Roslindale temp company charged with screwing workers at Dorchester commercial laundry

A Suffolk County grand jury this week indicted Robert Carrion and Fabiola Ramirez, both 46 and both from Roslindale, on charges they paid their temp workers at a Dorchester laundry company - some of whom worked 100 hours a week - less than minimum wages and no overtime pay and then threatened workers on learning they had talked to state investigators, the state Attorney General's office reports.

Carrion and Ramirez ran a temp company called Country Temp Corp. out of their home at 20 Stella Rd. in Roslindale and supplied most of the workers at Bay State Linen, 9 Ansel Rd. in Dorchester. As a result of a related investigation, Bay State recently agreed to pay $900,000 in back wages to 177 Country Temp workers, the AG's office says.

According to the AG's office:

The AG’s investigation revealed that the defendants were allegedly paying employees below minimum wage in an under-the-table payroll operation. The employees allegedly did not receive overtime pay despite regularly working upwards of 60 to 70 hours per week, with some regularly working 100 hours in a week. The employees were paid strictly in cash without paystubs listing their hourly rates of pay.

After the AG’s Office began their investigation, Carrion and Ramirez allegedly attempted to intimidate, threaten, and mislead their employees. The defendants allegedly threatened cooperating witnesses and other potential witnesses with termination and other unspecified harm. Specifically, Carrion allegedly held a 30-minute meeting with some employees in which he directed them not to cooperate with investigators.

Further, Carrion and Ramirez allegedly reduced the amount of hours certain cooperating workers were allowed to work after Ramirez witnessed those workers speaking with investigators from the AG’s Office during a site inspection.

The AG’s Office alleges that in the criminal case, nine employees are owed nearly $55,000 in minimum wages and overtime.

Carrion was indicted on six counts of witness intimidation, four counts of retaliation, nine counts of failure to pay minimum wage, nine counts of failure to pay overtime, four counts of failure to make timely payment of wages, two counts of failure to furnish payroll records to the state for inspection, nine counts of failure to provide suitable paystubs and nine counts of failure to issue a temporary worker right to know notice.

Ramirez faces the same charges, except she was only charged with three counts of witness intimidation instead of six.

Innocent, etc.

Feds: Brighton man charged as serial bank robber is nabbed as he tries to board plane in DC for Johannesburg

The Incognito Bandit at a Citizens branch in Woburn in 2015.

Albert Taderera, 36, who faces charges for up to 16 bank robberies in the Boston area, was arrested this afternoon as he tried to board a plane for Johannesburg at Dulles Airport, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.

Taderera went on a bank-robbing spree over a two-year period starting in February, 2015, the US Attorney's office says:

In most of the robberies, the robber was disguised in a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark face mask/sunglasses covering his face, dark gloves and dark clothing. In each of the banks, the robber entered the bank and made verbal demands for the banks’ money. In most of the robberies, the robber displayed what tellers described as a black semi-automatic handgun.

All of the robberies occurred in suburban settings where banks were freestanding and featured adjacent wooded areas or foliage. In many of these robberies, witnesses observed the robber leaving the bank following the robbery, and entering the wooded areas. Witnesses also observed the robber run toward, enter into, and then leave the area in a black BMW sedan. Based on these similarities, the FBI believed that the individual driving the black BMW was responsible for the robberies.

According to the feds, investigators got word today that Taderera planned to fly to Dulles from Boston, then fly to Addis Ababa at 11 a.m. today. But then investigators learned he'd switched to a flight at 5:45 p.m. to Johannesburg. Federal agents grabbed him as he tried to get on that plane, officials say.

Taderera is scheduled for an appearance in a federal court in Virginia before being returned here for arraignment on armed bank robbery charges.

Innocent, etc.

Venerable giant bookstore is moving; West Roxbury, Roslindale both say 'move here!'

The Globe reported yesterday that Newton's New England Mobile Book Fair is looking for smaller quarters and that it's already scouted out several possible locations, including West Roxbury.

That, of course, got the eye of City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain), who urged the stored to move to Westie. As an incentive, he said he'd help them unpack.

Not so fast there, says Roslindale Village Main Street, which says the now empty Prescott Building on Poplar Street in Roslindale Square (where Jerusalem Trading used to be) would be perfect for the bookstore. Other Roslindalers have been jumping into the Book Fair's post on the topic to support the idea of the store moving to Roslindale.

Spirituality on two wheels

Associated Press interviews the Rev. Laura Everett, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and author of an impending book, Holy Spokes, about the spirituality she's discovered as a daily Boston bicycle rider:

Bicycling through Boston's twisting, traffic-clogged streets may seem more about self-preservation than spiritual enlightenment.

For the Rev. Laura Everett, her daily 6-mile commute is a way of connecting to her adopted city, its residents, and her sense of community and vulnerability.

Locally sourced market expanding from South Boston to Ashmont

The Boston Licensing Board yesterday granted food and alcohol licenses to American Provisions, a South Boston market that is planning a second outlet in the new Treadmark condo building going up across from the Ashmont T stop.

The new store, at 1971 Dorchester Ave., at the corner of Fuller Street, will offer a variety of locally sourced specialty foods, beers and wines, as well as charcuterie, store lawyer Kristen Scanlon told the licensing board at a hearing on Wednesday.

In addition to the store, the location will also serve as a kitchen for cooking up offerings, she said.

Hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. are planned.

Court: Cops had enough info to stop and then arrest a man for a Savin Hill robbery and shooting in 2014

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today that Boston police officers had enough details on the suspect in the robbery and shooting of a Dot Ave. convenience-store owner that they had the right to stop a suspect they found four blocks away.

A lower-court judge had ruled police did not have probable cause to detain Jarvis Charley for questioning about the Nov. 11, 2014 robbery and shooting at D & D Convenience, 1002 Dorchester Avenue, because he felt the descriptions and videos used by police to stop him were too vague.

But in its ruling today, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled prosecutors can use evidence seized after his arrest, such as numerous, sequentially numbers $20 bills in his backpack.

Although the shooter's face was obscured by a mask, the court said other evidence - including color video taken by a store surveillance camera - coupled with the fact that Charley was sweating profusely on a cool November night when an officer first encountered him - were sufficient for "probable cause" for police to investigate whether Charley was involved.

The fact that he was coming from the direction of a recent robbery, in which a person had been shot, coupled with the resemblance of his appearance to that captured on the surveillance video, suggested the reasonable possibilities that he was the person who had robbed the convenience store and that he might be armed and therefore could pose a risk to the officers.

The justices added other evidence gave officers enough reason to take Charley to the C-11 station for questioning, including the fact that he denied any involvement in the shooting at the store several blocks from where police found him before police had even mentioned anybody had been shot.

A lower-court judge discounted that, saying Charley could have known about the shooting from TV reports, but the appellate court in turn discounted that theory:

There was no direct evidence of any such news broadcasts, much less of any exposure by the defendant to any. The judge based his finding to that effect on testimony [from one of the officers] that he saw reporters from various news outlets begin to arrive at the scene of the robbery soon after he did. From that observation, the judge inferred that reporters would have begun broadcasting reports of the incident on radio and television, and posting reports on their respective Web sites, beginning at around 8:00 P.M. The judge further attributed to Ezekiel [the officer] an awareness of that course of news broadcasts, so that Ezekiel, in the judge's view, should not have considered it suspicious when the defendant disclaimed involvement in a "shooting" in response to Ezekiel's reference to an "incident." To the extent that the judge found, as fact, that Ezekiel knew or should have known that news broadcasts of the incident began around 8:00 P.M., and also knew or should have known that the defendant would have been exposed to those news broadcasts by the time Ezekiel began speaking to him at 8:30 P.M., the finding rests on speculation and conjecture rather than evidence, and is clearly erroneous. In any event, even if it is possible that the defendant could before 8:30 P.M. have gained knowledge from news broadcasts that a shooting had occurred at the convenience store, Ezekiel was not compelled to adopt that view of the defendant's otherwise unprompted reference to a shooting in his assessment of its suspicious nature, particularly when the defendant's state of agitation increased when Ezekiel pointed out to the defendant that no one had said anything about a shooting.