July 27, 2011

Natick Man Charged with Drug Crimes out of Framingham

Luis Hernandez, 41, of Natick, was arrested this past week and charged with Massachusetts Drug Crimes Violations following a 'month-long' investigation in Framingham. Hernandez was charged with Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance; Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs; Conspiracy to Violate the Massachusetts Drug Laws and Resisting Arrest.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Natick Police allegedly observed Luis Hernandez engage in a drug transaction from the parking lot of his Natick apartment. Police then followed the alleged buyers, Gina Stucchi and William Roberts, to a parking lot in Framingham off Route 9 and allegedly observed them attempting to himself with cocaine or heroin. One of the passengers in the car, Maria Woods, allegedly told police they had purchased the drugs from Luis Hernandez.

Natick Police stopped Luis Hernandez sometime thereafter and he allegedly admitted to having drugs in the car, as well as drugs in a safe in his apartment. Officers then searched Hernandez' apartment and allegedly recovered cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Seems too easy for the police doesn't it? Imagine how simple it was for everyone involved to admit their criminal culpability, make statements implicating themselves in drug dealing, while at the same time providing police with the probable cause to conduct a warrantless search of an apartment. There must be more, or less, to this story...

At the end of the day, in almost every case my clients are involved with, I almost always get the same statement from the client: "I never told the police that!" Discrepancies concerning any alleged statements are to be taken very seriously, particularly where the client/defendant denies making any statements in the first place. For that reason, I always advise clients to err on the side of caution and invoke their Right to Remain Silent or Privilege Against Self-Incrimination.

Regardless, all other persons involved in this investigation were arrested on various Drug Crimes Charges.

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July 26, 2011

Boston Man Arraigned for Murder of Ex-Girlfriend

Junior Fernandes, 22, of Boston's Dorchester section, was arraigned on Monday on Massachusetts Murder Charges and Gun Charges following the shooting death of his girlfriend, Alessa Castellon, last Sunday night.

Fernandes has been charged with First Degree Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Junior Fernandes allegedly shot Alessa Castellon early Monday morning after the two got into an argument outside his sister's apartment on Granger Street in Dorchester.

Following his arrest by Boston Police, Fernandes allegedly told police that he met with Alessa Castellon to talk about their relationship, when she began to assault him. According to police, Fernandes allegedly stated that he tried to walk away once Castellon began hitting and punching him, but he then pulled out a gun, fired a shot, and then 'blacked out' before driving away.

Following his Murder arraignment in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court, Fernandes was held without bail.

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July 25, 2011

Roslindale Man Charged with Murder

Laquan Miller, of Boston's Roslindale section, was arraigned this morning in West Roxbury District Court on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the shooting death of Wilfredo Martinez, 23, on June 5.

Miller was arraigned on charges including First Degree Murder, Armed Assault with Intent to Murder, and Gun Charges including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Carrying a Loaded Firearm.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and Boston Police, Laquan Miller allegedly shot Wilfredo Martinez to death on June 5 near the Archdale Housing Development. Another man who was with Martinez, was also shot, but he survived his injuries after surgery at a Boston hospital.

At this time, there have been no released reports by the Boston Police with any possible motive or circumstances surrounding this incident.

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July 20, 2011

Boston Man Charged with 1991 Rapes in Suffolk County

Jerry Dixon, 38, has been indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury in Boston of several counts of Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including several indictments for Aggravated Rape stemming from three separate incidents in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Dixon was reportedly linked to the three 1991 alleged sexual assaults through a CODIS ("Combined DNA Index System") hit that is essentially a DNA database maintained by the FBI. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Dixon has allegedly been linked to these three sexual assaults after his DNA allegedly matched DNA samples that have been kept from those incidents.

Police were reportedly able to match Jerry Dixon's DNA after he was convicted of Armed Robbery. In Massachusetts, any person that is convicted of a felony offense is required by statute to submit their DNA to the Massachusetts DNA database, which in turn submits the DNA samples into the CODIS database.

Notably, however, another man, Anthony Powell, was previously tried and convicted of these three 1991 Rapes. Powell was convicted in Suffolk Superior Court in 1992 and spent 12 years in state prison before he was released after DNA technology became available and he was exonerated.

In many sexual assault cases, many people believe that simply because there is an alleged DNA match that there is no defense to the charges. That is not true. In fact, there may be several other explanations and defenses as to why a person's DNA may be found at the scene of the crime, including the defense of consent, i.e., that no alleged rape occurred at all.

As far as Jerry Dixon's case goes in his defense against the Sex Crimes of Aggravated Rape, the defense will certainly explore all the evidence that allegedly links him to these crimes, as well as any reasonable explanations as to the reasons for those links.

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July 16, 2011

Dorchester Man Arraigned for Boston Murder

Boston Police arrested Anthony Robertson of Dorchester last week for the Murder of Aaron Wornum. Robertson was arraigned yesterday in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court for First Degree Murder and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office alleges that Anthony Robertson shot and killed Aaron Wornum as he was talking on his cell phone on June 26. Wornum was reportedly shot several times in the area of Sumner and East Cottage Streets in Dorchester that evening and died as a result after being taken to Boston Medical Center.

Boston Police and prosecutors have suggested that phone records subpoenaed during the course of the investigation led them to focus the investigation on Anthony Robertson, alleging that the phone records at the time of the shooting link Wornum to the incident.

At this time, however, it's unclear whether the Boston Police Department has recovered the gun that was allegedly used in the murder and if so, where it was found and what evidence may exist to link that weapon to Anthony Robertson. It is also unclear whether the police or prosecutors know of any witnesses that put Anthony Robertson at the scene of the murder.

Following his arraignment in Dorchester District Court on Massachusetts Murder Charges, Anthony Robertson was held without bail.

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July 13, 2011

Boston Teenager Arrested for Rockland Murder in Armed Home Invasion

kavanaugh.jpgOrlando Harrington Kavanaugh, of Boston, was arraigned on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with an Armed Home Invasion in Rockland that resulted in the shooting death of Tina Gonsalves.

Kavanaugh was arraigned yesterday from his hospital bed on charges including First Degree Murder; Armed Home Invasion; Armed Assault with Intent to Murder; and Gun Crimes Charges including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Carrying a Loaded Firearm.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Kavanaugh, 28, allegedly broke into the Rockland apartment at 50 Concord Street at shortly after 7:30 a.m. by breaking the glass window in the door and reaching into to unlock it. Once inside, prosecutors allege that Kavanaugh pushed Tina Gonsalves into the back of the apartment.

During the struggle, Kavanaugh allegedly shot at Gonsalves' son, but missed; he also then allegedly shot Tina Gonsalves in the abdomen. Gonsalves' son, however, then shot Kavanaugh as he was leaving the apartment, striking him in the left shoulder. Kavanaugh reportedly got into a truck that was allegedly waiting for him outside.

According to the police, a witness who was outside the apartment was able to identity Kavanaugh as the person with the gun. Gonsalves' son, however, was unable to identity him, as Kavanaugh was allegedly wearing a hooded sweatshirt during the incident.

After Orlando Kavanaugh was dropped off at the emergency room at the hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound, police obtained the surveillance video of the hospital and were reportedly able to identify the truck. The truck was reportedly registered to Tyrell Nichols, whose phone records allegedly revealed evidence of a scheme to rob a house.

At this time, it is not known whether Tyrell Nichols will also be charged. Theoretically, the prosecutors could try charging him with First Degree Murder and Armed Home Invasion as well under the theory that he aided and abetted Kavanaugh. He could also be charged as an Accessory Before the Fact or Accessory After the Fact.

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July 8, 2011

Boston Feds Hand Down 26 Indictments for Alleged Chinatown Organized Crime

Boston Federal prosecutors have indicted 26 people in connection with an alleged organized crime group in Boston's Chinatown section, which charges them with Drug Crimes, Sex Crimes, such as prostitution, as well as money laundering, illegal gambling and Gun Crimes.

According to the Boston FBI office, the investigation into the alleged Chinatown crime group has netted the seizure of $340,000, tens of thousands of illegal pills, and several weapons.

Of the several men charged in the indictment, the few named are Minh Cam Luong, Songzeng Cao, Yao Cao, and Hin Pau, Yue Q. He, Wei Xing Chen, Xiaohong Xue, and Peter Melendez.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for consultation on all Massachusetts Major Felony Crimes.

To schedule a Free Consultation, Click Here to Contact a Boston Criminal Lawyer or call 617-325-9500.

July 7, 2011

Five Men Indicted in Salem Superior Court for Murder of Lawrence Man

Five men were indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury in Salem Superior Court on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the shooting death of Roberto Gonzalez in 2009.

Francis Wyatt, 29, and Cauris Gonzalez, 22, were both arraigned in Salem Superior Court this week for First Degree Murder. Two other men, Yoshio Stackerman and Thomas Castro, are scheduled to be arraigned at a later date. A sixth man, Joel Javier, reportedly surrendered to police in Provincetown yesterday after he was named in the murder indictment.

Maribel Villafane, 25, was also arraigned in Salem Superior Court on the charge of Accessory After the Fact to Murder.

According to Lawrence and Massachusetts State Police, Robert Gonzalez was allegedly targeted as he sat in his minivan in Lawrence when he was approached by two gunmen who began to open fire. Gonzalez reportedly dove into the passenger's seat, but was reportedly hit by several bullets.

Shortly after the shooting, Robert Gonzalez' wife was interview, who stated she believed that Gonzalez was targeted in retaliation over an argument he had a few days before over some money he was owed.

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July 6, 2011

Cambridge Man Charged Rape at Boston's July 4th Celebration

Joseph Lee Brown, 22, of Cambridge, was arrested and charged with Massachusetts Sex Crimes for allegedly raping sexually assaulting a 19 year old woman in Boston on July 4th. Brown was arraigned yesterday in Brighton District Court on the sex crime of Rape.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, the alleged sexual assault occurred shortly before 11:00 p.m. following Boston's fireworks display at the Esplanade. According to police, Joseph Lee Brown met the young woman in Harvard Square that evening, and the two walked along the Charles River to watch the fireworks.

In the area near the John W. Weeks Footbridge, Joseph Lee Brown allegedly pushed the woman to the ground and raped her. Immediately following the alleged sexual assault, the woman had a friend call 911 and then admitted herself into Cambridge Hospital to be treated for injuries and to have a rape examination done.

Joseph Lee Brown was reportedly arrested by Cambridge Police who then transferred him to the Massachusetts State Police barracks. It is unclear, however, how Brown came to be identified and arrested, e.g., whether the young woman was able to identify him by name or whether some sort of identification process was utilized by the police in order to identity him.

At Brown's arraignment on Rape Charges in Brighton yesterday, Brighton District Court presiding justice Judge Donnelly imposed a $50,000 bail on these charges, and also revoked his bail on a separate pending criminal matter which charges him with Larceny and Assault.

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July 5, 2011

18 Year Old Arrested and Charged with Murder of Wayland Teen Lauren Astley

fujita.jpgNathaniel Fujita was arrested and has been charged in connection with the Murder of Lauren Astley, the Wayland teenager whose body was found in a wooded marsh area along Route 27 near a Wayland beach.

Fujita was arraigned this morning in Framingham District Court on 1st Degree Murder Charges. Following his arraignment, he was held without bail.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Lauren Astley's car was found parked at the Wayland beach after she was reported missing late Sunday night. She was last seen leaving work at the Natick Collection at 6:30 that night. Yesterday morning, however, Lauren Astley's body was discovered by a man along Route 27, partially submerged in a marsh.

Police, in the meantime, had obtained a search warrant for the home of Nathaniel Fujita, in which they allegedly discovered "significant blood" and a bungee cord that police believe Fujita allegedly wrapped around her neck - which reportedly had a gaping and significant wound. Nathaniel Fujita had reportedly been involved in a 3 year relationship with Lauren Astley that recently ended.

At this time, it is unclear what led police to investigate Nathaniel Fujita, or how they otherwise were able to justify the probable cause needed for their obtaining a search warrant for his home.

The United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights presumes all persons are presumed innocent.

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July 4, 2011

West Roxbury Man Arrested on Massachusetts Gun & Assault Charges

Robert M. MacCormack, 32, of West Roxbury, was arrested on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges this past weekend after he allegedly pulled out a gun on a food delivery driver. MacCormack was arrested on gun crimes including Assault With a Dangerous Weapon and Improper Storage of a Firearm.

According to the Boston Police Department, police officers were approached by a delivery driver who said Robert MacCormack allegedly pulled out a gun on him as he was driving down Pender Street in West Roxbury. According to the driver, MacCormack allegedly pulled up to him after his delivery and questioned why he was driving down the street in a reckless manner. The driver alleges that he was threatened at this point by MacCormack allegedly pointing a gun at him.

Boston Police Officers who responded to the incident reported that Robert MacCormack is licensed to carry a firearm and arrested him. A search of MacCormack's house also yielded in the seizure of three guns and several rounds of ammunition.

Of particular concern in this case is what justification the Boston Police used in entering the home of Robert M. MacCormack and searching for and seizing his other lawfully owned weapons, presumably without a search warrant.

The Massachusetts Gun Laws of Improper Storage of a Firearm makes it unlawful for any person, whether properly licensed or not, to store a firearm or ammunition in any place unless the weapon is secured in a lock container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other device so as to render the weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

A violation of Improper Storage of a Firearm in Massachusetts could result in imprisonment for up to 1 year; or for not less than 1 year and up to 10 years if the firearm is a "large capacity weapon or machine gun."

Under Massachusetts Gun Laws, a firearm is defined as "a pistol, revolver or other weapon...loaded or unloaded, from which a shot or bullet can be discharged..."

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July 3, 2011

Gloucester Man Charged with Manslaughter for Drug Overdose of Another

Jeremiah Sullivan, of Gloucester, has been indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on Massachusetts Murder Charges in connection with the overdose of Michael Rogers. He has been indicted on the Murder Charge of Involuntary Manslaughter; Distribution of a Class A Substance, Heroin; Operating Under the Influence of Drugs; Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, Jeremiah Sullivan allegedly distributed heroin to Michael Rogers, who consumed the drugs which resulted in his death by overdose.

The Essex County District Attorney's Office is proceeding its prosecution against Jeremiah Sullivan under a theory that his providing drugs that resulted in a death by overdose is manslaughter.

In Massachusetts, Involuntary Manslaughter is the unintentionally killing of another caused by wanton or reckless conduct that creates a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm will result to another. In order to prove the crime of Involuntary Manslaughter, prosecutors would need to prove that:

  1. The defendant committed an unintentional killing, i.e., that the defendant intended the conduct that caused the death of another;

  2. That the killing was caused by wanton or reckless conduct; and

  3. The wanton or reckless conduct caused the death of that person.
The potential penalty that may be imposed upon a conviction for the crime of Involuntary Manslaughter is up to 20 years in state prison.

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July 2, 2011

Walpole Corrections Officer Arrested on Child Rape Charges

Matthew Pike, 39, a corrections officer at MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole, was arrested this past week on Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges alleging that he repeatedly raped a child over a 5-6 year period.

Pike was arraigned on Friday in Wrentham District Court on various sex crimes charges including 10 counts of Rape of a Child, 2 counts of Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14; Assault & Battery; and Intimidation of a Witness.

According to the Walpole Police Department, the child at issue had recently told family members of the allegations, who in turn then reported the alleged incidents to the Walpole Police Department. No other details of the case, nor the relationship between the child and Matthew Pike, have been disclosed to date.

In an unrelated incident, Matthew Pike is also facing Assault Charges in connection with an incident last March at the Corrib Pub in West Roxbury, where Pike was allegedly involved in a bar brawl and had to be subdued by several Boston Police officers.

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July 1, 2011

Charlestown Man Indicted for Medford Murder

Gerald Sullivan, 37 of Charlestown, had Massachusetts Murder Charges returned against him by a Middlesex County Grand Jury yesterday in connection with the robbery of a Medford home that left one person dead and another seriously injures.

Sullivan was indicted on criminal charges including First Degree Murder, Home Invasion, Armed Assault to Murder, Armed Assault to Rob, Aggravated Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition. Gerald Sullivan was also indicted as an Armed Career Criminal.

According to the Medford Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Gerald Sullivan and another person, both wearing masks, allegedly knocked on the door at a Jerome Street apartment in Medford. Once the occupant opened the door, Sullivan allegedly pushed his way in began robbing the occupant of his money and jewelry.

During the Home Invasion, Gerald Sullivan allegedly shot the occupants, Johnny Hatch, 37, and his father, John Viera. Another occupant of the apartment called 911. Johnny Hatch was pronounced dead at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Although John Viera survived the shot to his head, he was seriously injured and not all bullet fragments were able to be removed from his brain.

Johnny Hatch was a musician who had co-founded the group Mikst Nutz, a hip-hop group from Boston that was popular in the mid-1990's.

Gerald Sullivan was not immediately arrested following this incident. It has been reported that the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office was able to link him to this crime through CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) - essentially an FBI database that includes, among others, DNA samples from persons previously convicted of major felony crimes.

The United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights presumes that all persons charged with a crime, no matter how serious the allegations, are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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June 30, 2011

Milford Teen Charged with Rape of Student at Nichols College

David Ceballos, 17, of Milford, was arraigned this week on several Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault during a freshman orientation at Nichols College.

Ceballos was arraigned in Dudley District Court and charged with Rape and Indecent Assault & Battery on a Person Over 14.

According to prosecutors, the woman, also a freshman entering his first year at Nichols College, told police that David Ceballos allegedly forced her to have sex with him against her will. She also alleged that there were four witnesses to the sexual assault. Police reportedly spoke with those four witnesses, who according to investigators, gave a consistent account with the woman.

David Ceballos was arrested that same evening after sexual assault investigators interviewed the woman at the hospital. According to police, Ceballos initially denied having had sex with anyone that night; but later said that he had consensual sex which was witnesses by four others that were in the room.

For obvious reasons, the details of the witness accounts were not released by the police, but the question still remains: if there really was a sexual assault occurring, why didn't those other four people do anything to stop the alleged attack?

In Rape cases or in cases of alleged sexual assault, one of the most critical and telling pieces of evidence is the Sexual Assault Nurse's Examination that is conducted. In some cases, the physical examination may not be consistent with the allegation of a forced sexual assault, e.g., lack of any signs of trauma, tearing, lacerations, or other inconsistencies with the allegations.

The Sex Crime of Rape in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis has experience in successfully defending Massachusetts Sex Crimes, including Rape and Indecent Assault & Battery, and is available 24/7 for consultation. See Case Results.

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