Suffolk County District Attorney Candidates Forum Sparks Debate Among Contenders

Suffolk County District Attorney Candidates Forum Sparks Debate Among Contenders

A heated discussion between the candidates for Suffolk County District Attorney took place in a packed room at Suffolk University Law School on Thursday, May 3.

The event was moderated by Meghan Irons, the social justice reporter at The Boston Globe, and was hosted by Boston Wards 3, 4, and 5 Democratic committees, Suffolk Law School, Boston NAACP, MassVOTE, and the Mass. Dems Latino Caucus.

Candidates Evandro Carvalho, Massachusetts state representative from Dorchester, Attorney Linda Champion, Greg Henning assistant district attorney, Shannon McAuliffe director at Roca, an organization that disrupts the cycle of poverty, and Rachel Rollins, Chief Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Port Authority, were ready to answer questions during the forum.

“About 77 percent of DA races go un-contested across the U.S.,” said Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program and “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaign for the ACLU of MA, to a crowded room. “There is a lack of opportunities for communities to engage but, this is what democracy looks like.”

Hall said that many folks don’t even know what goes on in a DA’s Office and most don’t even know that it is an elected position.

“We are working to make sure the country and residents of Suffolk County are engaged and active,” said Hall.

Candidates were allowed 90 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds for rebuttal. Questions ranged from are you too much of an insider or outsider to change things, to how to stop cycle of repeat offenders to how will the candidates make the office more diverse?

Champion said she has three areas she will focus on as District Attorney beside safety: education, housing and jobs.

“When you have all of these things you can have an environment that everyone can feel safe,” she said. “I’m in this race to focus on what is the problem and that’s the lives of our residents.”

Henning said his goal as DA would to make sure that everyone is protected, and to re-connect the community with law enforcement.

“I will not only ensure community policing to keep the streets safe but to help people to not to engage and re-engage with the justice system.”

Rollins said that to make a real difference more people of color and women need to work in the justice system.

“To get fairness, equity and justice you need more diversity in the people that serves those decisions,” said Rollins.

McAuliffe distanced herself from the pack by focusing on her current work at Roca, a non-profit that takes young adults who have a high chance of repeat offense and steers them in a different path by providing job training and other opportunities.

“I’m the only one here that hasn’t worked for a job opening,” said McAuliffe who took on the current DA during the last election. “Reform needs a reformer, and that’s who I am.”

Carvalho said that in order to seek justice you need to look at who is making the decisions. He pointed out that the people making the decisions are largely white and those going in and out of the DA’s office are largely people of color.

“I live in Dorchester and my constituents deal with it every day,” he said. “They are trapped without help every day, and that has to change. As DA I will be sure to change things.”

Current DA Dan Conley announced earlier this year that he will not be seeking re-election. Conley has held the office since February 2002.

This will be the second open candidate forum of the year. The primary for the Suffolk Country District Attorney race will be on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Read More

Chelsea Delegation Announce Landmark Criminal Justice Reform Law

Chelsea Delegation Announce Landmark Criminal Justice Reform Law

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.

Read More

DA Conley’s Juvenile Diversion Program on Track to Double Capacity

DA Conley’s Juvenile Diversion Program on Track to Double Capacity

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley this week welcomed new community partners to an ambitious diversion project, hoping to double the capacity of a program that allows juveniles charged with some serious offenses to get their lives back on track without incurring additional entries on their records.

Conley’s office launched the Juvenile Alternative Resolution pilot project in February 2017 with half a dozen community-based agencies that provide individualized services to Boston’s youth. In May, the partner agencies began accepting juveniles who faced delinquency charges in the Boston Juvenile Court and showed a moderate to high risk of re-offending. And yesterday, Conley welcomed a new batch of agencies to the team.

“Historically, juvenile diversion in Massachusetts has been geared toward first-time and low-level offenders, and it’s been limited in the services available to promote post-diversion success,” Conley said. “We envisioned something more ambitious – something that would re-direct the lives of young people charged with more serious offenses, even high-risk teens.  We sought out partners who could offer individualized services for a wide range of needs.  And our shared goal across agencies was to divert young adults outward, away from the criminal justice system, instead of upward and deeper into it.”

By March of this year, 45 juveniles had entered the JAR program and received supervision, support, and services through one or more community partner agencies. Of that number, 12 successfully completed the program and 31 are on track to do so.

Together, the 45 participants accounted for 100 offenses. Almost two-thirds of those offenses were classified as “crimes against the person,” including assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unarmed robbery. Some were as young as 11, but about half were 16 or 17 years old. About 60% of the juveniles were from Dorchester or Roxbury, about two-thirds were male, and almost all were youth of color.

Participants are also showing significant drops in the risk and need factors they had when they entered, Conley said, reflecting a course correction in the trajectory of their lives. Because JAR-eligible delinquency complaints are placed on hold upon entry to the program and dismissed upon completion six to nine months later, the cases never appear on the participants’ juvenile records.

By expanding the available partners, Conley hopes to double the program’s capacity in the year to come – and continue to accept even juveniles who have prior system involvement and face moderate- to high-level charges. The goal, he said, was to juvenile involvement in the criminal justice system in Suffolk County – and the barriers to social, academic, and employment success that can follow.

“We were warned that there was a risk in taking this older, more experienced cohort into the program,” Conley said, “but what we’ve seen thus far convinces me that the rewards outweigh that risk.”

In addition to formal diversion through the JAR program, first-time and low-level juvenile offenses are informally diverted every day by Suffolk prosecutors. Throughout the year, almost 60% of the county’s delinquency complaints were diverted, with diversions outnumbering youthful offender indictments by more than 10 to one.

“That’s as it should be,” Conley said. “Some crimes are extremely serious and some offenders pose a danger to the community.  But most kids and teens come to us with minimal records for minor offenses – better suited to the justice of an angry parent than the Juvenile Court. The JAR program is for youth in between, whose actions are more serious but don’t include gun violence, sexual assault, or serious bodily injury.”

The first group of community partner agencies included Action for Boston Community Development’s Changing Tracks Initiative, the Justice Resource Institute SMART Team, MissionSAFE, the Salvation Army’s Bridging the Gap program, the RFK Children’s Action Corps Detention Diversion Advocacy Program, and UMass Boston. Yesterday, Conley welcomed new partners to the fold – including a collection of youth service programs offered through Action for Boston Community Development, the Charlestown Coalition’s Turn It Around program, More Than Words, and YouthConnect.

“Every life is a journey, and as youth service providers you’re the map and compass these kids need,” Conley told the assembled group. “We’re changing those young lives today, but we’re changing outcomes tomorrow that will strengthen families and communities for years to come.  We’re making Boston a safer, fairer place.  And that’s a legacy we can all be very proud of.”

Read More

A Legend is Leaving:Gladys Vega to Step Down as Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative

A Legend is Leaving:Gladys Vega to Step Down as Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative

By Cary Shuman

Gladys Vega, a pilla

Gladys Vega

Gladys Vega

r of the community and executive director of the Chelsea Collaborative since 2006, is stepping down as the leader of the well-known agency whose headquarters are on Broadway.

Vega, who has earned victories for Chelsea residents against injustices and helped improve community-police relations, informed her friends and colleagues in a personal letter this week that she would be stepping down.

“The Collaborative has been my home for 29 years and the time has come for me to move on,” wrote Vega, adding that it has been “a tremendous honor to lead such a skilled and dedicated staff.”

City and state officials reacted with deep emotion that Vega, who has done so much to improve the qualify for life for residents and helped establish the Collaborative as a national model, would be calling it a career in the city.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino praised Vega as a tremendous advocate for residents who worked tirelessly on their behalf in important causes. Ambrosino said that Vega was “a true friend” to the city and a highly respected community organizer statewide.

Sen. Sal DiDomenico said that Gladys Vega “has been an outstanding advocate for the City of Chelsea and a champion for the many new residents from throughout the world who call Chelsea home.

“It has been a pleasure working with her over the years to serve the city and to enhance the social, environmental, and economic health of our community and its residents,” said DiDomenico.

Vega began her association with the Collaborative as a receptionist when executive director Edward Marakowitz headed the organization and it was located at 300 Broadway.

Vega’s passion for her work and the personable and professional manner in which she conducted herself became obvious to her colleagues. A 1985 graduate of Cheslea High School who had come to Chelsea from Puerto Rico when she was nine, Vega understood the challenges facing Latino residents and how to best help them grow and prosper in their new community.

Vega became the office manager and then worked as a tenant organizer. She showed her impeccable community organizing skills right away, fighting for tenants’ rights and gaining an important victory against an absentee landlord. Her organization has stood at the forefront advocating for immigrant families. The Collaborative became the go-to place for Chelsea youths seeking a summer job.

The question being asked by residents in all corners of the city is: Why is Gladys Vega leaving at the height of her power and name recognition and with the unmatched skills to rally people for important causes locally and nationally?

“I always told my family when I turn 50 years old (she celebrated her birthday at a large party in June), that I wanted to do something different because I feel the Collaborative has taken my social life away in a manner that all I do is work and be committed to the organization and the movement,” said Vega, who has two children, Melinda, 28, and Jerry, 21.

She spoke emotionally about the loss of her mother, Juanita Vega, who was a great inspiration in Gladys’s life. “There have been all these things that have happened in my life and I have never slowed down. I want to try a different job and leave myself time to help raise my two grandchildren. I have never been happier to have those two individuals in my life and I want to make sure that I don’t steal time from them like I stole from my two children.”

Vega also talked about health issues that she has had in the past but she happily reports to her many friends and supporters, “This year I’ve been in the best health. It’s been a very good year.”

There have been so many personal accomplishments during her brilliant reign as executive director, it was difficult for Vega to pinpoint one.

“But I’d say my biggest accomplishment was putting Latinos on the map and building a bridge between communities regardless where people come from and regardless of documentation,” said Vega. “To be able to put a passion in people that Chelsea is a great community to live in – we are a group of people that have worked very hard to build up Chelsea. Our movement has made history because our goals have always been to focus on the growth and betterment of Chelsea as a community.”

Vega lauded the many Chelsea administrators and community leaders that have helped the Collaborative succeed on its journey. She singled out the leadership of former city manager Jay Ash. Vega was front and center involving Latinos in city government when Ash ably piloted the total resurgence of Chelsea. She traveled with many others to Denver when Chelsea received the coveted All-America City Award from the National Civic League.

Many say that honor was Jay Ash’s finest hour as city manager and Gladys Vega was a valuable member of the team – its preeminent community organizer – that helped bring the city national recognition.

“We, those of us who care deeply about the community, worked with Jay Ash to help turn the city around,” said Vega.

She also spoke reverentially about the positive impact that Police Chief Brian Kyes has had in helping immigrants feel safe in the city.

“I love the fact that Chief Kyes gets the concept of diversity. I’ve worked very close with him and I know that people trust him and trust his leadership. I’m very proud to say that I was a part of the selection committee for chief and Chief Kyes has not let me down. I have been very impressed with his work and the police officers’ work in our community.”

Former Collaborative assistant executive director Roseann Bongiovanni and Colloborative President Rosalba Medina, a Chelsea Police detective, also drew plaudits from Vega.

“Roseann started at the Collaborative at the age of 19 – she was like my sister in the movement,” said Vega. “Little by little we kept working together until we built this environmental justice movement. Both of us learned together and worked very hard to build an environmental justice model that is the envy of other cities. We had more victories than we had losses.”

“It’s been an honor to work with Rosie Medina,” said Vega. “She has been a great liaison and partner in the Chelsea criminal justice system. Her leadership of our board has been outstanding.”

Vega said she worked closely with her cousin, Juan Vega, and community activist Tito Meza to help increase the number of Latino police officers in the department.

Vega regrets that she will not be continuing her work with current city manager Tom Ambrosino at the helm of Chelsea city government.

“As I think about moving on, I would have loved to have worked closer with him – my time with him has been brief, but it has been an amazing partnership. I think Tom, having been elected mayor of Revere, has a great sense of community organization and a sense of helping his constituents and listening to the people with a great level of professionalism. He treats everyone equally. I love what he has done as our city manager and I’m a huge fan of Tom Ambrosino – who has stated that there is no room for hate or injustice in the city.”

Vega will stay on board at the Collaborative until a successor is named. There will be a farewell celebration in December at the Homewood Suites Hotel in Chelsea.

City Council President Leo Robinson congratulated Vega on her successful tenure at the Collaborative, understanding that she has been one of the city’s most visible and most admired community leaders for three decades.

 “Gladys Vega did a very good job for Chelsea residents and I wish her good health and good luck in all her future endeavors.”

Read More

Police Briefs 02-25-2016

ATTEMPTED MURDER

On Feb. 18, around 4 a.m., officers were dispatched to 763 Broadway on the report of a past assault.

It was reported that the alleged involved suspect had left the residence where the assault took place and was walking away on Broadway. Officers interviewed the victim inside the apartment and officers reported it was the scene of an obvious struggle. The victim stated she let attacker, who she knew as a friend, stay with her in the apartment. She said he fell asleep and she called a another friend to come over to hang out with her.

When the subject woke up, he became enraged that another male was in the apartment and attacked victim by choking her and threatening her with a hammer. Other officers observed suspect walking on Broadway and placed him into custody

Steven Carter, 48, of Dorchester was charged with assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, attempted murder, assault and malicious destruction of property under $250.

A VERY UNWELCOME VISITOR

On Sunday, Feb. 21, at approximately 3:25 p.m., officers were dispatched to 48 Tudor St. for a person with a knife.

The victim stated that a person known to them came to the door intoxicated and yelled vulgarities at them while she attempted to gain entry. The victim said the subject was in possession of a knife. Officers at the scene observed the suspect bleeding form her hand and observed to be intoxicated.

The victim told officers that while she and her friend attempted to get the subject out the door, the subject cut herself with the knife.

The subject was placed under arrest on scene.

Lynne Walsh, 54, of 132 Washington Ave., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife), assault with a dangerous weapon and one warrant.

TRIED TO STAB MAN

Last Saturday, Feb. 20, about 9:40 p.m., a CPD officer responded to Chelsea Headquarters to speak to a male victim who walked into the station and was reporting that a person known to him tried to stab him earlier on Central Avenue.

The victim stated he got into a heated argument in front of 118 Central Ave. with his attacker, who he described to be intoxicated. He said the subject pulled out a folding knife and attempted to stab him, but he was able to get in his car and flee to the police station.

Officers arrived and observed subject on the street and placed him into custody.

Phillip Ruiz, 43, of 120 Central Ave., was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife).

STOLEN CAR

On Feb. 18, at 5:30 a.m., officers responded to 252 Revere Beach Parkway on the report of a previously reported stolen motor that was now located.

While en route to this location, Chelsea Dispatch updated officers that the victim had observed two females exit his stolen vehicle. The victim followed the two female suspects down Revere Beach Parkway and onto Garfield Avenue.

Officers spotted the calling party and the two female suspects in front of 90 Garfield Ave. The females, one a juvenile, were identified by the owner-victim of the car and placed under arrest.

Bianca Gell, 18, of Everett, was charged with breaking and entering of a vehicle at night for a felony, withholding evidence, furnishing a false name, receiving a stolen credit care and receiving a stolen motor vehicle.

A 16-year-old Everett juvenile was charged with breaking and entering of a vehicle at night for a felony and receiving a stolen motor vehicle.

Friday, 2/5

Oswaldo Sousa, 29, 63 Bloomingdale St., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Sunday, 2/7

Joshua Bernard, 29, 96 Bellingham St., Chelsea, was arrested for intentionally, willfully and maliciously or wantonly damages.

Monday, 2/8

Mary Sackor, 29, 25 Staniford St., Boston, was arrested for common nightwalker.

Tuesday, 2/9

Freeman Lindsey, 29, 138 Library St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Wednesday, 2/10

Carlos Mazariegos, 39, 69 Ferry St., Everett, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Anthony Giugliano, 42, 669 Saratoga St., East Boston, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime for felony, resisting arrest and destruction of property over $250, malicious.

Katelyn Ferguson, 28, 86 Division St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing Class B drug, arrest warrants.

Thursday, 2/11

Jorge Flores, 38, 327 Eagle St., East Boston, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle unlicensed.

Friday, 2/12

Jeff Bosquet, 33, 381 Ferry St., Everett, was arrested for shoplifting.

Adenilson Dos Santos, 39, 304 Malden St., Revere, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed, stop sign violation, failure to wear seat belt, and warrants.

David Griffin, 51, 92 Griswold St., Cambridge, was arrested for possessing Class B drug.

Sunday, 2/14

Arturo Sosa, 30, 16 Summer St., Everett, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended/revoked license.

Monday, 1/25

Edgar Gonzalez, 25, 115 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Jessi Cardona-Restrepo, 20, 107 Shurtleff St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Douglas Pinho, 23, 41 Chestnut St., Everett, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with revoked/suspended license.

Tuesday, 1/26

Hugo Monterroso, 38, 3 Fay Sq., Chelsea, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle unlicensed and operating under the influence of liquor.

Wednesday, 1/27

Kristen Barnette, 26, 86 Clark Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Brandon Baez, 18, 116 Ash St., Chelsea, was arrested for receiving stolen property over $250 and receiving stolen motor vehicle.

Steven Hescock, 39, 71 Neponset St., Revere, was arrested on a warrant.

Andre Cheek, 18, 63 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for firearm without license (loaded), ammunition without FID card.

Jill Betley, 51, 769 Broadway, Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Friday, 1/29

John Serna, 33, 13 Louis St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing Class B drug.

Maurico Sanchez, 28, 147 Addison ST., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Oscar Duran, 24, 214 Chelsea St., East Boston, was arrested from being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Juan Marino-Martinez, 21, 172 Clark Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Manuel Martinez, 44, 68 Carroll ST., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Cesar Martinez, 35, 53 Webster St., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Heiner Gomez, 31, 133 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Edwin Gonzalez, 20, 218 Chelsea St., East Boston, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Erick Argueta, 31, 19 Summer St., Revere, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Marvin Melgar, 21, 139 Bloomingdale St., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Balinda Cooper, 46, 955 Mass Ave., Boston, was arrested for shoplifting.

Victor Martinez, 24, 44 Addison ST., Boston, was arrested for drinking/possession open alcoholic beverage in public.

Saturday, 1/30

Jose Oscar, 22, 34 Gardner ST., Chelsea, was arrested for drinking/possessing open alcoholic beverage in public.

Masgiver Estrada, 18, 174 Chestnut St., Chelsea, was arrested on warrants.

Meghan Mastrangelo, 34, 106 Mountain Ave., Revere, was arrested for affray and disorderly conduct.

Jennifer Spinelli, 27, 28 Swan St., Everett, was arrested for disorderly conduct and affray.

Sunday, 1/31

Denis Marroquin-Velasquez, 22, 72 Chelsea St., East Boston, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Victor Fernandez-Bonilla, 25, 78 Harry St., Lynn, was arrested on a warrant.

Monday, 2/1

Jose Rodriguez, 29, 120 Shurtleff St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle.

Mohamud Ibrahim, 26, 268 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Tuesday, 2/2

Julio Moncada, 26, 380 Chelsea St., East Boston, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle, operating under the influence of liquor, destruction of property over $250, wanton reckless operation of motor vehicle, possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle (2 counts).

Marie Costa, 40, 7 Clinton Ave., Saugus, was arrested for shoplifting and assault and battery on a police officer.

Kevin DaRosa, 33, 1535 North Shore Rd., Revere, was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer and shoplifting.

Juan Cruz, 25, 126 Oxford St., Lynn, was arrested on courtesy booking.

Joseph Giacalone, 23, 47 Victoria ST., Revere, was arrested for shoplifting.

Michael Gauthier, 22, 35 Rockdale St., Peabody, was arrested for shoplifting.

Javier Rosario, 35, 2856 Oriana St., Philadelphia, PA, was arrested for trafficking in heroin/morphine/opium.

Delmi Mejia, 27, 76 Addison St., Chelsea, was arrested for trafficking in heroin/morphine/opium.

Mariano De La Cruz, 50, 72 Trenton St., East Boston, was arrested for trafficking in heroin/morphine/opium.

Wednesday, 2/3

Steven Hescock, 39, 71 Neponset St., Revere, was arrested for breaking and entering in the nighttime for felony.

Michael Kane, 29, 23 Roughan St., Revere, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime for felony, receiving stolen property over $250.

Thursday, 2/4

Hector Hernandez, 21, 69 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Moises Arbelo, 40, 21 Cunard Way, Boston, was arrested for shoplifting.

Jimmy Villanueva, 30, 82 Mountain Ave., Revere, was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor, marked lanes violation, operating motor vehicle with suspended/revoked license, possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle, unregistered motor vehicle and license revoked as habitual traffic offender, operating motor vehicle with (criminal).

Friday, 2/5

Oswaldo Sousa, 29, 63 Bloomingdale St., Chelsea, was arrested for being a fugitive from justice on court warrant.

Sunday, 2/7

Joshua Bernard, 29, 96 Bellingham St., Chelsea, was arrested for intentionally, willfully and maliciously or wantonly damages.

Monday, 2/8

Mary Sackor, 29, 25 Staniford St., Boston, was arrested for common nightwalker.

Tuesday, 2/9

Freeman Lindsey, 29, 138 Library St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

Wednesday, 2/10

Carlos Mazariegos, 39, 69 Ferry St., Everett, was arrested for unlicensed operation of motor vehicle.

Anthony Giugliano, 42, 669 Saratoga St., East Boston, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime for felony, resisting arrest and destruction of property over $250, malicious.

Katelyn Ferguson, 28, 86 Division St., Chelsea, was arrested for possessing Class B drug, arrest warrants.

Thursday, 2/11

Jorge Flores, 38, 327 Eagle St., East Boston, was arrested for operation of motor vehicle unlicensed.

Friday, 2/12

Jeff Bosquet, 33, 381 Ferry St., Everett, was arrested for shoplifting.

Adenilson Dos Santos, 39, 304 Malden St., Revere, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed, stop sign violation, failure to wear seat belt, and warrants.

David Griffin, 51, 92 Griswold St., Cambridge, was arrested for possessing Class B drug.

Sunday, 2/14

Arturo Sosa, 30, 16 Summer St., Everett, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended/revoked license.

Read More

Chelsea Drug Court Program a Success:Justice Barnes Leads End-of-the-Year Meeting

According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 75 percent of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free for at least two years after leaving the program.

That’s a very good success rate and Tuesday’s special program led by Justice Benjamin Barnes affirmed that the Chelsea Drug Court is working well and producing good results.

Justice Barnes presided over the Chelsea Drug Court’s “End-of-the-Year Gratitude Circle” event inside a courtroom at the Chelsea District Court.

“It’s a way in which we meet with everyone who is in Drug Court to state their plan for the holidays,” said Barnes. “We have found that a lot of relapses happen this time of year. We also give them information as to where meetings are held to help them 24 hours a day.”

Barnes said that all Drug Court participants have supervised probation and agree to go through the 18-month Drug Court program.

“They have a service provider such as the Salvation Army, Meridian House, East Boston Rehab, all residential treatment centers where these individuals are situated and they report to this court once a week- and they are tested three times a week,” said Barnes.

One of the individuals at the Drug Court program praised Barnes for his professionalism and firm but fair understanding of her situation. The 26-year-old mother said she “is at a very good place” in her life and that she has been reunited with her daughter and received a promotion at her job.

“I have an amazing relationship with my family and a few good friends,” she said proudly.

Drug courts in general are very beneficial, said Barnes. “Statistics have shown that individuals who successfully complete drug court have a lower recidivism rate than the average individual who just goes through probation.”

Barnes said that the success of the Chelsea Drug Court is a collaborative effort among the entire court staff. “Everyone helps, but the main person is Judy Lawlor, who’s a pr

Pictured at the Chelsea Drug Court end-of-the-year event at Chelsea District Court are defense attorney David Bell, Justice Benjamin Barnes, who presides over the Drug Court, guest speaker Jack Kelly, Katie O’Leary, supervisor of recovery coaches at North Suffolk Mental Health Association, and Ruben Rodriguez, Chelsea community navigator for North Suffolk Mental Health Association.

Pictured at the Chelsea Drug Court end-of-the-year event at Chelsea District Court are defense attorney David Bell, Justice Benjamin Barnes, who presides over the Drug Court, guest speaker Jack Kelly, Katie O’Leary, supervisor of recovery coaches at North Suffolk Mental Health Association, and Ruben Rodriguez, Chelsea community navigator for North Suffolk Mental Health Association.

obation officer and handles all the drug court cases. She coordinates with the different treatment providers.”

Jack Kelly, chief executive officer and founder of I Recover APP, was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s program. Kelly, a recovering drug addict, said his new company helps people with addictive issues by connecting them to services and to other people in recovery.

Kelly, who was a Boston city government neighborhood liaison to Charlestown and a past candidate for Boston City Council, delivered an inspiring address to the Drug Program participants. Kelly said he battled drug abuse issues for more than a decade but today leads an active, productive life, helping others on the road to recovery.

Read More

Chief Court Officer Judy Weiss Honored

Chief Court Officer Judy Weiss Honored

Cnew1

Judy Weiss, chief court officer at Chelsea District Court, was honored by her colleagues and friends at her retirement party May 1 at Casa Lucia in Revere. Weiss served in the court system for 49 years and was the first female court officer at Chelsea District Court. Pictured at the celebration in her honor are, from left, the Honorable Justice Franco Gobourne, guest of honor Judy Weiss, the Honorable Justice Diana Maldonado, and Collin Allen, retired court officer.

Read More

Time for Colleges and Universities to Lead

Time for Colleges and Universities to Lead

Campus sexual violence has been the subject of an intense national conversation recently, but that dialogue often lacks critical input from schools that are already taking steps to improve their campus climates. Colleges and universities, it’s time for you to lead on this issue.

So far, and with good reason, most of the attention has focused on schools that are under investigation for violating federal laws about sexual violence and on the survivors bravely sharing their stories and calling for action. Yet there are a number of schools that are working hard to address these challenges and to make real progress on this issue, and we need to hear from schools that are prioritizing prevention, response, and transparency and including students and survivors in all related initiatives on campus.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so it’s a good time for schools to talk about how to meet their responsibilities to students. Rampant sexual violence creates a campus climate that is hostile to students, and students can’t learn when they aren’t safe. Because campus sexual assault happens everywhere, everyone benefits when schools worry less about public relations and more about making campuses safe. Part of the solution is for schools to create an environment where students feel comfortable reporting sexual violence.

Schools can also lead by understanding and complying with Title IX, the 1972 federal law that prevents sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. Unfortunately, under the scrutiny of the national spotlight, some schools have criticized or even blamed the law for problems on campus. But Title IX is not the reason schools mishandle campus sexual assaults. Smart schools recognize that it is their all-important guide for upholding students’ civil rights in campus proceedings and preventing future violence on campus. Title IX works, and it must be protected.

Title IX requires schools to have a role in addressing sexual violence because they are best equipped to provide accommodations such as class schedule or housing changes, critical pieces of the sexual assault response that survivors may need to be able to complete their education. Schools must also figure out in an administrative setting what occurred and then handle it according to their established codes of student conduct, anti-discrimination policies, and federal civil rights law.

These responsibilities under Title IX do not require schools to serve as police officers, prosecutors, or judges. Schools do not decide whether a felony or misdemeanor occurred for purposes of prosecution, and they cannot make plea agreements or impose criminal punishments. Those roles are, appropriately, left to the criminal justice system and can take place simultaneously if the survivor chooses to involve law enforcement. Title IX guidance clearly delineates between schools’ role and law enforcement’s role.

If school officials truly don’t see how these separate paths can work together, many helpful resources are available through the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice and online at notalone.gov.

The current national dialogue will be more productive if institutional leaders join the conversation — along with survivors, advocates, and policy makers — and help end the epidemic of campus sexual violence. Many schools are missing the chance not only to keep students safe but also to impress on students, faculty, prospective students, and parents that their institution is part of the solution. In the coming months, we expect to have the opportunity to highlight and learn from schools that are proactively addressing campus sexual assault and embracing Title IX. We look forward to hearing from them.

——————-

Lisa M. Maatz is Vice President for Government Relations at American Association of University Women

Read More

Chelsea Police Department to Co-host Training On Innovative Hub + Cor Public Safety Model

Chelsea Police Department to Co-host Training On Innovative Hub + Cor Public Safety Model

All this week, the Springfield Police Department, Chelsea Police Department and Roca, Inc. have hosted criminal justice policy expert Dale McFee, Deputy Minister of Justice in Saskatchewan Province, Canada, and several of his colleagues, to provide members of each police department, a host of public officials, and members of several community-based agencies three days intensive training in the highly-successful and innovative Hub + COR public safety model.

Hub + COR utilizes a data-driven, social service / law enforcement partnership network to deploy rapid interventions for individuals and families at risk. The Hub + COR model, which has now been replicated throughout Canada, has significantly reduced costly criminal justice interventions, reduced crime by dramatic rates and increased public safety in areas it is used.

McFee, who spent years as both a Police Chief and Deputy Justice Minister, developed this innovative model, while working to prevent crime in his home city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, a community with historically high rates of crime, violence, drug abuse and incarceration. Mr. McFee comes to Massachusetts as a special guest and friend of Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri, and Roca Founder & CEO Molly Baldwin, all three of whom he has worked with over the past year, to help replicate the Hub + COR’s successes in the Commonwealth.

While the Hub + COR training took place between the evening of Monday, March 9 and the afternoon of Wednesday, March 11, CPD, SPD and Roca hosted a very special Hub + COR luncheon event on Tuesday, March 10 for executive-level state officials, elected officials and dignitaries from eastern and western Massachusetts. The luncheon was held at the Residence Inn Hotel. At the event, McFee made extended remarks and provided attendees a substantive overview

On Tuesday, keynote speaker Dale McFee, deputy minister of justice in Saskatchewan Province, Canada, spoke to the large group about a model they have used throughout Canada to help reduce crime and help police be able to focus on true crime while directing others to the proper services.

On Tuesday, keynote speaker Dale McFee, deputy minister of justice in Saskatchewan Province, Canada, spoke to the large group about a model they have used throughout Canada
to help reduce crime and help police be able to focus on true crime while directing others to the proper services.

of the Hub + COR model.

“Some 75 to 80 percent of call to police for service are not criminal in nature,” he said. “A majority of that is for anti-social behavior. Some 25 percent of of them are real in nature. For us, some 5 percent of the 25 percent led to criminal charges. So, 5 percent of what we accomplish has the majority of our resources devoted to trying to solve crime…We can pull 30 to 40 percent of the call out of the queue by redirecting them…This is real. It’s really pulling things right out of the queue…Policing, in my mind, need to get out of the ownership business and into the leadership business. Leadership is about connecting the dots and especially when the resources exist in the community.”

He also said after speaking all over Canada and the United States, that Boston – in particular Chelsea – is the furthest along in the United States in taking this view to combat crime.

Read More

Forum on Relations with Local Muslim Community Held to Condemn Public Notes Railing Against Islam

Forum on Relations with Local Muslim Community Held to Condemn Public Notes Railing Against Islam

The Al Huda Society, based in Chelsea but having members in Revere, Everett, Chelsea and East Boston, held a forum on relations between the community and the local Muslim community last Friday night in Chelsea. The panelists were (left to right) Muhammad Ali-Salam, Father James Barry of Our Lady of Grace (Chelsea)/Saint Mary’s (Revere), Prof. Mohamed Brahimi, Chelsea Officer Sammy Mojica, Pastor Tim Bogertman and Shannon Erwin.

The Al Huda Society, based in Chelsea but having members in Revere, Everett, Chelsea and East Boston, held a forum on relations between the community and the local Muslim community last Friday night in Chelsea. The panelists were (left to right) Muhammad Ali-Salam, Father James Barry of Our Lady of Grace (Chelsea)/Saint Mary’s (Revere), Prof. Mohamed Brahimi,
Chelsea Officer Sammy Mojica, Pastor Tim Bogertman and Shannon Erwin.

One of the first speakers at a community forum in Chelsea on relations with the Muslim communities in Revere, Chelsea, Eastie and Everett, was a 10-year-old boy who summed up the hopes of everyone in the room.

It silenced the standing-room only crowd.

“I am an American,” he stated. “I really love both America and Islam. I wish one day when I turn on the TV, there will be no fights about Muslims and how our religion is.”

On Friday, Feb. 27, Al-Huda Society hosted a community forum in Chelsea, with local law enforcement and faith leaders to condemn the threatening anti-Muslim notes that were found in Revere last week. The meeting was an opportunity to assess, identify and address the concerns of different members from the community.

The panelists were:

  • Muhammad Ali-Salam, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Pastor father James Barry, Saint Mary’s Revere
  • Prof. Mohamed Brahimi, Moderator
  • Officer Sammy Mojica, Chelsea Police Community Liaison
  • Pastor Tim Bogertman, First Congregational Church of Revere
  • Shannon Erwin, Muslim Justice League

The panelists made it clear to the audience that any discriminatory acts against Muslims or any other minority groups have to be reported to the police and other government agencies such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

“These acts are against the law,” said Ali-Salam. “You must report them so they can be documented and investigated by law enforcement agencies.”

Officer Mojica stated, “We don’t know who these individuals are (in Revere) but I can guarantee you that the law enforcement community will get to the bottom of it and will bring these individuals to justice.”

In an earlier meeting in Revere, Mayor Dan Rizzo expressed his outrage in an official statement saying, “Revere has grown more and more diverse over time, and the heart and soul of our community beats as one”.

At the same meeting with the mayor, Revere Police Chief Joe Cafarelli strongly condemned the signs saying they “will not be tolerated. Not on my watch.”

He further stated that the investigation is ongoing and those responsible will be prosecuted to “the fullest extent of the law.”

Rabbi Joseph Berman, Temple B’Nai Israel Revere, wrote a heartwarming email to the organizers of Friday’s event as it was described by the moderator. He stated in his letter that “an attack on your honor is also an attack on God. Therefore, it is an attack on our honor.”

Professor Brahimi emphasized to the audience that the message is very clear across the board.

“Your advocate does not have to be a Muslim,” he said. “We have people from across the spectrum of law enforcement and different religions telling you in clear words that they have your back and you don’t have to find refuge on your own. You can find refuge with anyone within the community.”

Many participants expressed their concerns about the demonization of Muslims by U.S. mainstream media.

Pastor Tim Bogertman of Revere’s First Congregational Church responded to their concerns by encouraging the participants to be more involved within the community and build relationships with local media agencies.

He said to start inviting them to the Muslim community events and sending press releases to local newspapers to build upon that.

Prof. Brahimi recognized the fledgling efforts of Zarah Magazine in trying to make inroads in the community.

“Perhaps the Muslim and the Arab American community could support this media experience that has demonstrated a high level of professionalism and make it a strong media project to support the community needs,” he said.

The full coverage of this event is available on Zarah magazine’s YouTube channel and it will be broadcast on some local TV stations.

Read More