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Three face federal charges that they duct-taped Cleveland Circle massage-spa worker in robbery that netted them just $500


Three men face federal charges for robbing workers at massage spas in Brookline and Stoneham one night in June - one while wearing a court-ordered monitoring device, another while wearing Adidas Yeezy sneakers - according to filings in US District Court in Boston.

Li Wen "Tony" Tang, 32, a Chinese national once arrested for allegedly running a Boston prostitution ring, was arrested today in New York City.

Jonas Nunez, 28, who had previously been convicted for robbing a Medford convenience store in 2011, was arrested last month, while Alfeu Barbosa, 27, with a record that includes convictions for armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, was arrested in June.

According to an affidavit in the case, the three robbed the sole worker at Balance Reflexology Spa, 1908 Beacon St. in Brookline, at the Brighton line, shortly before 9 p.m. on June 12. The three parked at the corner of Ayr and Orkney Roads, then Tang exited their Porsche Cayenne SUV and walked to the spa.

After bringing the Asian male into the back room to begin the massage, he started to ask if there was anyone else in the spa and that if there was, he would like to see them. FV1 [Female Victim 1] repeatedly stated that she was the only one there. After the massage had begun the Asian male almost immediately excused himself to go to the bathroom. When he returned, he began to get dressed and claimed that his stomach was upset, and he no longer wanted a massage. He demanded a refund and FV1 stated she had to call her boss to approve it. While they were in the lobby and FV1 was on the phone with the spa owner, the Asian male unlocked the front door.

Barbosa, with an ankle bracelet that would later tie him to the scene, and Nunez, wearing the sneakers, then entered, both with guns in their hands, the affidavit continues:

FV1 stated the white or black male hit her in the face and knocked her to the floor in the lobby area. She could not recall which male struck her, as her bearings were impacted because she was in a tremendous amount of fear. However, FV1 did recall that when she was on the ground, one of the males put a gun to her head. ... The men then pulled her by her hair into the back hallway where they instructed her to be quiet. They proceeded to bind FV1 with duct tape. They placed her arms in front of her by using duct tape around her wrists, her ankles, and gagged her with a length of duct tape. FV1 stated as they were doing this, they repeatedly yelled at her, "Where is the money?" According to FV1, the group ransacked the spa searching for money for approximately three minutes. They located some cash in a room under a pad of paper. FV1 estimates that approximately $500 was stolen. As the men were exiting, they stole FV1's cell phone.

The three then headed up to Stoneham, where at 9:33 p.m., a surveillance camera picked up the Cayenne driving near the area of May’s Spa Massage, 66 Montvale Ave., the affidavit continues. It then disappears, but at 9:49 p.m., the camera recorded three masked men, one with a gun, getting out of a Jeep and walking into the spa, which they then robbed.

The affidavits says the men's downfall started the next day, when the spa owner told a Stoneham police detective that around 9 p.m., a man called the spa to see if it was still open - she said it was, but if he wanted a massage he needed to hurry because she'd be closing soon. The owner "stated that the phone number of the caller would show up in the recent calls list on the business phone and granted Detective Carroll permission to access the phone to obtain the caller's phone number."

That led detectives - and eventually the FBI - to enough evidence to have the US Attorney's office to charge them with interference with commerce by extortion consisting of threats, fear or intimidation, which carries a potential sentence of 20 years if they're convicted.

Innocent, etc.

PDF icon Tang affidavit379.8 KB
PDF icon Nunez affidavit497.42 KB
PDF icon Barbosa affidavit148.46 KB

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These guys make career criminals seem not very bright. Who calls a place you are about to rob with their own phone?

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