An MS-13 member was sentenced recently in federal court in Boston for racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 15-year-old boy in East Boston.
Joel Martinez, a/k/a “Animal,” 23, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in East Boston, was sentenced to 40 years in prison and two years of supervised release. Martinez will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. In December 2017, Martinez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
Martinez admitted that on Sept. 20, 2015, he murdered a 15-year-old boy on Trenton Street in East Boston. During recorded conversations between Martinez and a cooperating witness, Martinez acknowledged being a member of MS-13 and admitted that he stabbed the victim to death. Specifically, Martinez said, “I stabbed the culero three times,” and stated, “He stared at me and he asked me if I was going to, if I was going to stab him. I told him, ‘Yes, the Mara rules you.’” After the murder, Martinez was “jumped in” and made a “homeboy,” or full member of MS-13’s Eastside Loco Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique during a ceremony that was surreptitiously recorded by agents. When a prospective member is “jumped in,” members of the MS-13 clique beat the new member with their hands and feet while one of the leaders of the clique counts aloud slowly to thirteen.
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.
BOULDER BASH UP
On April 30, at 10:40 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of 99 Willow St. for a report of an accident. Upon the officer’s arrival, they came upon the operator of a Ford Escape with its front end on top of a 4X4 boulder. The boulder was used to stop vehicles from driving onto the grass. The operator of the car was later determined to operating under the influence and placed under arrest.
Antonio Timas, 62, of 95 Highland St., was charged with operating under the influence of liquor.
TAGGING THE TEACHER
On May 4, at 8:30 a.m., a CPD responded to the Browne Middle School for a report of a vehicle tagged with paint. Upon arrival, the officer met with the principal who stated that a student tagged a teacher’s car in red paint. The mother of the Juvenile was notified, and the student was placed under arrest.
The 14-year-old juvenile was charged with tagging property.
On May 4, at 10:20 a.m., officers responded to a Cottage Street address to conduct a well-being check on the occupants. While on scene officers uncovered what was believed to be drugs. The drugs were consistent in its packaging for distribution. The male subject was taken into custody.
Ezequiel Aranda, 27, of 179 Winnisimmet St., was charged with possession to distribute a Class A drug, and possession to distribute a Class B drug.
CRAZY DRIVER FLIED UP BROADWAY
On May 6, officers heard a loud crash at 2:18 a.m. in the area of Broadway at Library Street.
They observed a vehicle that struck a car flee the scene onto Broadway at a high rate of speed toward Revere. They eventually stopped the car and after conducting field sobriety tests placed the operator under arrest for OUI.
Jose Laboy Cruz, 29, of Roxbury, was charged with operating under the influence of liquor, leaving the scene of personal injury, failing to stop for police, speeding at an unreasonable speed, reckless operation, marked lanes violation, red light violation, stop sign violation, operating with a suspended licensed, and possession of an open container of alcohol.
MS-13 MEMBER PLEADS GUILTY TO RACKETEERING INVOLVING MURDER
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty May 9 in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 16-year-old boy in East Boston.
Edwin Diaz, a/k/a “Demente,” 20, a Salvadoran national, 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. 20, 2018.
At today’s hearing, the Court accepted the defendant’s guilty plea but deferred acceptance of the plea agreement until the sentencing. Under the terms of the proposed plea agreement, Diaz will be sentenced to 35 years in prison and be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence.
After a multi-year investigation, Diaz 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. Diaz is the 45th defendant to be convicted as part of that ongoing prosecution.
Diaz was a “homeboy,” or full member, of MS-13’s “Westers” clique. On Jan. 10, 2016, Diaz and other MS-13 members murdered a 16-year-old boy whom they believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang. The victim was stabbed and shot multiple times. A few days after the murder, Diaz was caught on tape admitting to stabbing the victim multiple times, and he was arrested soon thereafter.
Chelsea Police have identified a man of interest in the case of a female waitress who was slashed in the neck and cut on the hands when she chased the man outside after he dashed on the bill.
Officers responded at 11 p.m. Monday night to 92 Washington Ave. A female victim in her early 30s was working as a waitress in the restaurant Las Pupusas Del Chino.
She told officers a male party skipped out on his bill and she chased him outside. She confronted him as he entered his motor vehicle and he subsequently pulled out a cutting instrument and sliced her in the neck and right hand.
He fled in a red sedan, possibly with a Colorado license plate, down Blossom Street heading west. The victim was transported to MGH Boston and was treated for a non-life threatening injury. No arrest has been made at this time. Detectives currently following up with a strong lead as to the identity of the suspect.
The suspect’s photo has been released and he has been positively identified by the Chelsea Police Department as the suspect in the stabbing.
The Chelsea Police are requesting the public’s assistance in clarifying the suspect’s true identity. Chelsea Detectives are actively searching for the individual for charges of Armed Assault with Intent to Murder.
The victim was released from the hospital Tuesday morning.
On March 16, at 12:10 p.m., officers responded to Bellingham Square and spoke to the victim who is employed by Assurance Wireless, a company that provides free cell phones for low-income individuals.
The victim stated the male in question applied for a phone, but was denied. He said that the subject was upset and later approached him while in the area of the Rainbow Apparel, located at 428 Broadway. He stated that the subject snatched a cardboard box containing one cellular phone out of his hand and went across the street to the laundromat. The subject was identified and placed into custody.
Fidel Hernandez, 50, of Quincy, was charged with unarmed robbery and violating the knife ordinance.
On March 16, at 4:02 p.m., officers were dispatched to 207 Shurtleff St, the Chelsea Community Center for a report of an unwanted party. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the reporting party, who works at the front desk. She advised officers that a male party known to her had walked into the building and onto the basketball court without paying the required fee. She stated that she told him she would be calling the Chelsea Police if he didn’t leave and his reply was something to the effect of, “I want to see them come in here and get me.” Officers were able to place the male into custody after he refused to leave, and began arguing with employees at the front desk. He additionally was trespassed from the property.
Elyas Abdi, 19, of 180 Central Ave., was charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, threatening to commit a crime, and disorderly conduct.
TWO MS-13 PLEAD GUILTY
Two MS-13 members have pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to charges of racketeering conspiracy involving murder.
Oscar Recinos Garcia, a/k/a “Psycho,” 24, a Salvadoran national, pleaded guilty March 21 to RICO conspiracy and being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled Recinos Garcia’s sentencing for June 13, 2018.
On March 20, Jose Andrade a/k/a “Inocente,” 27, a Salvadoran national, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO, and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Judge Saylor scheduled Andrade’s sentencing for June 12, 2018.
Andrade and Recinos Garcia were both members of the Everett Locos Salvatrucha, or ELS clique, of MS-13. The defendants admitted that their racketeering activity, on behalf of MS-13, included their involvement in the murder of a teenager who was associated with MS-13 and wrongly suspected by the gang of cooperating with law enforcement. On July 5, 2015, the victim was murdered in Lawrence by Josue de Paz a/k/a “Gato” and another MS-13 member. Evidence showed that Andrade and Recinos Garcia were both involved in planning the murder and shared the intent to have the victim killed. The evidence also showed that Andrade was part of the original plan to kill the victim, but was unable to participate in the murder because he was arrested in June 2015. The gang then recruited De Paz to commit the murder, and Recinos Garcia passed along the message to De Paz to kill the victim.
De Paz and Recinos Garcia were arrested on July 8, 2015, in Somerville in a raid that resulted in the recovery of a firearm, several large knives, photographs of MS-13 members flashing gang signs, and a large volume of MS-13 paraphernalia, including blue and white hats, bandanas and rosary beads. Recinos Garcia was also charged with possession of the firearm seized on that day. Andrade was also charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana after evidence revealed that he and other MS-13 members distributed marijuana on behalf of the gang. De Paz pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy involving murder and is awaiting sentencing.
Jennifer Khudari, 31, 41 South Ave., Revere, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with revoked license and possessing Class B drug.
Leonides Bones, 60, 4 Fernboro St., Dorchester, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage.
Fidel Hernandez, 50, 36 Elm St., Quincy, was arrested for unarmed robbery and dangerous weapon.
Elyas Abdi, 19, 180 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing, resisting arrest, threat to commit crime, disorderly conduct.
Jose Coronado-Hercules, 21, 101 Park St., Chelsea, was arrested for receiving stolen motor vehicle.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty on Jan. 12 in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Lawrence.
Josue Alexis DePaz, a/k/a “Gato,” 21, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in Lawrence, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2018.
DePaz was identified as a member of MS-13’s Everett Loco Salvatrucha (ELS) clique, which operated in the greater Boston area. When interviewed by law enforcement officers, DePaz admitted that on July 5, 2015, he was one of two men who stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death in O’Connell Park in Lawrence. In conversations recorded by law enforcement during the investigation, MS-13 members identified DePaz as one of the men who murdered the victim. DePaz was subsequently arrested in a house in Somerville with several other MS-13 members. A search warrant at the house resulted in the recovery of a firearm, several large knives, photographs of MS-13 members flashing gang signs, and a large volume of MS-13 paraphernalia, including blue and white hats, bandanas and rosary beads. According to court documents, MS-13 members frequently wear blue and white items of clothing to signify their membership in the gang.
After a three-year investigation, DePaz was one of 61 individuals named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. DePaz is the 28th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
DePaz faces up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.
Describing it as a “wonderful thing” on FBI surveillance tapes, the cold-blooded murderer of Irvin Depazm, 15, of Chelsea, has now been brought to justice.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty on Thursday, Dec. 14, in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 15-year-old boy in East Boston.
Joel Martinez, a/k/a “Animal,” 23, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in East Boston, 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 March 22, 2018.
Martinez was identified as a member of MS-13’s Eastside Loco Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique, which operated in Chelsea, Everett, and elsewhere in greater Boston.
Martinez admitted that on Sept. 20, 2015, he murdered a Depazm, 15, on Trenton Street in East Boston.
In recorded conversations between Martinez and a cooperating witness, Martinez acknowledged being a member of MS-13 and admitted that he stabbed the victim to death. Specifically, Martinez said, “I stabbed the (expletive deleted) three times, and it was a beautiful thing! Just beautiful!”
As a result of the murder, Martinez was “jumped in” and made a “homeboy,” or full member of MS-13, during a ceremony that was surreptitiously recorded by federal agents. When a prospective member is “jumped in,” members of the MS-13 clique beat the new member with their hands and feet while one of the leaders of the clique counts aloud slowly to 13.
After a three-year investigation, Martinez was one of 61 individuals named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. Martinez is the 27th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
Martinez faces up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.
END OF JANUARY HEAT WAVE?
This photo was taken on Sunday, Jan. 31, of the TD Bank temperature gauge in Bellingham Square at 3 p.m. A 60-degree day in late January is rather unimaginable, but there have been more than a few over the last week, with warm temperatures continuing into this weekend.
TOY GUN FOR A ‘SKIT’ AT CHS
Chelsea Police arrested a student at Chelsea High School on Wednesday, Jan. 13, after he was discovered to have a replica firearm in school – a weapon he said was being used in a “skit” for a school play.
Around 11:40 a.m., a report came in that a student at CHS was in possession of a firearm.
After an investigation, the gun turned out to be a replica toy gun.
The student claimed it was for a school-sponsored skit.
However, the 17-year-old was arrested based on statements from the reporting party.
JUVENILE WITH KNIFE
A Lynn youth was arrested on Monday, Jan. 11, after he tried to flee a motor vehicle while armed with a knife.
Chelsea Detectives made a motor vehicle stop around 10 a.m. on Pearl Street, and as they approached , the rear passenger (a 17-year-old juvenile) fled from vehicle. Police caught up to him and he was later placed into custody after a search of the area. He was charged for a warrant and for being in possession of a knife.
SWORD AND GUN
Two Chelsea juveniles were arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 13, for carrying a sword and a loaded firearm on Highland Street.
Police stopped a vehicle in the Highland and Grove Street areas around 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 13 and found five individuals in the vehicle. All appeared to be acting nervous and making furtive movements in an attempt to conceal items as officers approached the vehicle.
A check of the vehicle uncovered a loaded firearm and a sword.
A 17-year-old was arrested for a warrant, carrying a dangerous weapon (sword) and carrying a dangerous weapon. Another Chelsea 17-year-old was arrested for carrying a firearm without a permit, possessing a large capacity firearm or feeding device and possession of ammunition without a permit.
ARMED ROBBER NABBED A FEW DAYS LATER
A taxi driver in Bellingham Square reported to police that he had been robbed at gunpoint around 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 11, and a few days later, that taxi driver tracked down the robber – who was arrested.
Police searched the area after the report on Jan. 11 based on a description given by the cabbie, but it was to no avail.
However, on Jan. 14 around noon, the same cabbie approached Chelsea Police officers to let them know he just observed the robber get in a cab at Bellingham Square.
Police checked the location of the cab and stopped it on Webster Court.
The suspect was apprehended and positively identified by the cabbie.
Cesar Alicea, 20, of 53 Broadway, was charged with armed robbery with a firearm and assault and battery.
2010 MURDER TRIAL STARTS
A seated jury from Suffolk Superior Court took site visits to the crime scene in Chelsea on Wednesday in the trial of Melissa Pfeiffer, 32, who is accused of murdering Crystal Blanchard in 2010.
Pfeiffer is charged with second-degree murder, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (fire). Accused of setting a fire, she is also charged with arson and two counts of causing injury to a firefighter as a result of criminal conduct. The jury was seated and opening arguments began late last week.
The charges stem from the Dec., 24, 2010, fire she allegedly set on Spruce Street in Chelsea, killing 20-year-old Crystal Blanchard. ADAs Julie Higgins and Colby Tilley, defense attorney James Doyle, and Judge Janet Sanders in courtroom 817 of Suffolk Superior Court.
Sanders, incidentally, was last charged with reviewing all of the voluminous casino lawsuits against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Wynn Everett. The suits, from Revere, Boston, Somerville, and the taxpayers, were all dismissed from court by Sanders – who has now rotated in to the criminal court.
Chelsea-based North Suffolk Mental Health Association Inc. has entered into a company-wide settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to implement comprehensive procedures and policies to better safeguard its workers against the hazards of workplace violence – specifically developing a plan to ensure that workers are not left alone with patients.
The settlement came as a result of the 2011 murder of case worker Stephanie Moulton, 25, by a patient at a North Suffolk facility in Revere.
The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited North Suffolk in June 2011 for failing to provide adequate safeguards against workplace violence following the murder in January 2011.
Moulton was a senior on-site counselor and was left alone with the troubled patient – who ended up kidnapping her, stealing her car and murdering her. The patient was arrested, but later was deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. He is being held indefinitely at Bridgewater State Hospital.
North Suffolk contested its citation to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The settlement, which applies to all North Suffolk programs, activities and workplaces, now resolves the case.
Service Employees International Union Local 509, which represents some of the employees affected by the settlement, elected third party status in the case, participated in the proceedings, and is a signatory to the agreement.
“This resolution cannot restore the life that was taken. But it can help prevent future injuries and loss of life,” said Marthe Kent, OSHA’s New England regional administrator. “Enhanced safeguards and training at all North Suffolk locations will equip workers with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves better against assault.”
“While North Suffolk had in place certain programs and policies to address workplace violence, what we sought in this litigation, and have achieved in this settlement, were improvements for all its locations. These policies are designed to reduce workplace violence substantially, which tragically accounts for injuries and even fatalities,” said Michael Felsen, the department’s regional Solicitor of Labor for New England.
The terms of the settlement include agreeing to a stand-alone written violence prevention program for all client-related service programs at all its locations. The program’s elements will include workplace controls and prevention strategies; hazard/threat/security assessments; a workplace violence policy statement outlining and emphasizing a zero-tolerance policy for workplace violence; incident reporting and investigation; and periodic review of the prevention program.
Management will solicit staff input and ensure staff involvement in the workplace violence prevention program, including offering full membership on the company’s safety committee.
North Suffolk also agrees to take, at a minimum, the following measures across all its operations, to the extent it hasn’t already:
•Implement procedures to communicate any material incident of workplace violence or threatening behavior to staff in a timely manner.
•Implement procedures to account for staff who end their shift away from North Suffolk work sites; a buddy system for at least the second and third shifts, as appropriate, based on situational risk assessments; a procedure for staff to request additional coverage when necessary including, but not limited to, situations where staff members communicate that they feel unsafe; and a system for documenting such requests.
•Determine the behavioral history of new and transferred clients and utilize a system, such as log books, to identify clients with assaultive or threatening behavior and communicate pertinent information to potentially exposed staff; train staff to understand the system; and have a process in place to respond appropriately to clients who display disruptive behavior.
•Provide staff with a reliable way of summoning assistance, such as electronic alarms, cell phones and/or walkie-talkies, when needed on company premises, when staff is alone with a client in the community and/or transporting a client in a vehicle.
•Conduct annual risk assessments of each work site to ensure exit routes are available and easily identified. Provide adequate lighting at all company facilities.
Finally, it agrees to pay the original assessed OSHA fine of $7,000, the maximum fine allowed under law for a serious violation. The settlement will become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission on Sept. 5.