MS-13 member gets 40 years for killing 15-year-old in East Boston for a gang promotion

Julio "Animal" Martinez, 23, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison today for murdering 15-year-old Irvin De Paz on Trenton Street in East Boston in 2015.

De Paz was one of four teens who were either murdered in East Boston or had their bodies dumped there in 2015 and 2016 as MS-13 members went on a killing spree against supposed members of the rival 18th Street Gang after a gang conclave in Virginia.

In December, Martinez admitted repeatedly stabbing De Paz to win a promotion to "homeboy" or full-fledged MS-13 member. After the murder, he was ceremonially beaten into his new status by other members of the East Local Salvatrucha MS-13 "clique" in a ceremony videoed by federal agents, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.

He was also taped admitting he killed De Paz:

In recorded conversations between Martinez and a cooperating witness, Martinez acknowledged being a member of MS-13 and admitted that he stabbed the victim to death. Specifically, Martinez said, “I stabbed the asshole three times, and it was a beautiful thing! Just beautiful!”

Martinez, 23, is a Salvadoran national. After his release, he faces deportation to El Salvador, the US Attorney's office reports. He was one of 61 people arrested in raids against Boston-area MS-13 members in 2016. Most have since pleaded or been found guilty of various charges under the federal RICO statute.

Another MS-13 member pleads guilty to role in stabbing and shooting murder of teen in East Boston

Jairo "Seco" Perez, today admitted he was one of several MS-13 members who repeatedly stabbed and sliced Cristofer Perez de la Cruz on Falcon Street in East Boston on Jan. 10, 2016 - along with other members who repeatedly shot the 16-year-old.

Perez's plea deal with federal prosecutors will send him to federal prison for 35 years, after which he will be subject to possible deportation to his native El Salvador, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports. His formal sentencing was set for Sept. 11.

Perez, who buried knives used in the attack at Deer Island, was arrested a few days after the Chelsea teen's death. The orgy of violence in which he died was aimed at both his alleged membership in the rival 18th Street Gang and as a way for MS-13 members to move up in the organization by murdering somebody.

Perez, 27 and a member of MS-13's Trece Loco Salvatrucha "clique" or sub-gang, is the third MS-13 member to plead guilty to RICO violations related to the teen's death. Edward Diaz also pleaded guilty to being one of his stabbers, while Jose Vasquez admitted to helping to bury a machete and knife used in the attack.

He is also the 48th of 61 people arrested in raids in 2016 to plead or be found guilty of RICO violations in connection with MS-13.

Man who seems to specialize in shooting from a scooter charged with Dorchester shooting - from a scooter

Kevin Woods, 19, of Dorchester, had his bail on gun-related charges for a South Boston incident in which he allegedly fired shots while riding a scooter revoked yesterday at his arraignment on charges he shot somebody in the head while a passenger on a scooter on Centre Street in Dorchester yesterday.

His alleged driver, a 17-year-old not named because of his age, had his bail set at $250,000 for his role in the shooting, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports. Should Woods successfully appeal his bail revocation for the South Boston incident, he would still have to pay $250,000 in bail to win release prior to trial on the Dorchester charges.

According to the DA's office:

Assistant District Attorney Daniel Nucci told the court that Woods was a passenger on a white scooter driven by the juvenile along Centre Street in Dorchester at about 4:25 yesterday afternoon. Wearing a hooded sweatshirt, Woods allegedly fired a handgun, striking the 20-year-old victim in the left side of the head, causing serious injuries.

The juvenile allegedly rode away from the scene with Woods remaining as his passenger until the scooter collided with a car in the area of Gibson and Sturtevant streets. The two allegedly attempted to force the driver out of that car but gave up and fled on foot, with Woods limping away from the collision. Both were apprehended nearby with the assistance of civilian witnesses who offered descriptions and their paths of flight.

Investigators recovered a hooded sweatshirt a short distance away on Christopher Street. Bundled inside the sweatshirt were two Smith & Wesson revolvers.

In the South Boston incident:

Boston Police were performing surveillance in South Boston on Sept. 29 after a report of a man on a white scooter fleeing the area of gunshots on Mercer Street the previous night. They were also aware of a Sept. 18 incident in which a man meeting the same description and riding a white scooter was spotted near a different report of shots fired on Carmody Court.

At about 9:50 pm, officers observed two scooters, one yellow and one red and white, ignoring red lights on Morrissey Boulevard and notified additional units. The operator of the yellow scooter was detained; the other evaded police on the red and white scooter. About 45 minutes later, officers saw this scooter again on Mercer Street and attempted to stop it. The operator - later identified as Woods - led police on a pursuit that ended when he turned onto Hillsboro Street, a dead end, and dropped the scooter.

Woods allegedly ran from pursuing officers, throwing a .40 caliber Glock 22 handgun over a fence. The weapon had four live rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. The scooter had been reported stolen earlier that same day. Woods was taken into custody after a violent struggle with officers. He was charged with failing to stop for police, resisting arrest, receiving a stolen motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and carrying a loaded firearm. Prosecutors recommended $50,000 cash bail and a judge set bail at $7,500.

Innocent, etc.

Board rejects multi-family building in South Boston as too large; then approves even larger building in Roxbury

The Board of Appeals today rejected plans by a developer to tear down a house at 844 East 3 St. in South Boston's City Point and replace it with a five-unit building with ten parking spaces after residents were joined by elected officials in opposing the proposal.

Not long after, the board approved plans by a developer to put up an eight-unit condo building on a vacant lot at the corner of Moreland and Montrose streets in Roxbury. Neighbors opposed the project with similar reasons as their South Boston counterparts, but unlike in South Boston, most elected officials with an opinion supported the proposal.

Jody Luongo had originally proposed a seven-unit building at 844-846 East 3 St, but reduced that to five after meetings with neighbors, his attorney, George Morancy, told the board. Morancy said the new building was less dense than allowed by zoning for the block and had more open space.

But nearby residents said that even at five units, the building was simply too large and out of character for a neighborhood with mostly single and two-family homes.

"This just isn't in keeping" with the area, Mary Bulger of East 3 St. said.

Neighbors were joined by the mayor's office and city councilors Ed Flynn, Michael Flaherty and Anissa Essaibi-George in opposition.

The board's denial is the second straight win for Bulger, wife of the former state-senate president, who helped quash plans for a multi-family building on Farragut Road in February.

Neighbors of a proposed eight-unit building on Moreland Street in Roxbury also said the building would be too large for the historic street, lined with houses more than 100 years old - and said it would cause parking issues and make the intersection of Moreland and Montrose street even more dangerous for parents and young children trying to get to the park across the street.

"It will totally destroy the look of the neighborhood," one resident said. "This wouldn't be allowed in the South End. This wouldn't be allowed in Brookline. This wouldn't be allowed in Newton."

But City Councilor Kim Janey rose to support the project, because she said it would bring much needed, sort-of affordable housing to the neighborhood. Developers said that if they could only build the five condos allowed under the lot's zoning - or the six neighbors proposed - they would have to price the units as high as $700,000 apiece. The extra three units, they said, would let them market the units for under $400,000.

Janey said she, too, had "deep concern around density," but said that if Roxbury is to continue to be a place where its current occupants can stay in, she had no choice but to support the proposal, with its lower-cost units. "I don't take this lightly," she said, also pointing to the developers' commitments to hire minorities and women for construction.

Representatives from the mayor's office and city councilors Ayanna Pressley, Annissa Essaibi-George, Michelle Wu and Michael Flaherty echoed her comments in voicing support. No elected officials opposed the proposal, although one resident did submit a letter of opposition she said was from state Rep. Chynah Tyler.

As she finished her statement in support, Janey said she wanted to meet with opponents to explain her rationale. And after the hearing, one of her aides tried to convince residents to visit with the councilor in her fifth-floor office. But angry residents were having none of it, telling the aide the time for Janey to talk to them was weeks ago.

As summer approaches, police try to make Mattapan Square less nippy

Boston Police say they're determined to end problems by daytime drinkers congregating outside Mattapan Square liquor stores downing the nips and single cans of beer they've just bought, and are now about a month into a crackdown that they say so far is working.

B-3 Sgt. Det. John Fitzgerald said that last month, he and B-3 commanders met with the owners of the square's liquor stores to lay down the law and seek ways to put a stop to the long-running problem. The next day, he said, "No Loitering" signs went at local packies, making it easier for police to make people move along even if they're not caught in the act of drinking in public. And workers now try to do a better job of sweeping up all the empty nips that used to line nearby sidewalks.

Fitzgerald was testifying at a hearing before the Boston Licensing Board involving a citation issued to Happy Liquors II, 1633 Blue Hill Ave., because of a man caught drinking from an open bottle of whiskey at 9:30 a.m. on March 16. He said he was checking out the store in response to a number of "quality of life" complaints from residents.

Fitzgerald acknowledged the store was in particularly rough location because it's in a row with a smoke shop and a pizza place - and the sort of men who would drink nips would go down to the Dunkin' Donuts, panhandle, then return for more nips.

But he said the store had removed a trash bin out front that drinkers had been using as an impromptu table and gathering spot. And he said problems with day drinkers has decreased over the past month. Along with working with the store owners, B-3 has instituted rotating "zero tolerance" days outside specific stores, in which anybody trying to undo a container of liquor on the sidewalk outside

The store's attorney, Ethan Schaff, acknowledged the store had gone through a rough patch of about six months where nothing employees seemed to do would get people to stop congregating outside, drinking. He agreed with Fitzgerald that things have improved.

But Schaff recoiled when board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini - who said she was troubled by the report of somebody standing on the sidewalk drinking at 9:30 a.m. - asked whether the long-term solution might be to ban the sale of nips and single cans of beer altogether. In recent years, the city has barred the sale of the products on new packie licenses issued in the city.

Schaff said the stores survive in part because of the sales of the products, and that the board should give the new police and store policies in Mattapan Square a chance to prove themselves before taking such a drastic step as trying to bar their sale.

Boston board apologizes to New York grandmother, future son-in-law for attack at Brighton pizza joint

Agoros Bar and Grill on Chestnut Hill Avenue shut down in February, so there may be little the Boston Licensing Board can do to punish it for a fight last fall that left a 75-year-old grandmother on the floor, bleeding from her mouth and her daughter's boyfriend needing 12 stitches.

But on behalf of the city of Boston, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini apologized to the visitors, who were in town to see the woman's granddaughter - who graduated yesterday from BC.

"We're horrified," by what happened Puligini told the woman, the man, and the woman's daughter at a hearing today. The woman accepted the apology and said she doesn't blame Boston, and in fact she praised D-14 Det. John Joyce for his investigation. "He couldn't have been more caring, more involved," she said.

The owners of Agoros declined to attend the hearing.

According to the family members, they were dancing on the bar's dance floor when three men in their 20s sort of began dancing along. When done, the family gathered for a photo and one of the guys photobombed them. The man asked them not to and that was the end of that - until the family was getting ready to leave at the end of the night, when one of the three men, now wearing a mustard-yellow leather jacket lunged at the man, knocking him to the ground. The grandmother said she tried to grab him to get him off the man, whieh "he grabbed both my sides and on the shoulder, and he flung me down." As she fell, she knocked over a metal stanchion that had been holding the pizza place's new license checker - installed in a vain attempt to curb underage drinkers - fell on her face, opening a gash.

The grandmother and man said a bar manager separated the fighters, then got mustard-yellow-jacket guy, who apologized to the man and out of the blue said he didn't have a knife. At a hearing in December, one of Agoros's bouncers claimed the man's ear was cut open by the edge of the license scanner, but today the man testified his surgeon told him the slices came from a knife.

The family spent five hours in the Beth Israel emergency room - after front-desk workers at the Brookline hotel they were staying at called Brookline Police. The family said nobody at Agoros ever called 911 for them and that while they did offer up a bag of ice and napkins for the bleeding, they insisted the family get out of there as quickly as possible.