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.
An East Side Money Gang (ES$G) member, known as “Superbad,” was sentenced Monday in federal court in Boston for racketeering and drug trafficking charges.
Josue Rodriguez, a/k/a “SB,” a/k/a “Superbad,” 20, of Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release. In June 2017, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base.
Rodriguez is a member of the ES$G, a Chelsea-based street gang, which uses violence to further its criminal activities and enforce its internal rules. Specifically, ES$G uses violence to protect its members/associates, target rival gang members/associates and intimidate potential witnesses.
Rodriguez admitted that on July 5, 2015, he ambushed a rival gang member who was walking down the street, shooting at him with a semi-automatic pistol, but did not hit him. On March 29, 2016, Rodriguez and another ES$G member agreed to provide a .22 caliber revolver to a third ES$G member so he could “spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ES$G.
On April 3, 2016, the third gang member used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed to be members/associates of a rival gang.
One of the targets was shot but not killed.
On May 26, 2016, Rodriguez attempted to hide the .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver used in a shooting, as well as spent and live shells, after another ES$G member/associate attempted to shoot a rival gang member.
The East Side Money Gang was also involved in drug trafficking, including cocaine, cocaine base (crack) and heroin.
Rodriguez conspired with other gang members and associates to distribute at least one kilogram of cocaine base. Rodriguez further admitted that he stored drugs at, and distributed drugs from, his home in Chelsea, and that the gang maintained at least one firearm at the location.
Rodriguez is one of 53 defendants indicted in June 2016 on federal firearms and drug charges following an investigation into a network of street gangs that had created alliances to traffic weapons and drugs throughout Massachusetts and to generate violence against rival gang members. According to court documents, the defendants, who are leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Gang, were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts.
During the course of the investigation, more than 70 firearms were seized.
Parking is at a crisis point according to many in Chelsea, and Councillor Enio Lopez said at Monday’s meeting that matters are only made worse by some who park multiple commercial/business vehicles on City streets where parking is scant.
The matter passed the Council and was reported to the City Manager and Parking Clerk for review and suggestions.
“A lot of times you will see three or four commercial vehicles from one house parked on the street,” he said. “I think you can only have one van or one truck, but I have seen some people that are parking four cars or vans on the streets for their businesses. They should pay for a parking lot to park their business vehicles. These spots are for people who live in the City and may be coming home from part-times at night and can’t find a spot.”
Councillor Matt Frank said Lopez had identified a large and growing problem in the City that makes parking much more difficult.
“This is a serious problem when you have a small side streets and you have four or five vans operating there and parking there and there is nowhere for residents to park,” he said. “A lot of people are running small businesses out of their homes. That’s great, but if you start bringing in 10 or 12 employees and then you park your vans on the street, that’s a problem.”
Councillor Giovanni Recupero agreed, saying he sees it a lot in his district.
“There’s a loophole based on the numbers of axles, the difference is between a commercial vehicle and a commercial plate,” he said. “The way it is now, they can park all day long. Maybe we can go back and change this so it doesn’t have that loophole. We have to revise the regulations to accommodate residents.”
Councillor Dan Cortell agreed, saying that making the distinction between commercial vehicles and commercial plates might be a problem. Perhaps, he said, both should be included in the regulations.
The leader of MS-13’s East Boston Loco Salvatrucha clique was sentenced this week in federal court in Boston for RICO conspiracy involving an aggravated assault, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Santos Portillo Andrade, a/k/a “Flaco,” 33, a Salvadoran national residing in Revere, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 10 years in prison and four years of supervised release. He will also be subject to deportation hearings upon completion of his sentence. In June 2017, Portillo agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and admitted responsibility for an aggravated assault on an individual he believed was a rival gang member in Malden in December 2008. Portillo also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
After a three-year investigation, Portillo 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. He is the 19th defendant to be sentenced in the case.
Portillo was the leader of the East Boston Loco Salvatrucha clique of MS-13. According to court documents, MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence against rival gang members to gain promotions and maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder rival gang members whenever possible.
It is my great privilege to endorse Calvin T. Brown for election to the Chelsea City Council. Calvin, a former Councilor and current Democratic State Committee Member, knows what it will take for Chelsea to continue on a path to be a truly great community. He has been an advocate for the children of Chelsea as he has fought to fully fund the education of a great diverse population.
At the same time he recognizes that a thriving business community is important to the economic growth of the city. I encourage the voters of Chelsea to get out and vote November 7 for Calvin T. Brown.
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.
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.
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.”