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Member of violent Cameron Street gang gets nearly 21 years for attempted murder, armed home invasions

Bethea running with gun

Bethea running with gun after Canton home invasion. Surveillance photo via ATF.

A federal judge yesterday sentenced Daronde Bethea to 250 months - 20 years, 10 months - in prison for his role in the Cameron Street Gang, which included trying to gun down a member of the rival Wendover Street Gang and participating in armed home invasions in Dorchester and Canton, the US Attorney's office reports.

That's the sentence prosecutors had urged US District Court Judge William Young to impose. Bethea's attorney had asked for 10 years.

Bethea, 32, with a winged "C" tattoo on his neck, had pleaded guilty in February to formal charges of RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force or violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He was arrested in October, 2022, several months after 19 other Cameron Street associates were swept up and 2 1/2 years after a similar roundup of members of the Wendover Street group. Both gangs, their territories split by Columbia Road, had engaged in a long, bloody battle when not busy selling drugs.

Bethea, who has a record dating to his teens, was the gunman in a murder run aimed at a Wendover member on June 11 2018: He fired several shots as the man was getting into his car on Columbia Road near Edward Everett Square; most of the shots hit the car window, but one hit the target, sending him to the hospital with a collapsed lung.

At the time, Bethea was on bail awaiting trial for a Nov. 8, 2017 armed home invasion on Lorenzo Street in Dorchester, in which he was arrested on the roof of the house. In July, 2018, also while out on bail, he was arrested at another armed home invasion, in Canton.

In a sentencing memorandum calling for 250 months behind bars, Assistant US Attorney Christopher Pohl wrote that Bethea should be shown no mercy:

BETHEA's attempted murder of a gang rival is among the most serious conduct catalogued in this investigation. There are only two reasons why BETHEA is not facing murder charges – random chance and the close proximity of the victim to excellent medical care. While the attempted murder is the most serious act of violence BETHEA was known to have committed, it is hardly the only one he committed. BETHEA was arrested in the middle of committing a home invasion in Dorchester (on the roof of the home, no less). BETHEA was released on bail, committed the attempted murder described above, and then committed the 2018 Canton home invasion, where he was caught red-handed, again. BETHEA's possession and use of firearms are a common theme through his criminal history. When the third superseding indictment confronted BETHEA with this evidence, BETHEA discussed the need to murder the witness who identified him as the shooter for the attempted murder. BETHEA committed a series of spectacular acts of violence committed to further the power and prestige of Cameron Street and secure his place in it.

Pohl concluded:

The recommended sentence achieves general deterrence, in that it effectively communicates the real-world consequences of joining criminal conspiracies like Cameron Street. It serves to specifically deter BETHEA, something that many other judges have failed to accomplish before now. More importantly, a 250 month sentence promotes respect for the law and serves to protect the public from BETHEA.

In adopting Pohl's recommendation, Young dismissed arguments by Bethea's attorney, Leslie Feldman-Rumpler, that Bethea only be sentenced to ten years.

Feldman-Rumpler wrote that Bethea really had turned his life around during pre-trial incarceration, including participation in educational programs at both the Norfolk County House of Corrections and a federal lockup in Rhode Island, that he had cut all ties with the Cameron Street Gang six years ago and that his two young children, both now 7, need their father, especially after their mother died of a drug overdose in 2020:

While the twins' loss of their mother and their yearning for their father does not meet the criteria for a downward departure for extraordinary family circumstances under [sentencing guidelines], their situation and their need for the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with their father is compelling. In ten years, they will be on the brink of young adulthood, but still young enough to need and receive some guidance from their father. In twenty years, that window will likely have closed. This Court can and should consider Mr. Bethea's family circumstances in crafting a sentence in this case.

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Comments

Those children will be a lot better off if they get "some guidance" from someone other than their father during their formative years.

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“ Both gangs, their territories split by Columbia Road, had engaged in a long, bloody battle when not busy selling drugs.”

No lack of a work ethic here.

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GOOD! To bad Mr. Bethea didn't think about his children.

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