A Chelsea man pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Boston to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Cesar Alicea, 22, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Nov. 7, 2018.
In December 2017, Alicea was indicted along with Andres Perez, of Chelsea, who was charged with possessing cocaine base and heroin with intent to distribute. It is alleged that Alicea and Perez are members of the East Side Money Gang.
On Oct. 31, 2017, Alicea was in a car that was stopped by law enforcement officers. As Alicea ran from the police, he was observed throwing an item. Shortly thereafter, Alicea was apprehended by police and arrested. The item was recovered and determined to be a .25 caliber Raven Arms pistol.
The charge of being felon in possession of a firearm provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
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.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty recently in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 16-year-old boy in East Boston.
The victim was identified as Christofer Perez de la Cruz.
Jairo Perez, a/k/a “Seco,” 27, 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. Perez admitted that his racketeering activity involved the Jan. 10, 2016, murder of a 16-year-old boy in East Boston.
Under the terms of the proposed plea agreement, Perez will be sentenced to 35 years in prison. At today’s hearing, the Court accepted the defendant’s guilty plea but deferred acceptance of the plea agreement until the sentencing hearing. Perez will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Sept. 11, 2018.
The investigation revealed that Perez was a member of MS-13’s Trece Loco Salvatrucha (TLS) clique. Evidence showed that on Jan. 10, 2016, Perez 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, Perez was caught on tape admitting to stabbing the victim multiple times, and he was arrested soon thereafter. Perez was also recorded burying the knives used to murder the victim in a park on Deer Island in Winthrop.
After a multi-year investigation, Perez 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. Perez is the 48th defendant to be convicted as part of that ongoing prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. To date, all eight defendants who have gone to trial have been convicted, and 40 other defendants have pleaded guilty.
SPELLING BEE BANDIT SENTENCED
A Chelsea man, dubbed the “Spelling Bee Bandit,” was sentenced March 7 in federal court in Boston for four bank robberies.
Jason S. Englen, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 84 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In November 2017, Englen pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery.
On Oct. 31, 2016, a man, later identified as Englen, entered a branch of TD Bank in Arlington, approached a teller and presented a note written on a deposit slip indicating a robbery and demanding cash. On the note, the word “robbery” was misspelled. The teller handed Englen money from the drawer and Englen fled the bank leaving the demand note behind.
Over the next few weeks, three additional banks were robbed in the same fashion: a branch of TD Bank in Reading on November 5, a branch of Salem Five in Burlington on November 7, and a branch of TD Bank in Peabody on November 13. Based on the similarity of the robberies and the physical description of the robber, law enforcement, seeking help from the public, identified Englen, who was already in state custody on unrelated charges, as the bank robber. On Dec. 12, 2016, Englen was arrested by federal authorities and charged.
SALVADORAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL RE-ENTRY
A Salvadoran national was sentenced March 8 in federal court in Boston for illegally reentering the United States after deportation.
Gerardo Alberto Perez-Fuentes, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to six months in prison and one year of supervised release. Perez-Fuentes will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. In December 2017, Perez-Fuentes pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful reentry of a deported alien.
Perez-Fuentes was previously deported on Sept. 4, 2015, and on Oct. 8, 2015. On Sept. 6, 2017, law enforcement in Chelsea encountered Perez-Fuentes and determined him to be illegally present in the United States.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.
Jonathan Perez and Jose Rodriguez relax at the PORT Park after a hard morning of cleaning up Chelsea. The annual Earth Day Community Clean Up took place on Saturday, April 23, despite rainy conditions. Several volunteers showed up at multiple sites to spruce up the city for spring.
After putting the entire City on alert – and drawing considerable media attention from Boston – the alleged brutal random armed attack on a woman, purportedly by three young males with a Central American accent, turned out to be a false report.
Denissa Perez, 25, of Chelsea, will be charged with misleading a police officer in a criminal investigation.
Police put the public on notice Sunday morning after Chelsea Police took a report on Sunday, January 17, just after midnight, from a female victim in her 20s at the Whidden Hospital in Everett. She reported that while walking home from work at approximately 9:30 p.m. she had been physically attacked by three male suspects who had allegedly beaten her with their fists, repeatedly kicked her and slashed her with a knife in the area of Lynn Street Extension between Central Avenue and Maverick Street.
In response to the victim’s account of the attack and out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of the residents of the city of Chelsea the Police Department alerted the community early the next morning via a widely disseminated press release that three young male attackers may be living or staying in the area. Police Chief Brian Kyes said his department felt compelled and obligated to warn the residents of Chelsea to take general safety measures, to remain vigilant and keep themselves safe and secure in their travels in and around the city.
However, as part of any serious criminal investigation it is always the duty and responsibility of any police department to fully and completely corroborate any victim and/or witness account of what they allege had transpired in a given situation. As Detectives began the process of conducting a comprehensive follow up investigation of the victim’s version of the incident in question, police uncovered several inconsistencies in terms of the physical and digital evidence that they had available.
This trend continued throughout the investigation Sunday and all day on Monday.
As a result police were able to learn Monday night that, in fact, no attack took place involving this victim at Lynn Street Extension.
Rather, Detectives have since learned and confirmed that a fight occurred inside of an undisclosed address between several male parties. The alleged victim was present with this group and had intervened in an attempt to break up the fight and in doing so received a laceration to her hand from a broken bottle requiring several stitches and some additional bruises and scrapes about her person.
As a result of providing the police with this fabricated report of a crime mentioned above, misleading the police throughout the entire investigation, spreading significant fear throughout the city as well as expending considerable resources by the police in an attempt to find those responsible for what was believed to be a serious act of violence, the victim was charged with a crime.
Perez will appear in Chelsea District Court later this month to be arraigned on this and perhaps additional charges stemming from this investigation.
Chief Kyes said he wanted to especially single out the efforts of Det. Sgt. Will Brizuela, Det. Scott Conley and Officer Paul McCarthy for being diligent in their investigation.
“Allegations like this that are left unchecked can bring a neighborhood and even an entire city to its knees instilling considerable fear and paralyzing residents from venturing outdoors,” he said. “Their initiative and perseverance to find the truth in this alarming incident has allowed the entire community to breath a collective sign of relief.”
Barry Kirshon, owner of Kirshon Paint in Chelsea, presented a check to the Jordan Boys and Girls Club as part of a community
service donation program with Benjamin Moore Paints. Pictured, from left, are Mark Arsenault, maintenance director
at the club, Michelle Perez, JBGC executive director, Josh Kraft, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston,
and Dan Doherty, territory representative for Benjamin Moore Paints.
Chelsea High School Goal Ball team members include Zhenya
Pankova (of Georgetown), Sophomore Precious Perez, recent CHS graduate Jade Lara and ViStars/team sponsor Janet Ulwick-Sacca. The team is coached by CHS teacher Stephanie Haffa and will begin its second season in September.
Goal Ball is a Paralympic sport tailored especially for those with visual impairments, and one of the only opportunities
for blind students to be part of a team.
Just about everybody has been on a team.
Right now, at Chelsea High School (CHS), fall sports teams in the realms of football or soccer are preparing to start practice and begin the team gelling process that most everyone has been part of at one time or another.
Whether it’s Little League, soccer or even an academic project – the team concept is pretty much a cornerstone of youth.
It’s almost taken for granted.
However, for many visually impaired young people at CHS, such an experience is often foreign or even out of reach due to the challenges of their impairment.
For two CHS students, though, the team concept has been restored through an innovative game called ‘Goal Ball’ that is similar to soccer, but specifically tailored for those with visual impairments. In fact, participants and Coach Stephanie Haffa are preparing for the start of their season this coming September, and members of last year’s inaugural team spoke to the Record recently about how Goal Ball has been transformative in their experience at CHS.
“I feel like a burden sometimes because other students don’t want to help me and I don’t want to be a burden,” said CHS incoming Sophomore Precious Perez. “In Goal Ball, we have expectations, we huddle and we’re all treated the same. There are no adaptations or ‘helps’ needed to play. Everyone is blindfolded and everyone is equal in the game. It feels so good to say to my friends that I’m going to practice. I am part of a team. It can be a matter of pride for us.”
The opportunity to play came via the organization ViStars Inc. that unites visually-impaired young people in Chelsea and all over the North Shore in an after-school program based in Malden.
In fact, last year’s inaugural Goal Ball team, which featured Chelsea residents Jade Lara and Precious Perez, became such a success that the team was picked to present their experiences in a speech this past July at the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) conference in Orlando.
“NFB is the largest blind advocacy group in the world and this was the largest convention of blind people,” said Jane Ulwick-Sacca, who is a founder of ViStars and the team sponsor. “The invitation came because the team members did a presentation at the NFB state chapter meeting in Boston. One of the national directors went and was totally charmed. So, the national organization invited them to attend this conference and make the same presentation. Their trip was totally sponsored by NFB.”
Perez, Lara (who has since graduated and will be headed to Brandeis University later this month), and others on the team from neighboring communities had a great experience in Orlando – and they were actually able to get some tips from former U.S. Goal Ball champions.
Lara said she found a real home with the ViStars program and on the Goal Ball team. She said she had tried to participate at CHS, but it was just too difficult because of her visual impairment.
“I used to be so terrified of after-school groups because I felt so uncertain and lost there,” she said. “I think the blindness definitely plays a large part in that. I hate to admit it, but it is ever-present. I remember going in to a community service group and feeling overwhelmed. We broke up in groups and I didn’t know what to do. I just sat there feeling really intimidated. I never really get that involved in my high school because I had the fear of not knowing what to do. ViStars and the Goal Ball team are like my second home. They are a place where I can come be confident and be a leader.”
Last year, the team had to travel some distance to find teams to play – including trips to the South Shore. However, Ulwick-Sacca said Goal Ball has recently been approved by the U.S. Department of Education as a sport for students with visual impairments, and it is also an official Paralympic sport. With those things happening, she said she hopes to see more teams form in the area.
“Our goal is to have a league of teams that we play regularly,” said Ulwick-Sacca. “We’re sort of on the cusp of something that could be very important for students with visual impairments. We started the team because we saw that the students had never been on a softball or baseball team. When they were children, they weren’t able to do any of that. I just wondered why it had to be that way. We started the team and it really took off.”
And while the CHS participants said they were happy to have the experience themselves, both Perez and Lara said they wanted to expand the team quickly so that young children who are blind will have chances they didn’t have – and will be able to take what they learn as kids to an official team at CHS.
“We entered into this with the hopes that it would lead to younger kids being involved in a sport – maybe a Goal Ball Little League,” said Lara. “We hoped that they could have the chance to be on a team, or that at least it’s an option that’s out there for them.”
The CHS/ViStars Goal Ball team will have it’s first game during the second week of September.