A man whose actual identity remains in question faces federal racketeering and gun charges as part of an overall federal and local investigation that resulted in dozens of indictments last year.
A second man was also charged with new MS-13-related racketeering charges in an indictment released this week.
In the indictment, a federal grand jury charged that the first man, who has a variety of aliases, including Tony Colon, Henry Enrique, Anderson Chacon and his alleged MS-13 street name of Scooby, and who allegedly entered the US illegally via Mexico, sold a gun to an informant in 2015. Federal law bars illegal aliens from possessing firearms.
The indictment also charges Scooby and the second man, William "Humilde" Pineda Portillo, of engaging in at least two unspecified acts of racketeering as part of their membership in MS-13, an El Salvador-based gang blamed for at least six murders in East Boston and nearby communities, several of them of teenagers.
In an affidavit, an FBI agent says Scooby was snared thanks to a "cooperating witness" who agreed to wear a wire as he bought a gun from him on April 29, 2015.
The affidavit specifies that the cooperating witness had some issues of his own: He had a criminal record before the investigation began and even as he was working with the feds, he committed "unauthorized street robberies." Still, his work was valuable enough that the government agreed to provide him and his family with "immigration benefits" that let the enter and stay in the US and to put them in the witness protection program.
According to the affidavit, Scooby was taken into custody on Feb. 27 of this year, when a Massachusetts state trooper active in the MS-13 investigation recognized him walking down Everett Avenue in Chelsea - almost a year after the trooper had conducted a "field interview" of him in East Boston.
Scooby allegedly became very nervous and appeared ready to bolt as the trooper talked to him, and gave a different name than he gave in East Boston, at which point the trooper conducted a pat frisk and found a knife in his backpack. The blade was longer than 2 inches, good enough for an arrest under a state law banning such knives in public.
In addition to murder - done as part of the gang's battles with the rival 18th Street gang or as an initiation rite - MS-13 is also charged with drug running. Earlier this week, the feds charged that one of the locals picked up in the sweep was actually a national MS-13 leader - and had helped arrange the murders of two local teens.