Six MS-13 Members Charged with RICO Conspiracy; Five Defendants Charged with Murdering Teenager in July 2018

Six MS-13 Members Charged with RICO Conspiracy; Five Defendants Charged with Murdering Teenager in July 2018

Six members of the violent, transnational organization known as “La Mara Salvatrucha” or “MS-13” were indicted Nov. 28 in federal court in Boston with racketeering – with five charged in the murder of a teen last summer.

As alleged in the indictment, as part of the racketeering conspiracy, five of the six defendants participated in the murder of a teenage boy in Lynn, on or about July 30, 2018.

The indictment charges the following members of the Sykos Locos Salvatrucha clique:

  • Erick Lopez Flores, a/k/a “Mayimbu,” 29, of Lynn;
  • Henri Salvador Gutierrez, a/k/a “Perverso,” 19, a Salvadoran national previously residing in Somerville;
  • Eliseo Vaquerano Canas, a/k/a “Peligroso,” 19, a Salvadoran national previously residing in Chelsea;
  • Jonathan Tercero Yanes, a/k/a “Desalmado,” 21, a Salvadoran national previously residing in East Boston;
  • Marlos Reyes, a/k/a “Silencio,” 22, a Salvadoran national previously residing in Chelsea; and
  • Djavier Duggins, a/k/a “Haze,” 29, of Lynn.

The indictment also mentions an unnamed juvenile, who has been separately charged in a sealed information, as required by federal law.

Duggins was arrested Nov. 30 and will appear in federal court on Nov. 29, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. The five defendants accused of murder are currently detained on state charges or in immigration custody, and will appear in federal court in the days ahead.

As alleged in court documents, on Aug. 2, 2018, law enforcement officers responded to Henry Avenue Playground in Lynn, where a civilian had encountered the dead body of a young boy lying in a wooded area. Based on the condition of the body, it appeared that the victim had been murdered a few days prior to when the body was discovered.

It is alleged that Lopez, Salvador, Vaquerano, Tercero, and Reyes murdered the victim with premeditated malice, and with extreme atrocity and cruelty. The evidence includes a recording of Salvador allegedly describing the murder in graphic detail, including how he, Vaquerano, Tercero, and Yanes stabbed the victim numerous times while Lopez assisted. The recording also described Duggins as being a leader of the clique. The victim was allegedly targeted because the gang believed the victim had been cooperating with law enforcement.

“MS-13 is a ruthless, transnational gang operating in our backyard,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “This group routinely commits senseless acts of violence, including murder, to maintain control and instill fear. Dismantling MS-13 in Massachusetts and elsewhere is a top priority of the Department of Justice. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies will continue working together to investigate and hold MS-13 members responsible for these heinous crimes.”

“The murder of 17-year old Herson Rivas is another sobering example of the savagery of MS-13, the ruthlessness of its members, and the utter disregard they have for law and order, our communities, and the opportunities afforded to them while here in the United States. This barbaric behavior cannot and will not be tolerated, and law enforcement at all levels will continue to use all available resources, aggressively exploit all available intelligence, and work as one integrated team with the sole intention of preventing additional murders or future acts of violence,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “I commend the FBI’s North Gang Task Force for their unwavering pursuit of MS-13, the tremendous work conducted by our federal, state and local law enforcement partners regarding this threat, and the proactive efforts undertaken to move and share intelligence, all in an effort to stem the flow of violence. There is no place in society for MS-13—their violence and tactics need to be stopped—and this gang must be dismantled at all levels.”

According to court documents, MS-13 is a violent street gang whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including Massachusetts. MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence against rival gang members to gain promotions and to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder rival gang members whenever possible, and to attack and murder those suspected of cooperating with law enforcement. MS-13 often recruits younger members from schools and communities with large immigrant populations from Central America.

The charge of RICO conspiracy typically provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  However, Lopez, Salvador, Vaquerano, Tercero, and Reyes face up to life in prison because their racketeering activity involved murder.

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MS-13 Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Gang Murders of Two Local Teenagers

MS-13 Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Gang Murders of Two Local Teenagers

An MS-13 member was sentenced to life in prison for using social media to lure and violently murder two teenage boys – one from Chelsea – in East Boston.

Edwin Gonzalez, a/k/a “Sangriento,” 23, a Salvadoran national, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to life in prison. In June 2018, after a multi-week trial, Gonzalez was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO or racketeering conspiracy. In addition, the jury found that Gonzalez’s racketeering activity on behalf of MS-13 included his participation in the Sept. 7, 2015, murder of a 15-year-old in East Boston and the Jan. 10, 2016, murder of a 16-year-old in East Boston.

MS-13 is organized into smaller groups known as “cliques” that operate throughout the United States. Gonzalez was a member of the Molinos Locos Salvatrucha clique of MS-13.

The investigation revealed that Gonzalez was the driving force behind, and key participant in, two separate murders in Massachusetts.

On Sept. 7, 2015, Gonzalez and three other MS-13 members lured a 15-year-old boy through social media to Constitution Beach in East Boston. Convinced that the victim was a gang rival, Gonzalez and others targeted him by pretending to be a girl on Facebook and lured the victim to the beach for a date. When the victim arrived at Constitution Beach, Gonzalez and three other MS-13 members took turns stabbing the victim repeatedly, leaving him bleeding to death on a public beach. The victim had approximately 33 sharp force injuries and multiple blunt force injuries.

The other three MS-13 members who committed the September 2015 murder with Gonzalez—Carlos Melara, a/k/a “Chuchito,” a/k/a “Criminal,” Henry Parada Martinez, a/k/a “Street Danger,” and Rene Mejia Flores a/k/a “Gasper,”—were also charged in connection with this investigation and pleaded guilty before trial. Melara was sentenced to 36 years in prison, while Parada Martinez and Mejia Flores are awaiting sentencing.

On Dec. 7, 2015, Gonzalez was promoted to “homeboy,” or full-member of the gang, to reward him for the murder he committed on behalf of MS-13. Melara and Mejia Flores were also promoted to “homeboys” for their role in the murder.

On January 10, 2016, Gonzalez and three other MS-13 members lured Christofer Perez de la Cruz, 16, of Chelsea, through social media to Falcon Street in East Boston. Again, convinced that the victim was a gang rival, Gonzalez and others targeted him by pretending to be a girl on Facebook. Gonzalez then went to pick up the victim, pretending to be a relative of the girl that the victim was supposed to meet for a date. When Gonzalez arrived with the victim in East Boston, the MS-13 members attacked the victim. Three of the MS-13 members, including Gonzalez, were armed with large knives and stabbed the victim repeatedly, while the fourth MS-13 member fired multiple gunshots into the victim. Gonzalez and the other MS-13 members then ran away, leaving the teenager bleeding to death on a public street. The victim had approximately 48 sharp force injuries, multiple gunshot wounds, and multiple blunt force injuries.

One of the murderers was captured on tape stating that the “the dude [victim] was left completely destroyed” and “Sangriento [Gonzalez] whacked the guy’s hands with a machete.”  The day after the murder, Gonzalez himself was captured on tape admitting to the murder and discussing further violence against potential rivals, stating, “we’re going to leave all of them chopped in pieces.”

The other three MS-13 members who committed the January 2016 murder with Gonzalez—Edwin Diaz, a/k/a “Demente,” Jairo Perez, a/k/a “Seco,” and Rigoberto Mejia, a/k/a “Ninja”—were also charged in connection with this investigation and pleaded guilty before trial.  Diaz and Perez were each sentenced to 35 years in prison, while Mejia received 27.5 years in prison.

Gonzalez was one of 49 defendants convicted as part of this investigation.  All nine defendants who went to trial were convicted and 40 others pleaded guilty. In all, 16 defendants, including Gonzalez, were found to have committed or knowingly participated in murders.

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MS-13 Leader Sentenced to Life for Two Murders, One in Chelsea

MS-13 Leader Sentenced to Life for Two Murders, One in Chelsea

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.

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Member of MS-13 Sentenced for Murder of 15-Year-Old in Eastie

Member of MS-13 Sentenced for Murder of 15-Year-Old in Eastie

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.

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MS-13 Leader Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy, Attempted Murder

MS-13 Leader Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy, Attempted Murder

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.

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Police Briefs 05-17-2018

Police Briefs 05-17-2018

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.

DRUG ARREST

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.

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Police Searching for Man Who Allegedly Slashed Waitress Monday

Police Searching for Man Who Allegedly Slashed Waitress Monday

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.

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Police Briefs 03-29-2018

Police Briefs 03-29-2018

PHONE FEUD

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.

MARCH MADNESS

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.

Police Log

Monday, 3/12

Jennifer Khudari, 31, 41 South Ave., Revere, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with revoked license and possessing Class B drug.

Thursday, 3/15

Leonides Bones, 60, 4 Fernboro St., Dorchester, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage.

Friday, 3/16

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.

Saturday, 3/17

Jose Coronado-Hercules, 21, 101 Park St., Chelsea, was arrested for receiving stolen motor vehicle.

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MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Murder Conspiracy

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Murder Conspiracy

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.

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MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Murder of 15-Year-Old Chelsea Boy

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to Murder of 15-Year-Old Chelsea Boy

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.

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