On Oct. 10, at 12:10 a.m., a CPD officer responded to 99 Maverick for a report of a male party “passed out behind a wheel of a blue mini-van.” Upon arrival, the officer observed a blue mini-van with its front right tire up on the sidewalk, and the suspect sleeping in the driver’s seat. The officer found the vehicle running. The subject was arrested for OUI after failing a sobriety test.
Ivan Ramirez, 38, of Somerville, was charged with OUI Liquor.
ACTING UP IN CLASS
On Oct. 12, at 4:42 p.m., a Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) Police Officer, while posted inside the building, heard multiple people yelling and screaming for the police. The officer entered room 401 where he observed many students and the professor fleeing the room. Chelsea police responded to assist and arrested a female student who was throwing chairs and hitting people. A second male individual was ordered trespassed off of BHCC properties.
Kayla Nicholson, 21, of Boston, was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and malicious destruction of property under $1,200.
On Oct. 12, at 10:15 p.m., officers were dispatched to 10 Forsyth St. for a report of a past breaking and entering. CPD officers had responded two other times that day for reports of B&E’s. A victim was able to identify the suspect as the buildings maintenance worker. CPD detectives assisted in placing the subject under arrest.
Ediberto Aviles, 38, of 10 Forsyth St., was charged with breaking and entering in the day for a felony, and larceny from a building.
18TH STREET GANG MEMBER, ILLEGALLY HERE, SENTENCED
A Salvadoran national was sentenced this month at federal court in Boston for being an alien in possession of a firearm.
Roberto Portillo, aka “Mysterio,” 24, a Salvadoran national previously residing in Chelsea, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to one year and one day in prison. Portillo will face deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In June 2018, Portillo pleaded guilty to one count of being an alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The case arose from an investigation into the criminal activities of 18th Street gang members. According to court documents, Portillo is a member of 18th Street, a violent gang that has engaged in a long-running feud with MS-13. On Jan. 13, 2018, law enforcement officers were investigating drug dealing in East Somerville when they saw three people inside a gray Honda Accord purchase drugs. After confirming the drug sale, law enforcement stopped the car and frisked the front passenger, later identified as Portillo, and found a silver semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number loaded with five rounds of .25 caliber CBC ammunition in his pocket. A subsequent review of immigration databases revealed that Portillo had not legally entered the country, making him an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.
On Oct. 13, at 5:12 p.m., a CPD officer, while on patrol in the area of 60 Suffolk St., received notification that a particular was stolen. The officer observed the vehicle a short time later and arrested the individual inside the car.
Jorge Beltran, 19, of 39 Shawmut St., was charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle.
CHARLESTOWN MAN DEALING IN CHELSEA
A Charlestown man was arrested Oct. 5 for distributing fentanyl out of an apartment in Chelsea.
Cruz Villar, 31, was charged with one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl – aiding and abetting; and one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl – aiding and abetting.
The first charge provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million. The second charge provides for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian A. Pérez‑Daple of Lelling’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.
It’s the case of the cases of Corona going in and out of Rincon Latino Restaurant.
Following a histrionic licensing commission hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 25 that saw the lawyer for the restaurant’s owners compare the proceedings to those in Russia and referred to the hearing to “a lynching,” the commission continued the hearing until its next meeting next month.
As the last hearing on a busy commission agenda, everything started calmly enough, as the commission heard a police report from officer Augustus Cassuci detailing two incidents he witnessed just outside the Washington Avenue Restaurant on June 22 and 23.
The officer stated that on Friday, June 22, he was passing by 373 Washington Avenue when he saw about 10 people crossing the street, with one carrying a case of Corona beer. The next day, Cassuci said he saw a customer carrying a case of Corona into the restaurant.
Where the hearing raised the ire of attorney John Dodge, who was representing the restaurant, was when Cassuci raised a number of issues at Rincon Latino Restaurant that were not included in the two-paragraph police report.
“On several occasions, there have appeared to be intoxicated patrons in front of the laundromat next door blocking the sidewalk,” said the officer. “Male parties have also been seen urinating on the sidewalk.”
Additionally, police Captain Keith Houghton said the restaurant often appears to surpass its occupancy limit of 17 customers and the curtains of the establishment have been closed, in violation of the law.
Police officials also showed the commission a photo taken from the restaurant’s security camera that they said showed the establishment as being over capacity.
“How am I supposed to represent (the restaurant) when all I have is a two-paragraph police report?” asked Dodge, who asked that the hearing be continued to the commission’s next meeting since evidence was introduced that he had not previously seen.
Dodge said the allegations leveled by the police had nothing to do with the original report of customers taking out or bringing in cases of beer.
“I don’t know what evidence is being presented,” he said. “We were not provided with any photos or any video, and Officer Cassuci is now testifying to public intoxication, urinating on the sidewalks, and closed curtains.”
Licensing Commission Chairman James Guido said a public hearing does not follow the same process as a court hearing and that the information being provided during the hearing was due process.
“Maybe due process in Russia, in America we are given the evidence before a hearing,” said Dodge.
Commission member Roseann Bongiovanni asked for calm, and suggested the commission continue the hearing for one month. The commission approved the continuance, as well as a request that the restaurant provide video of peak hours during the past several weekends to help determine if there has been overcrowding or other issues at the restaurant.
One bad apple hasn’t spoiled a whole bunch at the Chelsea Walk, where a man was arrested last week for defacing the newly painted mural on the reclaimed Walk.
On Aug. 20, at 2:52 p.m., a CPD officer was flagged down in the area of Luther Place by a male party who stated someone destroyed their property and defaced City property.
The reporting party was a painter hired by the City to paint a mural on the Chelsea Walk. The Walk has been a no-go area for decades, and community members and GreenRoots have staked a claim to the Walk this summer in an effort to make it more inviting.
That has included painting a mural and hosting events there, and some people who have frequented the Walk for nefarious reasons haven’t appreciated the effort.
The officer reviewed a city camera in the area and was able to identify the male subject who committed the vandalism.
The male was located and placed under arrest.
Winston Brown, 51, of 4 Washington Ave., was charged with vandalizing property.
Officer Joe Cordes offered closing remarks at the end of the ceremony while cadets stood in formation behind him at the first annual Chelsea Police Youth Academy graduation. Cadets spent seven weeks in an intense program learning about police operations, going through tough workouts and taking interesting field trips. The graduation took place in the auditorium of Chelsea High.
In 2015 a viral video of South Carolina school resource officer (SRO) Ben Fields’ slamming a student across the classroom caused a public outrage. During the same year in Lynn, an SRO arrested a student with special needs.
“While the [school resource officer] was a support person for the student, the district should realize that involving an SRO in non-criminal matters comes with an added risk to the student because the SRO’s primary responsibility is law enforcement,” the Office of Civil Rights wrote on July 30 regarding the Lynn incident.
All these instances have begged the same question from the public: Will these officers provide protection, or will they threaten student safety?
Viral videos of rare but vicious incidents may cause horrors, but SROs have had plenty of heroics. In May, Illinois SRO Mark Dallas received much praise for chasing and pursuing a gunman out of a high school.
“Because of his heroic actions, countless lives were saved,” Dixon Police Chief Steven Howell told the New York Times in May. “We are forever indebted to him for his service and his bravery.”
Majority of the SROs’ works are not the dramatic highs and lows that the public sees; it’s the small details that are often overseen: preparing the students for real situations by doing drills, ensuring that safety systems are ready, or even their even their presence in itself.
Still, with viral stories often being the one that impacts social view of the SROs, the public relationship could use some work. The recently reported Revere Police Youth Academy may benefit this relationship.
“The foundation of the program is making good decisions and developing positive relationships between youth and law enforcement,” Capt. Amy O’Hara told the Journal.
As the new school year approaches, safety will remain as one of the top concerns for parents and schools alike. There will be few like the school resource officer who will help get that done.
As a drill instructor punished young Chelsea men with squats, knee bends, jump tucks and a variety of sit up exercises – the young people didn’t give up, but rather seemed to beg for more.
It’s been a pattern that’s repeated itself daily for the last seven weeks as the first-ever Chelsea Youth Police Academy unfolded this summer with 18 young people sticking out what is an off-shoot of the summer youth employment initiative. More than 20 applied for the academy through the Chelsea Collaborative, and officers selected 20 recruits. Two left the program, but 18 have stuck it out.
For the past seven weeks, Officers Keith Sweeney, Dave Batchelor Jr., Joe Cordes and Sammy Mojica have ushered the 18 Chelsea young people through hard physical training, and a classroom regimen of police training – as well as a few field trips.
Every Thursday morning, the Carter Park Crossfit Gym – owned by Firefighters Wayne Ulwick and Blady Sanchez – have donated their space for a morning workout with their instructor Jorge Monzor.
“We start every day off with physical training and Carter Park did donate one day a week to us, which has been great,” said Officer Keith Sweeney. “This is the first year and the overall goal is to build relationships with the youth in Chelsea. All three of us are assigned to community services and are stationed in the Chelsea Schools, so we know a lot of the kids already. We have a lot of good programs, but this is by far the best one.”
Said Batchelor, “We’ve had other kids come up to us after hearing about what we’re doing, and they want to know if the program is open and if they can join.”
Officer Cordes said it’s a program that promotes structure, and he said often young people in Chelsea crave that structure. That’s why, he believes, they have flocked to a program that challenges them physically and teaches military drills and police tactics.
“I think a lot of young people lack structure and when I went to the military, I didn’t think I wanted structure, but I miss it now,” he said. “High school kids want structure and love the camaraderie and brotherhood that has come with this academy.”
All said that Chief Brian Kyes and City Manager Tom Ambrosino are fully behind the program, and are promoting it wherever they go.
Sweeney said he is happy to see that a partnership with Carter Park grew out of the Academy and he hopes that will continue in the school year.
“When these guys opened, they called us and wanted to get high school kids in here,” he said. “When we started the Academy, we thought it was a perfect opportunity. I’m happy for these kids. I grew up in Chelsea and there was nothing like this for us when we were growing up.”
Co-owner Wayne Ulwick said the mission of the gym is to give back to the community as much as it is to operate as a business.
“Before we even opened up, that was the goal was to get these kids here,” he said. “We do this because it’s close to our hearts and not for the money.”
In addition, Sweeney said the recruits have had to learn to be on time, bring their lunch, have two uniforms ready and do their homework for the class portion.
“They never missed a beat,” he said with a smile.
FRONT 6577 –
Instructor Jorge Monzor gives orders to the Chelsea Youth Police Academy recruits last Thursday, Aug. 9, at the Carter Park Crossfit. The first-ever youth academy has found great success over seven weeks this summer, with 18 recruits sticking it out for a tough summer of physical training and police-based instruction. By all accounts, the young people have thoroughly enjoyed it – as have the officers.
Academy recruit Oliver Romero sweats it out on Thursday.
Push-ups have become second nature to Academy recruits like Robert Rossetti, shown here last Thursday during a rigorous training session at Carter Park Crossfit. The Crossfit donated the gym one morning per week for seven weeks to the Academy.
Frankie Suarez shows the strain as he does endless amounts of squat thrusts.
Tuesday night, July 24, at 10:22 p.m., a detail officer was approached by a male victim with lacerations to his face. The victim stated that he got into a fight with a male he knew and was repeatedly kicked and hit near City Hall. The victim was transported to CHA Everett for his injuries. The male suspect was arrested.
Melvin Maldonado, 32, of Boston, was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a Class A drug (heroin).
BROKE INTO A CAR
On July 17, at 2:45 p.m., officers observed a motor vehicle with its passenger side door opened in a private lot located between Fourth and Hawthorne Streets.
After further investigation, officers located three males and one female party inside the motor vehicle, which had two broken windows on the passenger side. The car was not owned by any of the parties located inside. Three of the four were arrested on scene, and the fourth individual was transported to the hospital and was summoned into Chelsea District Court.
Jose Burgos Murillo, 60, homeless of Chelsea; Michael Herlihy, 27, of Boston; and Jamielynn Gemellaro, 36, of Reading; were all charged with breaking and entering in the day for a felony and trespassing.
STOLE PHONE AT PHONE STORE
On July 18, at 8:30 p.m., police responded to T-Mobile on a report of a stolen cell phone. The victim stated he put his phone on the counter and when he was looking away, an unknown male took his cellphone. Officers reviewed video and located suspect a short distance away and placed him under arrest.
Salvadore Pineda, 30, homeless, was charged with larceny from a building.
FAKE CAB THREATENS HACKEY
On July 20, at 3:35 p.m., a Chelsea Police traffic officer, was approached by a licensed taxi driver about being threatened in front of the Market Basket as the driver was picking up a fare. The officer placed the male under arrest for threats and running an illegal taxi operation after he confronted the taxi driver over the fare.
Ulysses Grullon, 39, of East Boston, was charged with unlicensed taxi business, threatening to commit a crime, and unlicensed operation of a taxi cab.
Monday, July 16
Adele McCabe, 33, 20 Walnut St., Saugus, was arrested on a warrant.
Tuesday, July 17
Salvador Pineda, 30, 135 Falmouth St., Revere, was arrested for possessing alcoholic beverage and on a warrant.
Angela DeAngelis, 36, 109 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for streetwalking.
Jose Burgos-Murillo, 60, Homeless, Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering vehicle/boat for misdemeanor and trespassing.
Michael Herlihy, 37, 39 Kingston St., Boston, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime and trespassing.
JamieLynn Gemellaro, 36, 186 Wakefield St., Reading, was arrested for breaking and entering daytime, trespassing.
Wednesday, July 18
Salvadore Pineda, 30, address Unknown, Chelsea, was arrested for larceny from building.
Thursday, July 19
Giovanni Pacheco-Santos, 40, 9 Arnold St., Revere, was arrested for operating motor vehicle unlicensed and marked lanes violation.
Michael Herlihy, 37, 39 Kingston St., Boston, was arrested for shoplifting.
Egdon Padilla, 43, 27 Watts St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Guillermo Molina, 64, 77 Washington Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing and possession open container of alcohol.
Henry Hernandez-Valentin, 48, 21 John St., Chelsea, was arrested for trespassing and possessing open container of alcohol.
Friday, July 20
Geral Vittini, 23, 233 Humbold Ave., Dorchester, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended license, speeding and marked lanes violation.
Juan Palacios, 37, 200 Congress Ave., Chelsea, was arrested for operating motor vehicle with suspended license.
Derrol Bond, 26, 19 Eleanor St., Chelsea, was arrested for disorderly conduct and threat to commit a crime.
Ulysses Grullon, 39, 20 Brooks St., East Boston, was arrested for taxicab business unlicensed, threat to commit crime and unlicensed taxicab operation.
Ahmed Maazouz, 52, 49 Cottage St., Chelsea, was arrested for shoplifting.
The bottles are little, but their size does not hide the volume of litter they create, nor the public drunkenness they spark.
And so it is, the License Board and City leaders worked together with Chelsea Police recently to ban alcohol nip bottles (1.7 oz. plastic bottle liquor shots) that litter the City’s streets and are believed to be a major cause of the open drinking in Bellingham Square and other locales.
The decision came down on May 22 with a 4-0 vote, with the impetus for the ban coming from City Councillor (and former License Commissioner) Roy Avellaneda. The measure not goes to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) for final approval, but it is expected to meet muster there.
License Commissioner Roseann Bongiovanni said it was quite a coup for the City to make this step.
“The licensing board took a big step forward in trying to crack down on the proliferation of public drinking and drunkenness by banning the sales of nips throughout the entire city,” she said. “We will also be discussing banning the sale of pints of alcohol and single beer cans at our upcoming meeting in June. I’d like to thank Captain Houghton, Officer McLaughlin and the full CPD team who made a robust presentation about how alcohol abuse is far more problematic in Chelsea than heroin addiction is, yet the latter gets so much more attention. I also offer our deep gratitude to Gladys Valentin from CAPIC who spoke about the efforts she is leading to curb substance abuse and help those with addiction get the services they need.”
Avellaneda said he had always wanted to ban nips when he was on licensing, but was told it couldn’t be done legally. However, he said he read an article about Everett banning nips recently, and decided it was time to revisit the issue.
He wrote a letter to the License Commission, and once new Chair Mark Rossi took the reins, he scheduled the hearing – which took place on May 22.
“This alcohol abuse in public has been going on since I was a kid and I walked back and forth from St. Rose School and my dad’s baker on Broadway,” said Avellaneda. “You have to go the point of the source and we believe part of the problem is the sale of these nips. We hope this is a first step. We also want to stop the sale of single-cans of beer. I think anyone who wants a single serving can get that in a bar instead of in a brown bag on a park bench…This is about cleaning up the downtown and making it more family friendly and business friendly.”
Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes said the Department has been pushing for the ban for many years.
“This extremely important decision by the Chelsea Licensing Board is a huge step forward…,” he said. “For well over a decade the Police Department has been pushing for the elimination of sales of these so-called ‘nips’ – comprised of 1.7 ounces of alcohol – and single cans or bottles of malt beverages from our local licensed liquor and convenience stores. Far too often we have made observations of individuals in an inebriated state in the area of Bellingham and Chelsea Square because of the overconsumption of these particular alcoholic beverages. They have secreted the containers in their clothing only to be tossed in the street after their use. This local measure should go a long way towards reducing open air intoxication in our vibrant downtown neighborhoods.”
City Manager Tom Ambrosino also supported the measure, saying it will help solve part of a long-standing problem.
“I think the impact on the downtown will be very positive,” he said. “We have an issue with litter and alcohol consumption in public. This is one of many positive steps we’re trying to address the problem.”
Avellaneda said it could end up helping the stores that depend on the sales of nips.
“We may see an environment created downtown that helps these stores in terms of sales in a different way to a different clientele,” he said. “Maybe they will increase their sales to other customers and that could make up the difference.”
Parenting Journey announced this week that five new members will join its eight-member board of directors, including Chelsea’s Kate Guedj, vice president and chief philanthropy officer at The Boston Foundation.
The new members include Bithiah Carter, president and CEO, New England Blacks in Philanthropy; Guedj, vice president and chief philanthropy officer, The Boston Foundation; Robert Lewis, Jr., president, The BASE; Travis McCready, president and CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; and Jay Youmans, principal, Smith, Costello & Crawford.
“We’re excited to welcome these trailblazers to our board. Each shares our vision of equity for all families. Their distinct expertise will greatly enhance our work to empower parents and break down the systemic barriers that affect families,” said Imari Paris Jeffries, executive director of Parenting Journey.
Guedj joined The Boston Foundation in 2000, and is vice president and chief philanthropy officer. She oversees the Foundation’s development efforts and works with donors to help them achieve their charitable and philanthropic goals. In addition, she provides management oversight to the Philanthropic Initiative.
Parenting Journey’s work is inspired by the belief that strong families are the foundation of vibrant healthy communities and the catalyst to ignite social change. The organization is dedicated to providing programs that uplift parents and caregivers and strengthen families and communities, advocating for equitable family policies, and disrupting the social narrative around parenting in poverty.
Parenting Journey envisions a world where all parents and caregivers have access to the resources they need to build resilient families and thrive, no matter their race or socioeconomic background.
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.