A federal judge today sentenced Modesto "Snoopy" Ramirez to 97 months, or a little more than eight years, in federal prison for RICO violations related to his membership in a local MS-13 gang.
Unlike other members convicted recently, Ramirez was not charged with involvement in any murders or large-scale drug dealing.
But ne came close.
Ramirez, a member of the Trece Locos Salvatrucha MS-13 "clique" of Somerville, was originally supposed to participate in the group murder of Cristofer Perez de la Cruz on Falcon Street in East Boston, for being an alleged member of the rival 18th Street Gang. The 16-year-old was stabbed more than 40 times by several members even as another member was shooting him repeatedly on Jan. 10, 2016.
But, Ramirez's lawyer told the judge, Ramirez overslept and missed the 1:35 a.m. murder.
Ramirez's lawyer pointed to this as proof that his client was, at best, a reluctant MS-13 member and that he should get no more than the 97 months recommended by prosecutors as part of a plea deal.
[H]is colleagues, apparently cognizant of Mr. Ramirez’s failure to appear and inferred lack of participatory enthusiasm, questioned Mr. Ramirez's real commitment to participating in the homicide.
The lawyer added that Ramirez showed real anguish over the death of his closest MS-13 member - killed by other MS-13 members who thought he was cooperating with the feds, and concluded:
Mr. Ramirez is a defendant with virtually no criminal history who was recruited into the MS-13 criminal organization through fear, threats and intimidation like many others. Once there, however, it was evident that Mr. Ramirez had little fortitude to carry out the murderous agenda of his co-conspirators resulting in a very minor role to play compared with his co-conspirators.
Federal prosecutors, however, argued Ramirez had shown an eagerness to move up the gang ranks and that it was only a matter of time before he attacked somebody with a machete.
Ramirez, a Honduran national, faces deportation after completing his sentence, according to the US Attorney's office.
Ramirez was one of 61 people arrested in raids aimed at MS-13 in 2016 - most of whom have since either pleaded or been found guilty.