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Murdered teen's fate was sealed the month before at national gang conclave in Virginia, feds say

The 64-page federal indictment against alleged local members of the murdering, drug-running MS-13 provides some details on the gang-war murders of three teenagers in East Boston between September and January: Two were killed by gang members looking for promotions by proving they could murder somebody while the third died because gang leaders had decided at a meeting to step up its wars with rivals across the eastern US.

According to the indictment, Cristofer Perez de la Paz, 16, living in Chelsea but planning to return to his native Guatemala, became the gang's most recent murder victim last month because of that meeting.

The indictment says that leaders of local Mara Salvatrucha-13 gangs up and down the East Coast gathered in Richmond, VA in December for a conference headed by Jose Adan Martinez Castro, 26, of Richmond, the head of the gang's East Coast operations. Among those in attendance, Oscar Duran, also known as "Demente," 24, of East Boston, the head of one of the local MS-13 gangs, known as Molinos Loco Salvatrucha. Both were named in the indictment.

During this meeting, Martinez Castro told the leaders that their cliques needed to be more active in killing rival gang members.

In East Boston and nearby cities such as Chelsea and Everett, MS-13 was locked in a battle for street dominance with the rival 18th Street Gang - an apparent argument last month between an MS-13 member and an 18th Street gang affiliate on the Blue Line left two shot at the Maverick Square Blue Line stop. Both recruited students of Central American origin at local high schools, including East Boston High.

Perez de la Cruz, whose family had launched a desperate search for him on Jan. 9 after they'd lost contact with him, was on Falcon Street in East Boston around 1:35 a.m. on Jan. 10 when four MS-13 members surrounded and killed him. Police initially said the teen had been shot. According to the indictment, however, Edwin "Sangriento" Gonzalez, 20, and Edin "Demente" Diaz, 18, both of East Boston, and Marvin "Ninja" Melgar, 21, and Jairo "Seco" Perez, 24, both of Chelsea, also used a knife and a machete to kill him. The indictment continues:

On January 15, 2016, Jose Vasquez, a/k/a "Little Crazy," the leader of the TLS clique of MS-13, and Jairo Perez, a/k/a "Seco," attempted to hide evidence related to the murder of Cristofer Perez-De La Cruz, including knives and a machete used in the murder, as well as bloody clothes worn by the participants during the murder, by burying the evidence at a location in Massachusetts.

According to the indictment, teens Wilson Martinez and Irvin De Paz were murdered in East Boston in September by gang members hoping to move up the ranks from low-level "paros" to midrange "paqueros," or even full fledged "homeboys," who can get MS-13 tattoos and boss around those lower in the ranks.

Wilson Martinez, 15, was stabbed to death on Constitution Beach on Sept. 7. Carlos Melara, also known as "Chuchito" and "Criminal," 19, Henry Josue Parada Martinez, who went by "Street Danger," 20, and Edwin "Sangriento" Gonzalez, 20, all of East Boston, took a younger teen with them to look for Martinez, a native of El Salvador, at the urging of Duran and Noe "Crazy" Salvador Perez-Vasquez, the leader of ELS, another MS-13 gang in the area.

After the Martinez murder, the ELS clique promoted Carlos Melara and a juvenile known to the Grand Jury, from chequeo to homeboy status (i.e., they were beat into the MS-13 criminal organization) and the MLS clique promoted Henry Josue Parada Martinez from paro to chequeo, all because of their involvment in the murder.

And by "beat," the indictment means both got the traditional MS-13 beating by homeboys - which lasts for exactly 13 seconds.

Gonzalez had to wait until Dec. 6, in a ceremony at Deer Island, to get his beating and promotion to homeboy, the indictment says, adding:

Because the Molino clique did not have enough members in Massachusetts to "jump in" Gonzales, members from the ELS, EBLS, and the MLS cliquess attended the meeting, including Santos Portillo-Andrade, a/k/a "Flaco," the leader of EBLS; Noe Salvador Perez-Vasquez, a/k/a "Crazy," the leader of ELS; Oscar Duran, a/k/a "Demente," the leader of MLS; Henry Josue Parada Martinez, a/k/a "Street Danger," a member of ELS; and Carlos Melara, a/k/a "Chuchito," a/k/a "Criminal," a member of ELS, as well as other members of MS-13 known to the Grand Jury.

On Sept. 20, Joel "Animal" Martinez, 20, of East Boston fatally stabbed Irvin De Paz, also 15 and also from El Salvador, on Trenton Street, the indictment alleges.

But while Martinez got the 13-second beating after the murder, he was not promoted because of unspecified "outstanding violations." However, he made homeboy on Jan. 8, after another 13-second beating, at an Everett auto-body shop.

After the MS-13 members beat Joel Martinez for 13 seconds, Edwin Guzman, a/k/a "Playa," said, "[W]elcome to the Mara."

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office is considering whether to bring local murder charges against the gang members for the three murders, a spokesman said today:

Whether we indict them in Suffolk County is a decision we'll make in the weeks to come based on the facts and evidence admissible in state vs. federal courts -- a case may be stronger or more appropriate in one venue or the other.

This is comparable (legally, though obviously not factually) to the decision in the Marathon bombing case, which could also have been charged in Suffolk County, but with such close overlap to the federal case and given the harsher penalty there we opted not to proceed on it.

Innocent, etc.


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Do these local chapters ever go after civilians/non-affiliated people in their rituals and initiations, or mostly just commit violence against each other?

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The robberies often involve civilians with no gang affiliation. The gangs often target known illegal immigrants because they are less likely to come forward and report the crime.

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The kid they are talking about wasn't affiliated with any gangs. He was actively trying to stay away from them.

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Easily among the most disturbing things I've ever read.

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