A Chelsea man pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Boston to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Cesar Alicea, 22, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Nov. 7, 2018.
In December 2017, Alicea was indicted along with Andres Perez, of Chelsea, who was charged with possessing cocaine base and heroin with intent to distribute. It is alleged that Alicea and Perez are members of the East Side Money Gang.
On Oct. 31, 2017, Alicea was in a car that was stopped by law enforcement officers. As Alicea ran from the police, he was observed throwing an item. Shortly thereafter, Alicea was apprehended by police and arrested. The item was recovered and determined to be a .25 caliber Raven Arms pistol.
The charge of being felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The leader of a violent MS-13 clique was sentenced on July 17 to life in prison.
He was convicted of being responsible for two murders, one in Chelsea.
Noe Salvador Perez Vasquez, a/k/a “Crazy,” 27, a Salvadoran national, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to life in prison and five years of supervised release. In April 2018, Perez was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and of committing or knowingly participating in two murders. Perez also was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute marijuana.
Co-defendants Luis Solis Vasquez, a/k/a “Brujo,” 27, a Salvadoran national, and Hector Enamorado, a/k/a “Vida Loca,” 39, a Honduran national, were also convicted of RICO conspiracy and of committing or knowingly participating in murder. Solis is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 11, 2018, and Enamorado is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 2, 2018.
At trial, Perez was identified as a leader of the Everett Locos Salvatrucha (ELS) clique, which was one of the largest, most active, and most violent MS-13 cliques in Massachusetts. Perez was furthermore considered to be a strict leader, demanding that clique members hunt down rival gang members and frequently subjecting younger clique members to harsh punishments.
On Dec. 14, 2014, Perez, Solis, and Enamorado worked together to murder a 29-year-old male victim at an apartment in Chelsea. According to testimony and exhibits introduced at trial, Solis was a full member, or homeboy, with the Eastside Locos Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique and Enamorado was a homeboy with the Chelsea Locos Salvatrucha (CHS) clique. Enamorado and the victim had engaged in a gang-related fight the night before the murder, and when Enamorado encountered the victim again, Enamorado called Perez to ask him for a gun. Perez delivered the murder weapon, a .380 caliber pistol, to Enamorado in Chelsea. Solis armed himself with a gun and went with Enamorado into the apartment to provide backup and necessary support for the attack. Enamorado used Perez’s gun to fatally shoot the victim three times. Enamorado also shot and wounded a second victim who was inside the apartment at the time of the murder. Following the murder, Perez arranged for Enamorado to flee to New Jersey. Federal agents, however, intercepted the car and arrested Enamorado before he could leave Massachusetts.
On July 5, 2015, a 16-year-old, mid-level member of the ELS clique was stabbed to death in a park in Lawrence by two members of his clique. Perez and other MS-13 members targeted the 16-year-old for murder because they believed, incorrectly, that he was cooperating with law enforcement. Perez planned and encouraged the murder. After the two ELS clique members stabbed the 16-year-old to death, Perez promised to promote them to homeboy status.
Perez was one of 49 defendants to be convicted as part of this case. All nine defendants who went to trial were convicted and 40 others pleaded guilty. In all, 16 defendants, including Perez, were found to have committed or knowingly participated in murders.
A Chelsea man pleaded guilty June 19 at federal court in Boston to his role in a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering ring operating between Massachusetts and California.
Steven Beadles, 60, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24, 2018.
Beadles was one of 11 men from Massachusetts and California who were indicted in 2016 after a two-year investigation into methamphetamine trafficking. The indictment alleges that beginning in at least 2013, the defendants participated in a conspiracy to transport sizeable quantities of methamphetamine from San Diego, to Massachusetts, where it was distributed in the Greater Boston area. Proceeds from the sale of that methamphetamine were then transported and/or transferred back to California and laundered in various ways.
In his plea agreement, Beadles admitted that agents seized approximately 434 grams of methamphetamine that had been shipped from California to the house where Beadles was living in January 2016, that he knew that the package contained methamphetamine, and that he intended to distribute some of the drugs.
Each charge provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison, five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
On June 4, Chelsea Detectives placed a juvenile under arrest for four counts of theft of cell phones from a city business on Broadway. The thefts occurred between the dates of Feb. 1 and March 24, and detectives were able to verify identity through video surveillance.
A 17-year-old juvenile from Everett was charged with four counts of larceny over $250.
ARRESTED TWICE IN ONE DAY
On June 5, at 9:30 a.m., officers located a male party at the corner of Chestnut and Fourth Streets that matched the description of a male party with active warrants. After further investigation, and confirmation, the male was placed under arrest for five Boston Police arrest warrants. At 4:45 p.m. the same day, officers re-arrested the same individual after he was observed shoplifting at the TJ Maxx store.
Xavier Gennis, 22, homeless of Chelsea, was arrested on warrants. Later, he was arrested shoplifting of more than $100.
THREW CIGARETTE IN CRUISER
On June 6, at 1:40 p.m., officers were in Bellingham Square when they observed a male approach two unoccupied police cruisers, which were parked on the median located between Bellingham and Fifth Streets. The male threw a lit cigarette on the front grill of the unmanned police car.
Officers observed smoke coming from the area. When they approached suspect, he became disorderly and was arrested.
Richard Norton, 57, of 129 Arlington St., was charged with wanton damage and disorderly conduct.
On June 7, members of the Massachusetts State Police and Chelsea Police attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Shurtleff Street.
The target of the arrest warrant had three active warrants issued from Chelsea District Court. After placing the male under arrest, officers located a significant amount of U.S. currency and drugs on his person, and he was additionally charged.
Jeffrey Valenzuela, 19, of 167 Shurtleff St., was charged with trafficking in heroin, possession to distribute a Class A drug and one warrant.
SALVADORAN MAN DEPORTED AGAIN
A Salvadoran national was charged last week at federal court in Boston with illegally reentering the United States after being deported.
Geraldo Reyes Menjivar-Menjivar, 33, was indicted on one count of illegal reentry of a deported alien.
According to court documents, on May 24, 2018, law enforcement in Chelsea encountered Menjivar-Menjivar and determined him to be unlawfully present in the United States. Menjivar-Menjivar was previously deported on Nov. 7, 2014.
Menjivar-Menjivar faces a sentence of no greater than two years in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An East Side Money Gang (ES$G) member was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering and drug trafficking charges.
Henry Del Rio, a/k/a “Junior,” a/k/a “JR,” 21, of Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to five years in prison and four years of supervised release. In February 2018, Del Rio pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Del Rio is a self-admitted 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. The ES$G is also involved in drug trafficking, including cocaine, cocaine base (a/k/a crack) and heroin in Chelsea and surrounding communities.
Del Rio conspired with other gang members and associates to distribute heroin and other drugs in Chelsea. Additionally, Del Rio sold a confidential informant a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an obliterated serial number and a 30-round, high-capacity magazine from Del Rio’s residence on Gerrish Street in Chelsea. Del Rio 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 Street Gang, were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty recently in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy.
Jose Vasquez, a/k/a “Little Crazy,” 24, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO or racketeering conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Aug. 30, 2018.
Vasquez was a member and local leader of the Trece Locos Salvatrucha or TLS clique of MS-13. Vasquez personally participated in racketeering activity on behalf of MS-13. Among other things, on Sept. 8, 2014, Vasquez and another MS-13 member, Angel Pineda a/k/a “Bravo,” were involved in an attempted murder of a suspected gang rival in which the victim was stabbed multiple times.
Separately, Vasquez assisted other MS-13 members in burying evidence relating to a murder in East Boston in January 2016. On Jan. 10, 2016, Edwin Diaz, a/k/a “Demente,” Rigoberto Mejia, a/k/a “Ninja,” and other MS-13 members murdered a 16-year-old boy who MS-13 members believed to belong to the rival 18th Street gang. The victim was shot and stabbed multiple times. A few days after the murder, Vasquez—who did not personally commit the murder—helped another MS-13 member hide evidence related to the murder. Specifically, Vasquez helped bury the knife and machete used in the murder, as well as bloody clothes worn by those who committed the crime. This evidence was later recovered by law enforcement.
After a multi-year investigation, Vasquez was one of dozens of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 named in a superseding indictment unsealed in January 2016 that targeted MS-13’s criminal activities in Massachusetts. Vasquez is the 46th defendant to be convicted as part of that ongoing prosecution.
Pineda previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 93 months in prison. Diaz and Mejia previously pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy involving murder and are awaiting sentencing.
At today’s hearing, the Court accepted Vasquez’s guilty plea but deferred acceptance of the proposed plea agreement until the sentencing hearing. Under the terms of the proposed plea agreement, Vasquez will be sentenced to between 15 and 18 years in prison.
Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) recently announced that the landmark criminal justice reform package crafted by the Massachusetts Legislature has been signed into law. The Senator had previously joined his legislative colleagues in overwhelmingly voting to pass this sweeping piece of legislation, and last week the Governor signed the bill into law. An Act relative to criminal justice reform will lead to a more equitable system by supporting our youngest and most vulnerable residents, reducing recidivism, increasing judicial discretion, and enhancing public safety.
The legislation contains provisions to provide better care for vulnerable populations in the criminal justice system, and implements policies to strengthen protections for public safety and witness protection. The Legislature also passed the accompanying Act implementing the joint recommendations of the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Review (H.4012), which is designed to complement the comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation. The CSG bill allows individuals to earn early release by participating in recidivism-reduction programs.
For the first time in the history of Massachusetts, this legislation establishes a process for expunging criminal records. Courts will now be able to expunge certain juvenile and young adult (18-21) records, and records in cases of fraud or where an offense is no longer a crime.
The Legislature has a longstanding legacy of supporting the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children, particularly those facing trauma and adversity. Accordingly, this bill raises the minimum age of criminal responsibility from seven to twelve and decriminalizes a first offense misdemeanor if the punishment is a fine or imprisonment for not more than six months. The legislation establishes a Juvenile Justice Policy and Data Commission, which will make the state eligible for additional federal funding, and a Childhood Trauma Task Force to study and recommend gender responsive and trauma-informed approaches to treatment of youths in the juvenile justice system. The bill also extends Good Samaritan protections to alcohol incapacitation for individuals under 21.
This legislation reflects a balanced, modern approach to sentencing. It eliminates mandatory and statutory minimum sentences for many low-level, non-violent drug offenses. Additionally, it creates the nation’s strongest law for Carfentanil trafficking and strengthens the existing Fentanyl trafficking law, bolstering the Legislature’s multi-tiered approach to the opioid epidemic. The legislation also strengthens penalties for repeat offenders convicted of operating under the influence (OUI).
The new law requires district attorneys to create pre-arraignment diversion programs for military personnel, veterans, and individuals with addiction or mental health issues in order to combat the opioid epidemic and provide healthcare parity. It also expands diversion programs to the Juvenile Court and removes the existing age restriction on diversion in the District Court.
Following reforms in 2010 and 2012, this legislation again updates the Commonwealth’s criminal offender record information (CORI) system to help individuals secure gainful employment and housing, enacting the following policies:
Reduces the wait time to seal a conviction from ten years to seven years for a felony, and from five years to three years for a misdemeanor.
Allows a conviction for resisting arrest to be sealed.
Expands the ability of an applicant with a sealed record to be able to answer “no record” on housing and professional license applications.
Establishes protections for businesses and landlords who shall be presumed to have no notice or ability to know about criminal records that have been sealed or expunged.
This legislation updates the Commonwealth’s bail system and enhances judicial discretion by requiring a judge to take a person’s financial resources into account when determining bail. It also raises the threshold for larceny to qualify as a felony from $250 to $1,000. It also creates the crime of solicitation that is tied to the severity of the underlying crime.
Additional policy changes include: reduction of fees imposed on defendants; decriminalization of minor offenses; enhanced limits on solitary confinement; improvement of prison conditions; and release of prisoners who are permanently incapacitated and pose no safety risk.
An MS-13 member was sentenced on March 22 in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.
Bryan Galicia Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” 21, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 22 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Galicia Barillas will be subject to deportation upon completion of this sentence. In October 2017, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
The racketeering activity by Galicia Barillas, a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique, included his involvement in the death of an innocent bystander in Chelsea. On Oct. 18, 2014, Galicia Barillas and Hector Ramires, a/k/a “Cuervo,” another member of the ECS clique, encountered a group of individuals in Chelsea suspected of belonging to a rival gang. Ramires, who was armed with a weapon that Galicia Barillas had provided on an earlier occasion, shot at one of the suspected gang rivals and missed, killing an innocent bystander who was looking out a nearby window of a room she shared with her three children. Galicia Barillas was a juvenile at the time of the murder.
Galicia Barillas also accepted responsibility for his role in a Sept. 8, 2014, stabbing and attempted murder of an individual in Chelsea, which Galicia Barillas also committed when he was a juvenile. Shortly after he turned 18, Galicia Barillas was involved in an April 2015 conspiracy to kill an MS-13 member that the gang believed was cooperating with law enforcement, and a May 26, 2015 stabbing and attempted murder of a suspected rival gang member in Chelsea.
Ramires pleaded guilty in October 2017 to RICO conspiracy involving murder and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11, 2018.
After a three-year investigation, Galicia Barillas and Ramires were two of 61 persons named in a fifth superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. MS-13 is one of the largest criminal organizations in the United States with thousands of members across the country, including a sizeable presence in Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence, including murder, against suspected gang rivals and those suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. The fifth superseding indictment alleges that, from approximately 2014 to 2016, MS-13 cliques in Massachusetts were responsible for, among other things, six murders and approximately 20 attempted murders, as well as robberies and drug trafficking.
A Chelsea man, dubbed the “Spelling Bee Bandit,” was sentenced March 7 in federal court in Boston for four bank robberies.
Jason S. Englen, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 84 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In November 2017, Englen pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery.
On Oct. 31, 2016, a man, later identified as Englen, entered a branch of TD Bank in Arlington, approached a teller and presented a note written on a deposit slip indicating a robbery and demanding cash. On the note, the word “robbery” was misspelled. The teller handed Englen money from the drawer and Englen fled the bank leaving the demand note behind.
Over the next few weeks, three additional banks were robbed in the same fashion: a branch of TD Bank in Reading on November 5, a branch of Salem Five in Burlington on November 7, and a branch of TD Bank in Peabody on November 13. Based on the similarity of the robberies and the physical description of the robber, law enforcement, seeking help from the public, identified Englen, who was already in state custody on unrelated charges, as the bank robber. On Dec. 12, 2016, Englen was arrested by federal authorities and charged.
SALVADORAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL RE-ENTRY
A Salvadoran national was sentenced March 8 in federal court in Boston for illegally reentering the United States after deportation.
Gerardo Alberto Perez-Fuentes, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to six months in prison and one year of supervised release. Perez-Fuentes will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In December 2017, Perez-Fuentes pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful reentry of a deported alien.
Perez-Fuentes was previously deported on Sept. 4, 2015, and on Oct. 8, 2015. On Sept. 6, 2017, law enforcement in Chelsea encountered Perez-Fuentes and determined him to be illegally present in the United States.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.
A federal jury in Boston convicted four members of MS-13’s Eastside Loco Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique on Monday, Feb. 26, including one man who murdered a 15-year-old boy in Eastie in 2015.
All four were in the country illegally.
Herzzon Sandoval, a/k/a “Casper,” 36; Edwin Guzman, a/k/a “Playa,” 32; and Erick Argueta Larios, a/k/a “Lobo,” 33, a Salvadoran national illegally residing in the U.S., were found guilty of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
Cesar Martinez, a/k/a “Cheche,” 37, a Salvadoran national illegally residing in the U.S., was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled Herzzon Sandoval’s sentencing for May 29, 2018; Guzman’s sentencing for May 30, 2018; Cesar Martinez’s sentencing for May 31, 2018; and Argueta Larios’s sentencing for June 1, 2018.
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, specifically against rival gang members, to gain membership in and be promoted within the gang. Sandoval and Guzman were the leaders, also known as the “first word,” and “second word,” of the ESLS clique in Massachusetts.
On Sept. 20, 2015, Joel Martinez, a/k/a “Animal,” murdered a 15-year-old boy in East Boston. On Jan. 8, 2016, Joel Martinez was promoted by the gang to “homeboy” status for the 2015 murder with a 13-second beating by other MS-13 members at an ESLS meeting which Sandoval, Guzman, Cesar Martinez and Argueta Larios also attended. Joel Martinez has pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy and accepted responsibility for the murder and is awaiting sentencing.
The charge of RICO conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, four years of supervised release, and a fine of $5 million. Martinez and Argueta Larios will be subject to deportation upon the completion of their sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.