Friday, June 8, 2012

46 Alleged Latin Kings Face Drug Charges

BROCKTON--Forty-six alleged leaders, members and associates and drug suppliers of the Latin Kings gang operating in New Bedford were charged today on federal and state drug offenses.
The charges stem from a long-term investigation into narcotics sales in the area, according to a prepared statement from the U.S Attorney's Office in Boston.
Officials said the mass round-up and charges are a continuation of law enforcement efforts beginning in 2006 to reduce the amount of violence and drug crimes in northern New Bedford centered around the Latin Kings' operations.
In 2010, law enforcement began to see an increase in street level drug sales and violence in areas of the city known to be occupied by the Latin Kings after an investigation in 2006 resulted in arrests and prosecutions at the local and federal levels of 37 Latin Kings members.
It is alleged that during the current investigation, recorded undercover purchases revealed over the last 18 months, the individuals arrested Friday, June 8 sold narcotics in New Bedford to cooperating witnesses and undercover officers.
Three individuals have also been charged with drug trafficking offenses.
The following individuals were arrested this morning and have been charged with federal narcotics violations:
1) Jouseph Caraballo, 38, of New Bedford;
2) Juan Serrano, 43, of New Bedford;
3) Terrill McKissack, 24, of New Bedford;
4) Raphael Pineda, 23, of New Bedford;
5) Gabriel Vaszquez, 25, of New Bedford;
6) Ezequiel Quinones, 39, of New Bedford (fugitive);
7) Javier Natal, 22, of New Bedford;
8) Luis Guerra, 31, of New Bedford;
9) Giovanni Vale-Valentin, 22, of New Bedford;
10) Manuel Torres, 20, of New Bedford;
11) Jesus Carrasquillo, 22, of New Bedford;
12) Pedro Figueroa, 27, of New Bedford;
13) Ramon Sanchez, 20, of New Bedford;
14) Enoe Carrasquillo, 26, of Puerto Rico;
15) Jesmeil Ortiz, 21, of Puerto Rico (fugitive);
16) Mari Gomez, 43, of New Bedford

The following individuals have been charged by federal complaint:
17) Jordan Jorge, 20, of New Bedford;
18) Felicia Timoteo, 20, of New Bedford

The following individuals were arrested this morning and have been charged with state narcotics violations:
Superior Court Indictments:
1) Jose Vale, 53, of New Bedford;
2) Tyrone Singleton, 39, of New Bedford;
3) Carl Robinson, 47, of New Bedford;
4) Irvin Olivero, 24, of New Bedford;
5) Michael Santos, 32, of New Bedford;
6) Diane Raposo, 33, of New Bedford;
7) Matthew Wilson, 26, of New Bedford;
8) Jason Chumack, 40, of New Bedford;
9) Sandra Torres, 39, of New Bedford

District Court Charges:
1) Juvenile, 16, of New Bedford;
2) Michael Waldron, 34, of New Bedford;
3) Shane Valez, 23, of New Bedford;
4) Lizette Brown, 44, of New Bedford;
5) April Rose, 43, of New Bedford;
6) Evandro Martins, 25, of New Bedford;
7) Sunilda Ruiz, 46, of New Bedford;
8) Beinbenido Baez, 20, of New Bedford;
9) Y oneel Pagan, 19, of New Bedford;
10) Tavon Thomas, 21, of New Bedford;
11) Robert Woodard, 35, of New Bedford;
12) Anthony Douglas, 28, of New Bedford;
13) Meagan Cordeiro, 26, of New Bedford;
14) Curtis Britto, 23, of New Bedford;
15) Ronald Gonzalezstone, 32, of New Bedford;
16) Tanairy Ruiz, 24, of New Bedford;
17) William Figueroa, 30, of New Bedford;
18) Jerry Morales-Perez, 29, of New Bedford;
19) Luis Lopez, 27, of New Bedford.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

13 Face Deportation After Boston Area Raid

BROCKTON--During a two-day targeted enforcement operation in the Lawrence and Methuen area, officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's or ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations arrested 13 convicted criminal aliens with 11 originally from the Dominican Republic.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston said in a prepared statement released Tuesday "Operation Threats Against the Community" began on April 26 and culminated in the 13 arrests.
All 13 taken into custody had prior criminal convictions. Additionally, 11 had multiple criminal convictions. Many of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent offenses including: possession of an illegal firearm, assault, assault and battery on a police officer, possessing and selling dangerous drugs, and drunk driving.
"When we focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens we get an immediate payback in our communities. Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers--along with our state and local law enforcement partners— there are 13 fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods in Massachusetts," said Vincent Archibeque, deputy field office director of ERO Boston.
The arrests took place in Lawrence and Methuen and included members of the police departments in those communities.
Members of the State Police, Essex County Sheriff's Office, Massachusetts Probation Service and ICE's Homeland Security Investigations assisted over 25 ERO officers with the operation.
Of those arrested, all 13 were men and nationals of the following countries: one from Guatemala, one from Peru and eleven from the Dominican Republic. All were between 23 and 51 years old.
All 13 were arrested administratively for being in violation of immigration law, and all are being held in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings or removal from the U.S.
Some of those arrested during this operation include:
A national of Guatemala who was convicted of two separate convictions for DUI; assault and battery on a police officer; and disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
A national of the Dominican Republic has been convicted of possession and distribution of cocaine and possession and distribution of marijuana.
Another Dominican native had been convicted of DUI, possession and distribution of heroin, possession of cocaine, and assault.
Another Dominican had been convicted of a firearm offense, possession and distribution of cocaine, and possession and distribution of marijuana.
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Criminal Alien Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens. The officers who conducted the operation received substantial assistance from ICE's Law Enforcement Support Center located in Williston, Vermont.
ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security.
ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and have illegally re-entered the country.
Largely as a result of these initiatives, for 3 years in a row, ICE has removed more aliens than were removed in fiscal year 2008.
Overall, in FY 2011 ICE removed 396,906 individuals nationwide — the largest number in the agency's history.
Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors — an 89 percent increase in the removal of criminals since FY 2008.
This includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence.
CE achieved similar results with regard to other categories prioritized for removal.
Ninety percent of all ICE's removals fell into a priority category and more than two-thirds of the other removals in 2011 were either recent border crossers or repeat immigration violators.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

$200,000+ Bail For Walmart Shooting Suspects

Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON--Four suspects in a shooting at the Walmart in Avon were held on more than $200,000 bail and police are still seeking a fifth person involved in what prosecutors described as a drug deal gone bad.
Keenen M. Hart, 18, of Main Street, Brockton, who was shot in the head during Tuesday afternoon's melee, was charged with carrying a firearm without a license and disorderly conduct, during separate arraignments of each suspect in Stoughton District Court.
Bail for Hart was posted at $250,000, but was revoked because he has a pending case with Department of Youth Services for possession of a firearm and with Brockton District Court for drug distribution and possession.
Three other suspects were held on $250,000 cash bail.
Those suspects are: Ashley Weiner, 20, of Homes St., Norton. She faces charges of carrying a firearm without a license and conspiracy to violate drug law. She was held on $200,000 bail.
Keshawne M. Murphy, 21, of Father Kenny Way, Brockton was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, discharging a firearm near a highway, disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to violate drug law. He was held on $250,000 bail.
Joshua Z. Pierre-Louis, 23, of Hyde Park Ave, was charged with armed assault to rob, carrying a firearm without a license, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
He was held on $250,000 bail.
According to Assistant District Attorney Danielle Eng, Murphy called an identified friend to buy marijuana. Eng said Weiner drove a car carrying Murphy and Hart to the Walmart parking lot to make the exchange, but the deal didn't go down as planned.
Instead, Eng said, the trio met a separate vehicle with 3 others in it, including Pierre-Louis.
Eng said Murphy told prosecutors he hopped into the other car and when the deal went bad he placed a gun on the console of the car.
Eng said Pierre-Louis hit the gas and sped away with Murphy falling out of the car. She said at that point "all parties" indicated shots were fired.
Weiner and Murphy drove Hart to the hospital after he was hit by one of the bullets.
Weiner and Murphy were arrested at the hospital.
Pierre-Louis was arrested in Mattapan.
The fifth suspect, Jean Valbrun of Hyde Park, is still being sought by police.
The four arraigned Wednesday are scheduled to return to court April 25.

Victim, 2 Others Face Charges in Walmart Shooting

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON--As shoppers pulled into either entrance of the Walmart in Avon, many were surprised to find several things.
Topping the list for some was that police and the flashing blue lights of their cruisers were everywhere and a large part of the parking lot was blocked off by tell-tale yellow and black crime scene tape. The next surprising thing was that the store was still open.
"I saw all the cops and I said I think I'm going to have to go somewhere else," said Javon Costa, 34, of Brockton, who circled the parking lot where police did not have it blocked and pulled into a parking space.
Costa, like carloads of others who pulled into the Route 28 shopping center late Tuesday afternoon were shocked to learn a man had been shot in the parking lot and police were searching the area for suspects.
They were also surprised they could still shop in the store, and noted the building was eerily quiet.
"It feels weird--shopping and knowing someone may have been killed out front," said Colleen Coughlin, 56, of Brockton.
She was relieved to learn the victim was expected to pull through.
"That's at least a blessing," she said.
At about 4 p.m. Tuesday, Avon, Brockton and State police responded to a call about shots fired at the Walmart near the Avon-Brockton border.
Police officials at the scene said one male was taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center with an injury that is not expected to be life threatening. The same man, police said, was placed under arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm.
A second person was taken into custody. 
Police said at least one suspect fled the area and police had located a black vehicle involved in the shooting near Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan.
Police said one person associated with the Mattapan vehicle was taken into custody and along with the other suspect from the Walmart parking lot is expected in Stoughton District Court Wednesday morning for arraignment.
Police did not say what the charges would be.
The injured male, police said, would appear in court Wednesday if he is medically able.
Police said the incident may have been the result of drug activity.
(Correction: The original version of this story wrongly stated police had detained two people associated with the Mattapan vehicle)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Guns, Drugs Get Brockton Man 20 Years

BROCKTON--A Brockton man was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston for illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun and selling cocaine.
Hector Acevedo, 35, who also used the aliases Hector Garcia and Cuba, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro to 20 years in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston.
The term of imprisonment will be followed by 6 years of supervised release.
Acevedo was convicted by a jury during trial of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm and ammunition, of illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun and of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine on December 8, 2011.
Evidence presented during trial showed that detectives from the Brockton Police Department executed a search warrant in June 2006 at Acevedo’s apartment at 202 Summer Street in Brockton.
Acevedo was found in bed with an unregistered sawed-off shotgun and a bag containing approximately 52 grams of cocaine that Acevedo had hidden in a stereo speaker in the bedroom was also recovered.
At Monday's sentencing, prosecutors emphasized that Acevedo, while awaiting trial, had engaged in numerous disciplinary incidents at the Wyatt Detention Facility and elsewhere.
According to prosecutors, Acevedo had attacked and threatened correctional officers, stabbed another detainee, was found in possession of various homemade weapons, and had been caught planning escapes.
Prosecutors also described Acevedo’s prior criminal record, which included several prior convictions for violent offenses.
The case was referred for federal prosecution by Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz’s Office under the auspices of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative which makes prosecution of firearms cases a top priority.
The Project Safe Neighborhood’s Initiative provides a comprehensive, strategic approach to reducing gun violence in America.
Since 2002, when the U.S. Attorney’s Office implemented the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, 11 cities across the state, including Brockton, have joined the program.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Woman Gets Prison, Restitution For Bilking Social Security

BOSTON--A Hyannis woman was sentenced last week to federal prison for stealing from the Social Security Administration.
U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro sentenced Sylvia Taylor, 51, of Hyannis, to 15 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In October 2011, Taylor pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of government property for taking $74,643 in disability benefits.
Along with more than one year in prison, Taylor has been ordered to pay restitution to the SSA.
Between 1992 and 2010, Taylor had relationships with two different men who were entitled to Social Security disability payments.
From these relationships, Taylor had three children who were determined by the SSA to be eligible for auxiliary disability benefits through their fathers.
Because the children were minors, Taylor became their representative payee and received the payments on their behalf.
Soon after the benefits started, each of the three children began living with others, making Taylor no longer eligible to be their representative payee.
Taylor never notified the SSA, and for several years, she continued to receive the benefits and use them for her own purposes.

It Doesn't Pay To Discover For Braintree Man

BROCKTON--A Braintree man was indicted last week in federal court for allegedly stealing Discover credit cards from the mail and then using the cards to obtain money.
Gerald K. Acholonu, 31, of Braintree, was March 7 charged with credit card fraud, obstruction of United States mail, and of aggravated identity theft, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston.
Officials said Acholonu has been detained since his arrest on December 22, 2011.
The charges allege that between August 2010 and May 2011, credit cards issued by Discover Financial Services destined for the Northeast were stolen.
The cards were stolen at some point between Utah and reaching their expected processing at U.S. Postal Service mail-processing facilities in the Northeast.
According to the affidavit, Acholonu worked during this period at a company that sorted the mail by ZIP code between the mail’s unloading at Logan Airport and its transportation around New England by the Postal Service.
In late April 2011, Acholonu was spotted leaving his employer’s restroom with a tray of U.S. mail.
Investigators searched the trash from his residence and found stolen Discover credit cards and other evidence that Acholonu was using or planning to use the Discover customers’ identities by setting up telephone accounts in their names.
Investigators also obtained surveillance photographs from ATMs indicating that Acholonu had used some of the cards to withdraw money.
If convicted, Acholonu faces up to 17 years of in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is highest.