City Council, as well as the youngest current member. Now, Judith dedicates her time to creating government that truly represents and works for its people.
State Rep. Dan Ryan is being lauded after having received the Legislator of the Year award from the state’s Veterans’ Services Officer organization.
State Rep. Dan Ryan is pictured on Jan. 24 receiving the Legislator of the Year award from the Massachusetts Veterans’ Services Officers Association at a State House ceremony. House Speaker Bob DeLeo (left) remarked that Ryan’s dedication to veterans is outstanding, especially considering his family’s record of service.
Ryan received the award on Jan. 24 at a luncheon in the State House attended by family, friend, Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Bob DeLeo.
In particular, DeLeo told the Record he was touched by the remarks given by Rep. Ryan upon receiving the award.
Ryan told the audience of his family’s service, including in World War II, and how that guides how he handles things on Beacon Hill – which likely led to his designation.
“Danny is acutely aware of the distinct challenges facing veterans and military personnel in Charlestown and Chelsea and has been a fierce advocate for his district,” said DeLeo. “I was particularly touched to learn about the legacy of service and heroism in the Ryan family. Danny’s father and many of his uncles served in World War II. He is named after two of his uncles – one of whom was wounded in the Pacific and one of whom died fighting in France. In his remarks at the Veterans’ Service event, Rep. Ryan spoke eloquently of how this legacy guides his work on Beacon Hill.”
Speaker DeLeo also praised Ryan for his tenure in the House working on the Joint Committee on Veterans and as vice-chair of the Committee on Mental Health and Substance Use
District 1 City Councilor Lydia Edwards said she appreciated Ryan’s dedication to the district and the veterans in the district.
“Rep. Ryan has proven himself to be a strong advocate for veterans and their families in his district,” she said. “His exemplary dedication is regarded in the State House and beyond as he is a reliable presence at all veteran sponsored events, including the Memorial Mass at St. Francis de Sales every year since becoming an elected official.”
Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley intends to seek the Democratic nomination in Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District, she announced on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
Pressley, who made history in 2009 as the first woman of color elected to the Boston City Council, has drawn local and national acclaim for her work on issues of critical importance to the 7th Congressional District: creating pathways to economic development and employment in historically underserved communities, ensuring students have access to age appropriate and medically accurate health education, and transforming how Boston responds to violence and trauma.
Pressley released the following statement Tuesday:
“Today, I humbly announce my candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 7th Congressional District,” she said. “I made this decision after much prayer, deliberation, and thoughtful conversation with my family, friends, and those I hope to have the honor to represent in Congress. This district and these times demand more than just an ally, they demand an advocate and a champion.
“My life as an advocate for those most in need is inspired by my mother’s example. She believed in the potential inherent in each of us, and that belief is the foundation of my work. That belief is what drove me to successfully tackle some of society’s most complex issues as a Boston City Councilor, working alongside communities in the policymaking process and never losing sight of who government is meant to serve. It is that belief that will drive me throughout this campaign and beyond.
“Our country is facing a critical moment. While the cruel and dangerous tenor of the national political debate is new, the issues we are struggling to address – income inequality, systemic racism, and lack of economic opportunity – have dogged our nation for years. We have not yet delivered on our nation’s foundational promise of equality. Not everyone is granted the opportunity that each of us deserves: to fulfill our God-given potential. Making progress on longstanding challenges requires a different lens and a new approach. I will be a bold voice in Congress, as an advocate for the entire district and as a champion for opportunity. This moment in time demands nothing less.”
Boston Bruins’ famous National Anthem singer, Rene Rancourt, has spent 41 years singing before Bruins contests, and last Thursday, Jan. 11, he spent an afternoon at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home singing and entertaining residents and staff. The time was put together by the Chelsea District Court staff.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty on Jan. 12 in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Lawrence.
Josue Alexis DePaz, a/k/a “Gato,” 21, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in Lawrence, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2018.
DePaz was identified as a member of MS-13’s Everett Loco Salvatrucha (ELS) clique, which operated in the greater Boston area. When interviewed by law enforcement officers, DePaz admitted that on July 5, 2015, he was one of two men who stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death in O’Connell Park in Lawrence. In conversations recorded by law enforcement during the investigation, MS-13 members identified DePaz as one of the men who murdered the victim. DePaz was subsequently arrested in a house in Somerville with several other MS-13 members. A search warrant at the house resulted in the recovery of a firearm, several large knives, photographs of MS-13 members flashing gang signs, and a large volume of MS-13 paraphernalia, including blue and white hats, bandanas and rosary beads. According to court documents, MS-13 members frequently wear blue and white items of clothing to signify their membership in the gang.
After a three-year investigation, DePaz was one of 61 individuals named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. DePaz is the 28th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
DePaz faces up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.
Three city councillors were honored by their colleagues on Monday night, Dec. 18, at their last Council meeting.
Councillors Matt Frank, Dan Cortell and Paul Murphy were honored for their service on the Council, and presented with plaques.
District 3’s Matt Frank was given a send-off by Councillor Judith Garcia.
Councillor Roy Avellaneda sent off District 8 Councillor Dan Cortell, saying it’s not an easy talk to represent Admiral’s Hill and the rest of the district as they are outspoken.
Finally, Councillor Damali Vidot gave a send off to District 1 Councillor Paul Murphy. She said Murphy was a mentor to her and was always willing to support her initiatives and petitions in the early days of her advocacy.
Teams of officers saturated the Bellingham Square area Thursday morning, Dec. 7, and arrested several individuals on warrants for illegal distribution of cocaine and heroin as part of an undercover operation targeting street level dealing.
“This operation is an important piece in our all-encompassing effort in addressing the opiate issue in Chelsea,” said Chief Brian Kyes. “Our officers will continue to prioritize enforcement, community policing and to work with our partners to guide individuals suffering from addiction into treatment.”
The Chelsea Police Department with assistance from the Everett Police Department secured 20 arrest warrants on individuals as part of a three-month undercover operation named “Buy-Bye.” The operation targeted drug dealing in the Bellingham Square area of the city and included a search warrant and arrest in Everett. The Chelsea Police Department Drug Unit obtained warrants from both Chelsea District Court and Suffolk Superior Court based on evidence of hand to hand drug deals made to undercover officers.
Chelsea investigators are confident that all 20 individuals will be placed into custody.
As of Dec. 10, those arrested in Chelsea were:
Julie Maskell, 41, of Revere, on one warrant.
Luis Martinez, 49, of 108 Clark Ave., on one warrant.
Brittany Lopes-Rattigan, 28, of 2 Franklin Ave., on two warrants.
Robert Dellorfano, 37, of 15 Watts St., on one warrant.
Stacy Lightell, 43, of 10 Jones Dr., on one warrant.
Stanley Jeannis, 40, of Woburn, was charged with distribution of a Class B drug, possession to distribute a Class B drug, possession to distribute a Class A drug, drug violation near a school and one warrant.
Jimmall Marshall, 27, of 45 Fourth St., was charged with distribution of a Class B drug (subsequent offense) and one warrant.
Chelsea and Everett police drug control detectives executed simultaneous warrants at two Chelsea addresses this morning that resulted in multiple arrests and a sizable seizures of heroin, cocaine and US currency. Everett and Chelsea investigators had developed information that the two locations, 262 Maple Street and 79 Garland Street Apt#2 were covertly working together to funnel drugs into both Chelsea and Everett.
Police report that some of the six taken into custody had multiple identifications making it difficult to ascertain their true identities. That aspect of the investigation is on going.
The arrested individual’s will face charges in both Chelsea and Malden District Courts.
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.
Leader of MS-13 East Coast program pleads guilty
Defendant was recorded presiding over meeting of East Coast Program
Record Staff Report
The leader of the MS-13 East Coast Program pleaded guilty Nov. 27 in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy.
Jose Adan Martinez Castro, a/k/a “Chucky,” 28, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in Richmond, Va., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Feb. 26, 2018.
After a three-year investigation, Castro was one of 61 persons named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts.
MS-13 leaders incarcerated in El Salvador oversee individual branches, or “cliques,” that are grouped into “programs” throughout the United States. During the investigation, Castro was identified as the leader of MS-13’s East Coast Program. On Dec. 13, 2015, Castro was recorded as he ran a meeting of East Coast Program clique leaders in Richmond, Va. During the meeting, Castro and others discussed sending money to El Salvador to support MS-13, the need to work together to increase the gang’s strength and control, and the need to violently retaliate against anyone who provided information against the gang.
Castro is the 25th defendant to be convicted.
Castro faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.
State Trooper nabs two men with firearm, crack cocaine
Record Staff Report
A motor vehicle stop by an alert Massachusetts State Trooper last week on the Parkway resulted in the seizure of an illegally possessed gun, more than 100 rounds of illegally possessed ammunition, and illegal narcotics.
On the morning of November 21, Trooper Joseph Barteaux was patrolling Route 16 westbound in Chelsea when he observed a black Nissan Altima being operated in violation of motor vehicle laws and observed it almost strike another vehicle while abruptly changing lanes.
The vehicle, occupied by two brothers, pulled into a McDonald’s parking lot. Trooper Barteaux followed it into the lot and conducted a motor vehicle stop. Upon questioning, the driver, 22, stated he and his brother were coming from his girlfriend’s house in Lynn and were returning to their home in Randolph. The driver, however, could not name the street his girlfriend lived on.
After making further observations of both men being uncooperative and appearing nervous, Trooper Barteaux asked both men to exit the car. The 24-year-old passenger walked with an apparent limp and dragged his right leg. When asked, he denied being injured. Based on the Trooper’s training and experience, he believed the passenger was concealing something in his clothing and was walking strangely to hold it in place.
Despite the suspect’s attempt to resist the search, the Trooper located a cylinder concealed in the suspect’s pants. Trooper James Maloney arrived on scene and assisted Trooper Barteaux in controlling the suspect. The suspect became upset and attempted to break free, twisting his body with his elbows raised and striking the Troopers in the process. The Troopers physically placed the suspect on the ground. Trooper Barteaux drew his department-issued electronic control weapon and ordered the suspect to cease resisting; the suspect then complied with the Troopers’ orders, the weapon was not fired, and the suspect was taken into custody.
Trooper Barteaux then unscrewed the top of the cylinder the suspect had been concealing and observed inside it a large plastic bag containing a white rock substance believed to be crack cocaine.
Trooper Barteaux returned to the front driver side of the Altima and observed, in a compartment in the open front door, a black ski mask. The Trooper also noticed that a plastic panel behind the front right passenger seat was loose, exposing a void inside the seat. Knowing from his training and experience that a void like that is a common hiding place for illegal contraband, Trooper Barteaux reached into it and retrieved a plastic bag containing 116 nine-millimeter rounds of ammunition and a black and silver Smith & Wesson 9mm firearm. Trooper Maloney additionally located a large roll of duct tape.
The suspects were transported to the State Police Barracks in Revere. There, during a search of the passenger’s person, Troopers located several additional bags containing a white rock substance believed to be cocaine, a brown powder believed to be heroin, and 21 purple pills believed to be Class B oxycodone. More than $1,000 cash, believed to be the proceeds from drug transactions, was also found in the passenger’s possession.
The driver was charged with illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and making an unsafe lane change. His brother and passenger was charged with illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, possession of a Class A substance with intent to distribute, possession of a Class B substance with intent to distribute, trafficking a Class B substance over 18 grams, and assault and battery on a police officer. The brothers were subsequently arraigned in Chelsea District Court.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty Thursday, Oct. 26, in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery.
The defendant admitted responsibility for murdering an innocent bystander, attempted murder of rival gang member and armed robbery.
The murder of the innocent bystander occurred in 2014 when the gang member shot at a rival gang member and missed, instantly killing a woman in her home who had simply looked out the front window. The woman was the mother of three children and was in refuge from a domestic violence situation.
Hector Ramires, a/k/a “Cuervo,” 24, a Honduran national formerly of Chelsea, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Jan. 19, 2018. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will jointly recommend a sentence of 27 years in prison.
Ramires was a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique, which operated in Chelsea and other parts of Massachusetts. On Oct. 18, 2014, Ramires and Bryan Galicia Barillas a/k/a “Chucky,” a fellow member of MS-13’s ECS clique, were walking the streets of Chelsea when they encountered a group of rival gang members. Ramires, who was armed, shot at one of the gang rivals and missed, killing a woman who was an innocent bystander who was looking out a nearby window of a room she shared with her three children. Barillas was also charged and previously pleaded guilty to, among other things, providing Ramires with the gun.
Ramires also accepted responsibility for his role in a March 28, 2014, attempted murder of a rival gang member in Chelsea, and an April 9, 2014, armed robbery in Chelsea.
After a three-year investigation, Ramires was one of 61 persons named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts.
Ramires is the 22nd defendant to plead guilty in this case and will 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.
The City Election is fast approaching and several races are heating up in the City.
In the district City Council races, at least five seats are contested.
The most active race at the moment is in Prattville, where the District 1 seat has been vacated by Paul Murphy. There, former City Clerk Bob Bishop and Planning Board member Todd Taylor have been out and active since the summer in reaching the voters.
Bishop showed great strength in winning the Preliminary Election with 45 percent of the vote in September, but Taylor has balanced that with several key endorsements this week.
Councillor Murphy has made a recommendation, and that came in the form of an endorsement of Taylor.
Likewise, Taylor has also received an endorsement from popular Governor Charlie Baker.
It will be a battle of great wills on Election Night in Prattville.
Another race to highlight comes in District 7, where Councillor Yamir Rodriguez faces a tough challenge in License Commissioner Mark Rossi.
Both are very qualified and both are very popular.
Rodriguez has great report with the youth in the district and has made a focal point of his tenure in reaching out to young people, organizing youth events and helping residents with quality of life issues like parking.
Meanwhile, Rossi is an attorney who, like Rodriguez, is also bi-lingual and has focused his campaign on immigration issues and streamlining City government. In recent days, though not official, Rossi has seemed to get help from some incumbents and organizational leaders in Chelsea.
Rodriguez, however, seems to have a great command of what is needed in the district, being a key part of some of the newest resident-led initiatives like the Chelsea Hills Community Group.
In District 6, first-term Councillor Judith Garcia faces a re-match with challenger Henry Wilson. There was no preliminary, but the two had a close race two years ago when Garcia won.
Garcia has been hitting the streets throughout the summer, knocking on doors and attending most all community events. She has shown initiative in her first term as well, filing orders to lower the speed limit to 25 mph and also looking for solutions to the parking situation.
Wilson, for his part, has shown much better organization this time around, getting support of several incumbent councillors and community leaders.
In District 8, former Councillor Calvin Brown looks to be gaining momentum over challenger Jermaine Williams. Brown easily carried the Preliminary over Williams with 73 percent of the vote, and Williams has seemingly been nowhere in the last month.
Incumbent Councillor Dan Cortell is leaving the seat, and has not endorsed anyone.
In District 2, Councillor Luis Tejada is facing Attorney Olivia Walsh. Both are very popular in the District and around the City.
Councillor Giovanni Recupero is basically running unopposed, as challenger Kris Haight suspended his campaign a month ago. However, his name will still appear on the ballot next week – even though he is no longer running.
Councillor Enio Lopez is unopposed, and Councillor Matt Frank is not running in District 3. Former Councillor Joe Perlatonda is the lone candidate running for that seat.
In the at-large race, there are three incumbents on the ballot and no challengers.
Council President Leo Robinson and Councillors Roy Avellaneda and Damali Vidot are running for re-election. Though all are assured a seat, there is a fair amount of jockeying for position to see just who tops the ticket.
That likely has less to do with the City Election, and more to do with who will be the next Council President. Robinson is already the president, but would love to make a good showing at the top of the ticket.
Meanwhile, Vidot and Avellaneda are both likely candidates for the presidency come December. A strong finish would give one the edge over the other.
In the School Committee, there is little intrigue aside from the at-large seat. Incumbent Shawn O’Regan ran in the Preliminary for the District 1 Council seat, which opened up the at-large seat on School Committee.
Former Chelsea High Athletic Director Frank DePatto put his papers in and got his name on the ballot unopposed.
However, in recent weeks, O’Regan – who lost in the Preliminary Council election – has announced he is running a write-in sticker campaign to try to reclaim his seat on the School Committee.