Three members of the 18th Street Gang - MS-13's main rival in East Boston and nearby cities - admitted yesterday they sold illegal guns in the Boston area before being swept up in raids last year.
One of the three, Oscar "Droopy" Oliva, 26, of East Boston, also admitted selling crack to an informant, the US Attorney's office reports.
Oliva, Ralph Bonano, 23, of East Boston and Dennis Pleites Ramos, 23, of Chelsea, pleaded guilty to one charge each of dealing with firearms without a license in US District Court in Boston. Oliva also pleaded guilty to one count of possessing with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In last year's raids, federal and local authorities arrested 66 people in a crackdown on the 18th Street Gang and other Boston-area gangs, such as Jamaica Plain's Boylston Street Gang on a variety of gun and drug charges. Authorities said the various gangs had teamed up. Authorities charge the 18th Street Gang's feud with MS-13 left several teenagers dead in East Boston.
According to the US Attorney's office:
Oliva was a leader in the 18th Street gang, a multi-national criminal organization that operates throughout the United States, and was involved in a large conspiracy to deal in firearms in the Greater Boston area. Oliva was personally involved in at least 12 firearms deals involving at least 13 firearms to a cooperating witness. In total, the cooperating witness was able to obtain over 30 firearms from the conspiracy during the investigation, including assault rifles, shotguns, and handguns – several of which had obliterated serial numbers. Bonano and Pleites Ramos were involved with selling handguns in the Greater Boston area.
The three are scheduled for sentencing in January.