Police Briefs 06-13-2019

By Seth Daniel and Paul Koolloian


Missing Child Reunited with Parents

On June 4, Chelsea Police reunited a missing 10-year-old Chelsea girl with her parents on after the Kelly school student told officers she fell asleep on the MBTA bus she takes home from school. The juvenile told officers she ended up at the Maverick Square MBTA station where she became confused and proceeded onto another MBTA bus that she was unfamiliar with. At some point, she left the bus in the area of North Shore Road in Revere where she began to walk on the busy road. During this time, the parents responded to the police station to report their daughter missing. Officers used the young girl’s cell phone to “ping” her location in Revere. While Chelsea, Transit and Revere Police were searching the area the young girl was located by an MBTA bus driver who transported her to the Wonderland “T” Station in Revere. She was then reunited back with her parents at Chelsea Police Headquarters. Chelsea officers are working with the parents and the school in addressing future transportation options for the young girl who was unharmed in the incident.

Struggle Without a Shirt

On May 27, at 1:20 a.m., officers responded to the area 176 Clark Ave. for a report of a disturbance. The report to officers was that witnesses were reporting they saw a male who appeared drunk, with no t-shirt on, fighting with a female who was preventing him from getting into the home. Officers struggled with the male in attempting to calm him down. After a struggle to restrain him, he was placed into custody. The male was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation prior to being booked at CPD.

Eber Orantes, 33, of 176 Clark Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest.

Threated With Strange Weapon

On May 30, at 9:20 p.m., officers responded in the area of Normandy Road at Garfield Avenue for a report of a road rage incident involving a firearm. Officers were given the description of the vehicle in question. It was said to be a black Honda Accord operating on Normandy Road. CPD officers located the vehicle and found the subject to have a modified instrument that resembled a firearm. The victim in the other vehicle provided other information that led to the male being arrested.

Tanvir Zahir, 21, of Stoneham, was charged with violating the motor vehicle ordinance, violating the dangerous weapons ordinance, and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Swallowed Bag of Crack

On May 31, at 9:30 a.m., Officers observed a male party known to them from previous drug offenses walking with an unknown male on Chestnut Street near Fourth Street. The officers believed they then witnessed a drug transaction between the two. The subject admitted he swallowed a bag of “crack “ when he was approached by the officers. A search of his person uncovered more drugs and he was placed under arrest. The second male was identified and placed under arrest on the scene. The subject who ingested the narcotics was transported to CHA Everett for evaluation.

Argenis Felipe, 33, of East Boston, was charged with possession to distribute a Class B drug (crack), conspiracy, and distribution of a Class B drug.

Box Cutter

On May 31, at 11 a.m., officers were dispatched to the parking lot of 260 Clark Ave. for a fight in progress. Officers observed two tenants of the building in an argument. One tenant accused the second of threatening him with a box cutter. That item was retrieved and that male was taken into custody.

Jody Robinson, 59, of 260 Clark Ave., was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

Swerved at Pedestrian

On June 1, at 9:10 a.m., an off-duty CPD officer was traveling on Hawthorne Street towards Chester Avenue when he saw a male party crossing the street. The officer noticed a Toyota Corolla laying on his horn and then began to intentionally drive towards the male party that was crossing the road. The victim had to jump four to six feet to his rear to avoid being struck by the vehicle.

The officer believed the operator swerved in his direction deliberately trying to strike the victim, which could have resulted in serious injuries. CPD officers responded to assist and the male operator was placed in custody for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Eduardo Garcia, 35, of East Boston, was charged with failing to slow, reckless operation, and assault with a dangerous weapon (car).

MS-13 Member Sentenced for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

An MS-13 member was sentenced last week for being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Nery Rodriguez Diaz, 19, a Salvadoran national who resided in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Diaz will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence.

On May 22, 2018, Diaz and another MS-13 member, Elmer Alfaro Hercules, were arrested in possession of loaded firearms in Bremen Street Park in East Boston, a location where numerous MS-13 gang members have been observed and where gang-on-gang violence frequently occurs.

The investigation revealed that Diaz and Hercules each separately and unlawfully entered the United States in 2014 as unaccompanied minors. Both Diaz and Hercules were charged federally for being aliens in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Hercules previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Hercules will also be subject to deportation proceedings after the completion of his sentence.

Chelsea Gang Leader Sentenced to Over 15 years in Prison

A leader of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG) was sentenced last week in federal court in Boston on racketeering, drug trafficking and firearms trafficking charges.

Angel “Stackz” Mejia Zelaya, 24, of Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 188 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In January 2019, Mejia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.

Mejia was a leader in the ESMG, a violent, Chelsea-based street gang, which was responsible for various violent crimes, including multiple shootings, and drug distribution in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia, as well as other members and associates of the gang, were also actively involved in illegally selling firearms, including handguns and shotguns, in and around Chelsea.

Mejia participated in multiple, gang-related shootings.

On July 5, 2015, Mejia was involved in a shooting targeting a rival gang member on a public street in Chelsea, which did not result in the rival gang member being injured. On March 29, 2016, Mejia and his lieutenant, Josue “Superbad” Rodriguez, agreed to provide a .22 caliber revolver to a third ESMG member, Brandon “Big Baby” Baez, so that Baez could “spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ESMG. On April 3, 2016, in Revere, Baez used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed to be members/associates of a rival gang as they sat in a vehicle. Both men were wounded, but not killed. Baez called Mejia immediately after the shooting to inform Mejia that Baez had just shot two men. Mejia further admitted to supplying other ESMG gang members with firearms, including a juvenile who then accidently shot another person.

While Mejia was the leader of the ESMG, the gang dealt substantial quantities of drugs, including cocaine and cocaine base (crack), in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia was responsible for the distribution of at least a kilogram of cocaine base. Mejia and his gang subordinates stored drugs at and distributed drugs from a residence on Tudor Street in Chelsea and another residence in the Chelsea area. The gang kept handguns at both locations to protect their drug operations, as well as for other gang activities.

The prosecution of Mejia arose out of an investigation of various street gangs, including the 18th Street Gang, ESMG and the Boylston Street Gang, which were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. During the course of the investigation, more than 70 firearms were seized.

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Congratulations, Brian Sullivan

We have been remiss for not having offered our congratulations to Chelsea native Brian Sullivan upon his recent appointment by Gov. Charlie Baker, and subsequent confirmation by the Governor’s Council, to the position of Clerk-Magistrate of the Lynn District Court.

Brian’s ascension to the clerk-magistrate’s position culminates a long career in the court system that began as a Probation Officer in the Chelsea District Court in 1986. He became an assistant clerk-magistrate in that court and then the Salem District Court before being named the Acting Clerk Magistrate of the Cambridge District Court prior to his appointment to the Lynn District Court.

Brian is a Chelsea guy through-and-through. His dad, the late Vincent Sullivan, who was the long-time Assistant Commandant of the Chelsea Soldiers Home, and his mom, Eleanor, raised their four children in the Mill Hill section of the city, where they were one of the most-respected families in Chelsea.

Brian attended St. Rose grammar school before going on to Malden Catholic and Northeastern University. He was a member of the Chelsea Knights of Columbus and was well-known as a member of the K of C’s softball team in the heyday of the Chelsea Modified Fast Pitch Softball League when that league drew huge crowds to Highland Park in the early 1980s.

Brian married the former Paula Hansbury, who also is a Chelsea native and well-known Chelsea High grad, and they have raised their family in Swampscott.

If we were writing this column in another era, it might have been titled, “Local boy makes good.” We know we speak for all of those who have been friends and acquaintances of Brian Sullivan and his family through the years in offering our congratulations to Brian upon his appointment and in wishing him continued success in his outstanding career in the Massachusetts judicial system.

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Rollins Speaks at Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

Suffolk County District Attorney announces community meeting in Chelsea on June 19

Rachael Rollins, the dynamic district attorney who became the first female elected to the esteemed Suffolk County position last November, was the guest speaker at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Wednesday at the Holiday Inn/Boston Logan Airport Chelsea.

Rollins proved to be as dynamic a speaker as she is a public official.

“The people that are most impacted negatively by the criminal justice system – it has nothing to do with race and almost everything to do with poverty,” Rollins told the luncheon audience. “If you can’t afford somebody who can navigate fluently through the criminal justice system – you are at a significant disadvantage.

“I don’t care what hue your skin is – if you have no money, the system does not work well for you, period, end of story,” said Rollins.

In well-received remarks, Rollins spoke about the DA’s mission as the chief law enforcement office of Suffolk County. She addressed serious issues such as the opioid crisis. She talked about the marijuana industry and law enforcement’s efforts in the field since recreational marijuana became legal in the state.

Chamber President Joseph Mahoney noted Rollins’ achievements as a Division 1 college athlete at UMass/Amherst. While at UMass, she challenged school leaders to increase the number of athletic scholarships given to female students.

Rollins also used the forum to make a major announcement: she will hold a community meeting on June 19 at 6 p.m. at the Chelsea Senior Center.

It is the second such quarterly meeting in the county following the inaugural session in Roxbury. It will be in the style of a state of the union/state of the city, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson and Chelsea Police Community Engagement Specialist Dan Cortez praised Rollins’ initiative to host a community meeting in the city.

“A community meeting on a regular basis is a great idea,” said Robinson, an early supporter of Rollins in her campaign for office. “It follows through on her pledge to be accessible and accountable to our residents. I expect to see a tremendous turnout of people welcoming her to Chelsea on June 19 and learning about the important role the DA’s Office has in our lives.”

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes was a guest at the luncheon while Roca Assistant Director Jason Owens, who provided an overview of Roca’s efforts during brief remarks, led a delegation from the agency.

Rollins called on Kyes to elaborate on the challenges facing police officers in regard to the new marijuana laws.

“We have individuals in the state, police officers in the state who are known as drug recognition experts (DREs),” said Kyes. “There are only about 200 DREs out of 17,000 police officers, including the State Police. At the end of the day, when an officer sees somebody and they’re unsteady on their feet, bloodshot eyes – they could potentially get probable cause to make an arrest, but then without that DRE to do an added evaluation, when it goes to court, these individuals aren’t getting convicted.

“Right now, some judges will allow the testimony pf a DRE and some will not,” concluded Kyes.

Rollins’ remarks were videotaped by Chelsea Community Cable Television. Executive Director Robert Bradley said the luncheon will begin airing on the cable television station.

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Police Briefs 04-25-2019

CAUGHT AT THE BAR

On April 8, at 9:10 p.m., Chelsea Officers were flagged down near Bellingham Square by a victim of an unarmed robbery. The victim states he was on his phone when a male came from behind and stole the phone and ran off. One officer reviewed the City video system that captured the incident. From that video, the officer was able to track the suspect entering two local bars. The officer proceeded to the second bar, Los Amigos, and observed the suspect that matched the description; the stolen phone was retrieved from his pocket. He was arrested on the scene.

Oscar Hernandez, 37, of 90 Grove St., was charged with unarmed robbery.

DRINKING AT THE GYM

On April 10, at 6:16 p.m., CPD officers responded to the Dollar Tree located at 1090 Revere Beach Parkway on the report of an intoxicated individual located inside the store. The officers had received several complaints from businesses in the area for the same male drinking. The officers observed the male inside the Planet Fitness and placed him under arrest. He had an open bottle of Vodka. During the booking process, the officers found a stolen phone from the CHA in Everett on his person. He was additionally charged with receiving stolen property.

Ramon Pagan, 57, of 126 Maverick St., was charged with receiving stolen property under $1,200 and trespassing.

NO REEFER IN THE HOUSE, PLEASE

On April 11, at 1:44 a.m., officers responded to 95 Orange St. for a report of malicious destruction of property. While en route the officers were advised that the reporting party informed them that a male party broke her screen door and fled the area. The officers spoke to the victim who stated that she knows the suspect and lets him in her home but as a rule will not allow any smoking of marijuana. She says she returned home to the house full of the smell of someone smoking marijuana. She said they argued when she asked him to leave, and he damaged the property. He was located and placed under arrest.

Justin McKelver, 28, of 95 Orange St., was charged with malicious destruction of property under $1,200.

TICKET TANTRUM

On April 13, at 11:16 p.m., officers responded to the area of 474 Broadway to assist an officer. That officer came upon a male who was just issued a parking ticket that became disorderly. The Somerville man was placed under arrest. Christian Garcia, 26, of Somerville, was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and common law violation.

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A Lot of Noise but Little Action on Planes at Council

A Lot of Noise but Little Action on Planes at Council

For as long as jets have rumbled over Chelsea as they land at and depart from Logan Airport, City officials have struggled with getting state and federal officials to help mitigate the noise from that air traffic.

Monday night, District 6 City Councillor Giovanni Recupero introduced an order asking City Manager Tom Ambrosino to look at renegotiating a deal with Massport to bring back the window and soundproofing program to the city.

“People deserve a little more consideration than they have been given,” said Recupero.

The Councillor said he would like to see Massport provide soundproof windows for residents suffering excessive noise from plane traffic, as it has done in the past.

“I’d like to get them back to the table and figure out a way to help with the problem,” Recupero said.

Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda said he appreciated Recupero’s efforts to get Massport back to the table to discuss sound mitigation, but that he didn’t have high hopes that it would be successful.

“Whenever the City Manager has approached Massport, the answer has been that it is a nonstarter; they have done their program,” said Avellaneda.

Avellaneda said he has been working with City Manager Tom Ambrosino to find a company to undertake an independent sound study of noise from the airport. But, he said it has been very difficult to find a company qualified to do that study.

If a company is found that can perform an independent sound study, Avellaneda said he hopes it has the support of his fellow councillors.

On the positive side, Avellaneda said he attended a recent Massport meeting with airport communities in which officials stated that a new Massport sound study is underway. He said this study will take into account items that a study released in 2017 did not take into account, such as the impact of hills on sound and the resonating sound of airplanes.

The 2017 study was conducted by the Center for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life Course (CRESSH), which is a division of the BU School of Public Health.

That report showed that flights over Chelsea have nearly doubled between 2011 and 2015, and that certain health effects associated with airplane noise are very high in Chelsea.

But getting Massport to kick in for additional noise mitigation efforts has been an uphill battle.

“Confronted with the increase in air traffic, their response has been, ‘But our planes are quieter,’” said Avellaneda.

The Councillor has been pushing for the independent noise study since at least the time the 2017 airport noise study was unveiled.

“We (can) do a real noise study with proper equipment and prepare to say we have proof that our community is impacted and possibly prepare to embark on a lawsuit against MassPort and the FAA,” he said at the time.

•In other business, the Council unanimously approved sending a home rule petition to the state legislature that will allow for the construction of the new Innes Housing Development.

•Recupero introduced an order asking the City Manager look into hiring another animal control officer for the purpose of issuing fines to people that don’t clean up after their dogs.

•Councillor-At-Large Leo Robinson introduced orders asking the City Manager for updates on the City’s master plan and the status of the Salvation Army building on Broadway. The Council approved taking the building by eminent domain in 2017.

•District 1 Councillor Robert Bishop was absent from Monday night’s meeting, but with good reason. He was celebrating his 35th anniversary with his wife. Happy anniversary to the Bishops.

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Police Briefs 02-28-2019

Police Briefs 02-28-2019

By Seth Daniel & Paul Koolloian

Blocking the Way

On Feb. 11, at 10:05 a.m., an officer on foot patrol in Bellingham Square observed a group blocking the foot traffic in front of 427 Broadway – forcing a family with a small child to walk onto the street. One male became agitated at the officer’s request to move and became load and disorderly while refusing to move. The officer with the assistance of other officers placed the male into custody after a brief struggle.

Michael Catino, 35, of East Boston, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Crack Cocaine Bust

On Feb. 12 the Chelsea Police executed a search warrant at 90 Chestnut St. #3. The search warrant was the result of an investigation into a male subject for the distribution of crack cocaine from that address. During the course of the investigation, the CPD purchased narcotics from the address. The male subject was placed into custody.

John Venete, 33, of 90 Chestnut St., was charged with possession to distribute cocaine.

Squattin’ in the Cellar

On Feb. 15, officers were dispatched to 26-28 Spencer Ave. for the report of two unwanted individuals. The officers spoke to the landlord who led them to the basement of the property. Officer’s located two males in the basement. Next to the men was a handful of needles and drug paraphilia. One male was found to have illegal pills on his person. Both were arrested.

Jeff Bosquet, 36, of Everett; and Stephen Morgan, 30, of 55 Heard St., were both charged with trespassing and possession of a Class C drug.

Broke into Van

On Feb. 16, at 2:45 a.m., officers were on patrol in the area of the Bellingham Street Bridge by the Silver Line Overpass when they observed a motor vehicle in the middle of the road with its lights off, parked next to a van. As the officers approached the vehicle, two males and a female known to the officers exited the vehicle. The car had a broken rear window. The officers made contact with the owner who responded and told officers the window had no damage when he parked the car earlier. The victim also told officers that tools were also missing from the car. All three were placed under arrest.

Jeff Bosquet, 36, of Everett; David Kerns, 43, of Revere; and Jaclyn Doucette, 29, of Revere; were all charged with breaking and entering in the night for a felony and larceny/receiving stolen property under $1,200.

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Police Briefs 02-14-2019

Police Briefs 02-14-2019

SHOTS FIRED MONDAY

On Feb. 11, at 9:01 p.m., officers responded to the era of 111 Bellingham St. for a report of shots fired. Sources indicated that seven shots were registered on the ShotSpotter system. There were no reported injuries, but detectives collected ballistic evidence in the area. Police are continuing to collect video in the area to attempt to identify those involved.

STABBING ON SHURTLEFF STREET

On Feb. 7, at 2:32 p.m., a 17-year-old male was stabbed once in his arm on Shurtleff Street at the corner of Bellingham Street. The injury was non-life threatening, and the injured victim was released from the hospital later that day. CPD detectives investigated the incident and secured an arrest warrant for an individual believed to be responsible for the attack. During the event, the Williams School was placed in a soft lockdown. That order was lifted a short time later. The search for the individual is on-going.

ARMED ROBBERY

On Feb. 4, at 12:08 a.m., officers were dispatched to an armed robbery at 200 Congress Ave. The victim was delivering Chinese food for a local restaurant. While parked at the drop off address a male approached the victim and pointed a firearm at her and stole her money. Officers searched the area and observed subjects that matched the description. They placed a male under arrest who had on his person a pellet gun.

Jainie Lopez, 21, of 139 Marlborough St.; and Mauricio Lainez, 21, of 234 Central Ave., were both charged with armed robbery.

POLICE RETURN CUSTODIAL KIDNAPPING VICTIM

On Feb. 5, at 8:30 a.m., Chelsea officers along with the US Marshall service executed an arrest warrant at 49 Orange St. The subject of the order was placed in custody without incident. The Warrant was a full extradition warrant that was issued Dec. 4, 2018 from North Little Rock District Court in Arkansas. The incident involved a parental kidnapping that originated in that state, and was concluded in Chelsea.

Latricia Rucker, 34, of 49 Orange St., was charged as being a fugitive from justice.

DRIVING DRUNK ON ESSEX

On Feb. 8, at 10:55 p.m., a CPD officer was dispatched to Essex Street at Hawthorne Street for a report of a white pickup truck that struck a parked motor vehicle. The operator of the white pickup was reportedly still behind the wheel of the vehicle. Officers responded to the scene and removed the driver from the car. Based on a conversation with the operator and after administering a roadside assessment, the officers formed the opinion the driver was operating under the influence of alcohol. He was placed into custody on the scene.

German Quinonez-Cal, 38, of 70 Hawthorne St., was charged with operating under the influence of liquor.

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Police Briefs 01-31-2019

Police Briefs 01-31-2019

MIDDLE SCHOOLER ARRESTED FOR KNIFE ATTACK

On January 14, officers responded to a matter being investigated by the School Resource Officers alleging an assault by means of a dangerous weapon, a knife. Officers spoke to a juvenile male who reported being assaulted by another juvenile male while heading home from the Browne Middle School. As the result of this investigation, an identification was made of a 14-year-old juvenile male suspect that was taken into custody a short time later. No injuries reported, and no weapon was recovered. Officers are continuing to work with the schools for ongoing safety concerns.

A 14-year-old juvenile was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (knife) and assault and battery.

SCREAMING AT BUSES

On Jan. 15, around 11:33 p.m., officers were called to assist an MBTA bus driver for unruly female shouting at passing cars. Officers arrived and encountered said female shouting obscenities at officers. Despite efforts to calm her down, she continued her tirade and was placed into custody for disorderly person without further incident.

Krysten Kulch, 32, of 58 Garfield Ave., was charged with disorderly conduct.

HEROIN DEALER FROM GARFIELD AVE BUSTED

On Thursday, Jan. 17, detectives were conducting an ongoing drug investigation in the Prattville area after complaints were received. Detectives arranged to contact a potential source of narcotics and subsequently arranged a purchase to be made. After the suspect agreed to meet the officers to sell narcotics at a prearranged spot, the officers observed him to arrive. He met the undercover officer to exchange an amount of US currency for what appeared to be Heroin. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

Jose Gonzalez, 48, 105 Garfield Ave., was charged with distribution of a Class A drug (heroin) and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

DRUG DEAL WITNESSED

Officers received a call from dispatch regarding a drug transaction that was witnessed by a civilian in Bellingham Square. Based on the phone call and independent observations corroborating this tip, Officers encountered two individuals at the McDonalds in Bellingham Square. Officers then conducted an independent investigation and developed probable cause to arrest one subject for the Distribution of a Class C Substance as well as an outstanding warrant from the Roxbury District Court. The second subject was identified and criminal charges are being sought for the Possession of Class C. William Falasca, 34, of Medford, was charged with distribution of a Class C drug and one warrant.

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Chelsea Community Honors Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At Annual Celebration: Robinson-Griggs Delivers the Keynote Address

Chelsea Community Honors Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. At Annual Celebration: Robinson-Griggs Delivers the Keynote Address

Keynote speaker Lucia Robinson-Griggs receives a standing ovation for her speech from the audience, including her parents, Linda Alioto-Robinson and Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson, and City Manager Tom Ambrosino.

The People’s A.M.E. Church, led by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Whitley, and the Chelsea community honored the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the annual breakfast and awards ceremony Jan. 21 at Chelsea High School.

The Rev. Whitley and the Planning Committee put together another impressive tribute to the late Dr. King, the civil rights leader who dedicated his life to promoting unity and delivered one of American history’s greatest speeches, “I Have A Dream,” on Aug. 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino, State Rep. Dan Ryan, Council President Damali Vidot, Councillors Leo Robinson, Joseph Perlatonda, and Enio Lopez, School Committee Chair Richard Maronski and member Yessenia Alfaro, CBC President Joan Cromwell, Latimer Society Co-Director Ronald Robinson, and Roca Executive Director Molly Baldwin led a slate of dignitaries in attendance at the tribute that featured, singing, dancing, awards, and inspirational speeches.

The Chelsea Hub, a network led by the Chelsea Police Department and comprised of 27 different agencies, received the prestigious Spirit Award in recognition of its ongoing efforts to help people facing difficult challenges. Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, Capt. David Batchelor, Officer Sammy Mojica, Community Engagement Specialist Dan Cortez, and Roca Assistant Director Jason Owens were among the award recipients.

The highlight of the program arrived when Lucia Robinson-Griggs stepped to the podium and delivered the keynote address.

Robinson-Griggs, who holds degrees from Bentley and Lesley and is a former high school and college scholar-athlete, rose to the occasion with a heartfelt and eloquent address to the people of Chelsea.

“I’d just like to start by saying thank you so much for inviting me to be here today to celebrate Chelsea while honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Robinson-Griggs, adding that she was honored to be the keynote speaker after receiving the Young Adult Dreamers and Achievers Award in 2018.

She noted the “I Have A Dream” and “We are all created equal” theme of the program, stating, ‘it’s incredible how relevant [Dr. King’s famous speech in 1963] still is here in 2019.”

She encouraged members of the audience to carry on Dr. King’s legacy “even when it isn’t easy to do so.” She said everyone should work for a better Chelsea in the years to come.

“So my words today are going to be a charge for the people in this auditorium to reach beyond this room and change the perspective,” said Griggs-Robinson.

She singled out the Chelsea High student choir (who performed at Gov. Baker’s inauguration), the Latimer Society (in encouraging careers in STEM), and the award recipients, The Chelsea Hub and others, as being positive influences in the city.

Briggs-Robinson cited her personal experiences as an associate head coach of the MIT women’s basketball team, relating how the coaching staff encourages its players to be “a part of the solution and be a builder, to find the good somewhere and work to help build up someone else.”

She said that people should be positive in their actions and in their interactions with others, that even a small act of kindness or an inspiring phrase or a compliment can have a profound effect on starting to change another person’s life.

“Kindness catches on,” said Robinson-Briggs. Strive to be someone’s builder every day. Be their bright spot and give hope that we can be the generation to make Dr. King’s dream a reality.”

Robinson-Briggs received a warm, standing ovation as she returned to her seat beside her parents, Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson and Linda Alioto-Robinson, and City Manager Tom Ambrosino in the front row of the auditorium.

The Rev. Whitley concluded the impressive program by having all audience members join hands and sing “We Shall Overcome.”

And in an unsung but important gift to the community, CCCTV Executive Director Robert Bradley and Technical Director Ricky Velez videotaped the entire two-hour program and tribute to Dr. King, including Robinson-Griggs’ remarks, for broadcast on the local television station.

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Police Briefs 01-17-2019

Police Briefs 01-17-2019

ARMED ROBBERY OF CAR

On Dec. 31, at 10 p.m., officers were dispatched to 144 Bloomingdale St. for a report of a past armed robbery. Upon arrival, Officers spoke to the victim who stated while driving his car he was cut off by a vehicle on Bloomingdale St. He told officers that the two males exited the sedan and approached him saying that he had just struck their car.

The passengers of the suspect’s car then proceeded to rob him of his wallet and its contents. A short time later, the officers received information on the whereabouts of the suspect vehicle and stopped it. The victim was able to identify the two males in the car as the persons that robbed him. Both were taken into custody.

Rigoberto Ruiz-Cadiz, 22, of 146 Bloomingdale St.; and Efrain Alicea, 22, of 64 Addison St., were both charged with armed robbery.

NEW YEAR’S (WINDOW) BASH

On Jan. 1, at 11:30 a.m., CPD officers responded to 140 Shawmut St. for a report of an intoxicated male party that had destroyed a window to a residence. Upon arrival, a witness pointed out the male individual who caused the damage. He was placed under arrest for malicious destruction of property.

Ernesto Bonilla, 18, of East Boston, was charged with malicious destruction of property under $1,200.

TRIED TO USE A STOLEN CREDIT CARD

On Jan. 3, at 6:50 p.m., CPD officers responded to the Homewood Suites Inn for a report of a male party attempting to use a stolen credit card. At the hotel, the officers spoke with a hotel employee, who stated that the suspect just fled the hotel after he tried to pay for a room with a stolen credit card. A short time later, the same male was attempting to secure a room at the Residence Inn with another stolen credit card. He was placed under arrest.

Andy Joseph, 34, of 1 Webster Ave., was charged with unlicensed operation, possession of an open container in a motor vehicle, larceny of a credit card, and two counts of uttering/forging a credit card.

PUBLIC DRINKING

On Jan. 5, at 10:55 a.m., a CPD officer on foot was patrolling Luther Place. The officer observed a male party in the area behind 466 Broadway drinking out of a bottle of liquor. The male was placed under arrest drinking in public.

Jose Martinez, 56, of East Boston, was charged with violating the public drinking ordinance.

DA ROLLINS CHOOSES CHIEF OF STAFF

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced last week that Jennifer Grace Miller will be her Chief of Staff, citing Miller’s broad experience in senior government positions, including stints at two statewide law enforcement agencies.

Miller’s first day will be Feb. 1, 2019.

Miller has most recently served as Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate, where she was the chief legal counsel to 40 senators and approximately 200 staff members. Prior to joining the Senate, Miller was Chief of the Government Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. As Chief, Miller supervised roughly 100 lawyers and staff in three divisions. She previously served as the Bureau’s Deputy Chief and as an assistant attorney general in the Administrative Law Division, focusing primarily on civil appellate work. Among other high-profile litigation, Miller argued the Massachusetts buffer zone case,McCullen v. Coakley, at the United States Supreme Court.

Miller began her public service career as Senior Staff Counsel at the Supreme Judicial Court. She then served as Assistant Solicitor General in the New York Attorney General’s office.

“Jennifer Grace Miller is a smart, dedicated public servant with deep experience managing complex government institutions and sophisticated litigation,” District Attorney Rollins said. “She has worked in all three branches of government and will bring a trusted set of skills and perspective to the District Attorney’s office.”

She also serves as a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.

Police Log

Monday, 12/31

Dilcia Menjivar, 31, 39 Lawton Ave., Lynn, was arrested for intimidation.

Rigoberto Ruiz-Cadiz, 22, 146 Bloomingdale St., Chelsea, was arrested for armed robbery.

Efrain Alicea, 22, 64 Addison St., Chelsea, was arrested for armed robbery.

Tuesday, 1/1

Ernesto Bonilla, 18, 155 Lexington St., East Boston, was arrested for malicious destruction of property.

Julio Portillo, 52, Pine Street Inn, Boston, was arrested for resisting arrest and on a warrant.

Wednesday, 1/2

Yancarlos Mejia-Gonzalez, 31, 72 Upham St., Malden, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended license, failing to stop for police, red light violation and immigration detainer.

Darnell Booth, 37, 560 Beach St., Revere, was arrested for probation warrant.

Carlos Ramos, 51, 27 Watts St., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed.

Thursday, 1 /3

John Lewis, 34, 292 Salem St., Revere, was arrested on a warrant.

Andy Joseph, 34, 1 Webster Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed, possessing open container of alcohol in motor vehicle, larceny of credit card, utter forged credit card (2 counts).

Saturday, 1/5

Jose Martinez, 56, 264 Bennington St., East Boston, was arrested for ordinance violation of alcoholic beverage, marijuana/THC.

Faisal Yerow, 23, 120 Central Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for probation warrant.

Sunday, 1/6 Quincy Parker, 42, 90 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.

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