October 25, 2011

Boston High School Student Arrested for Gun at School

A 14 year old Boston high school student was arrested this morning on Massachusetts Gun Crimes Charges after he allegedly brought a loaded handgun to West Roxbury High School.

The 9th grade student was charged in West Roxbury Juvenile Court this morning on charges including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition and Unlawful Possession of a Loaded Firearm.

The Boston high school student was arrested at the West Roxbury Education Complex this morning by Boston School Police when he allegedly tried to avoid the metal detector when entering the school.

Following his arraignment on gun charges, the student was held without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing.

The Massachusetts Gun Crime of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm is punishable with imprisonment for a minimum-mandatory sentence of not less than 18 months in the House of Corrections and up to 5 years in state prison.

In order to prove unlawful possession of a gun, the prosecutor would have to prove that the defendant possessed or had under his control a firearm. A "firearm" is defined in Massachusetts is a pistol or revolver, loaded or unloaded, from which a bullet can be discharged and which has a barrel length of less than 16 inches."

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October 24, 2011

Stoughton Woman Charged with Allegedly Running Prostitution Ring

A 45 year old Stoughton woman was arraigned this morning in Brockton District Court on various Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges for allegedly running prostitution services in Brockton, Norwood and Canton.

The woman was arraigned on the sex crime charge of Deriving Support from Prostitution.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, the woman allegedly used three locations, Aria Day Spa in Brockton, Sparkle Day Spa in Canton and Spa Bellissimo in Norwood, as centers for conducting the purported sex crimes. It it alleged that the masseuses at these various locations were offering sex as part of the service.

The investigation was reportedly completed when an undercover Massachusetts State Trooper negotiated with the woman to have 12 women perform sex acts at a party. Prosecutors reported that the trooper provided the woman a cash down payment over the weekend.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Deriving Support from Prostitution is punishable by a minimum-mandatory jail sentence of not less than 2 years and up to 5 years in state prison.

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October 21, 2011

Massachusetts Man Indicted on Child Rape Charges Following Internet Meeting

A 19 year old Tewksbury man has been indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on several Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges after allegedly trying to blackmail the purported 15 year old victim with photographs he had taken.

Thomas Hutchinson has been indicted on Rape of a Child by Force; Assault with Intent to Rape; Attempted Extortion; Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Over 14; and Unlawful Possession of Child Pornography.

According to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Hutchinson allegedly met the 15 year old girl after an online encounter. Prior to meeting, the girl reportedly sent him photos of her in her bathing suit and eventually nude photographs.

According to police, Hutchinson then allegedly threatened to post the photos online if the girl didn't have sex with him and his friend; and also allegedly threatened to rape her if she refused to meet him or even called the police to report the incident.

Eventually, the indictment alleges that Hutchinson met the girl, got her into his car and allegedly forced her to perform sexual acts.

Despite the allegations, the substance of the charges against this man are that he raped a young girl. In assessing the strength and weaknesses of the prosecutions case, the defendant will most certainly need to examine any forensic evidence agains him, particularly whether a rape exam was conducted - which could tend to disprove whether there was any evidence of a forced sexual act.

The Massachusetts Sex Crime of Rape of a Child by Force is punishable in state prison for any term of years up to life. By definition, Rape of a Child by Force involves compelling a a child under 16 to perform a sexual act against her will.

As with most Massachusetts Sex Crimes, a conviction for this offense carries several collateral consequences aside from potential imprisonment, including Sex Offender Registration.

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October 20, 2011

Massachusetts Teen Arrested for Wielding BB Gun in High School

westford.jpgA Westford High School student was arrested by Westford Police after he allegedly brought a large pellet gun that resembled an assault rifle into school. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Lowell Juvenile Court on Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges, including Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Carrying a Dangerous Weapon on School Property; and Unlawful Possession of a BB Gun.

According to police, the teenager, a 16 year old sophomore student at Westford High School, walked into the high school and allegedly began pointing the weapon in the direction of students. He eventually made his way into the school cafeteria, that was filled at the time with about 150 high school students.

The incident involving the student, who was reportedly under suspension at the time, caused school officials to put the school in lockdown.

After entering the cafeteria, he was reportedly tacked by Matthew Richard, the assistant principal, and held by other faculty members until police arrived.

In Massachusetts, the crime of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is punishable by imprisonment in the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years, or to state prison for up to 10 years.

In order to be convicted of the crime of Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, the prosecutor would have to prove that the defendant intentionally touched the person of another without any right or excuse and that it was done with a dangerous weapon.

As of this time, all reports seem to suggest that the student did nothing more than enter the school and allegedly point the BB gun at other students. In other words, it's unclear whether he actually struck or hit anyone else with the gun. If so, it appears more of circumstances involved Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, that involves conduct where no actually touching was committed.

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October 18, 2011

3 Men Charged in Massachusetts with Murder of Quincy Restauranteur

Two men from Massachusetts, Jun Di Lin of Malden, and Sifa Lee, of Quincy, along with Cheng Sun, were arrested on Murder Charges in connection with the death of Tony Woo, of Quincy, found dead inside his Ipswich restaurant.

According to the Essex County District Attorney's Office, the three men allegedly broke into Woo's Ipswich restaurant in what is believed to be a robbery. Woo reportedly died from blunt force trauma according to a preliminary autopsy report.

Jun Di Lin was reportedly arrested trying to cross into Canada; while Sifa Lee was arrested in New Jersey; and Cheng Sun was arrested in New York.

It's unclear at this time how, exactly, police linked the three men to the murder of Woo.

At this time, all three men are expected to be brought back into Massachusetts within the next and arraigned in Salem on 1st Degree Murder Charges.

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October 17, 2011

Boston Fire in Roxbury Was Set by Medford Man

Boghosian_Rox Fire2_MET.jpgMohamed Abdul Jabar, 28, of Medford, was arrested this morning for allegedly setting fire to a Boston apartment building this morning that reportedly injured 13 and left dozens homeless. He faces charges including Attempted Murder and Arson.

According to the Boston Police Department, Jabar allegedly tried to commit suicide by turning on the gas from a stove from within one of the apartments and then lighting a match. Jabar also reportedly suffered injuries as a result of the fire and was taken to Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital to be treated.

According to Boston Police, Jabar allegedly told medical responders that he "blew up his house."

Due to the quickly moving blaze, many of the residents within the apartment complex had to be rescued by Boston Firefighters through windows. In one instance, a six year old child had to be dropped into the open arms of a firefighter 3 stories below to avoid the heavy smoke.

The crime of Arson in Massachusetts is defined as the willful and malicious setting of a fire and causing to burn the dwelling of another, and is punishable by commitment to state prison for up to 20 years.

By statute, in order to be convicted of the crime of Arson, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant acted willfully and maliciously. "Willfully" means that the person acted intentionally and by design, and not by just mere thoughtless or accident. In other person, the person intended both the conduct and the resulting harm from his actions.

"Malice" means that the act was done with an evil disposition, or with a wrong or unlawful motive.

In this case, however, and even with evidence of Arson, prosecutors will have a more difficult time in proving the crime of Attempted Murder against Jabar.

In order to be convicted of Attempted Murder in Massachusetts, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant had a "specific intent to commit the crime of Murder". In other words, they must prove that it was Jabar's intent to commit the murder, or unlawful killing of another, when he allegedly set the fire. This requires that the government prove the mental state of the defendant at the time when the alleged criminal act was committed - which is not as simple as it may sound.

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October 15, 2011

Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules on Admission of 911 Call Where Caller Doesn't Testify at Trial

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently considered whether the admission of a 911 call at trial was proper where the caller did not testify at trial, and whether admitting the call violated that defendant's constitution right of confrontation.

In this case, the defendant was charged with two counts of Assault & Battery, and prior to trial, moved to preclude the prosecutor from admitting the 911 call, in which the caller identified his as the perpetrator, and alleging that he had just beaten her.

By way of background, in the case of Crawford v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment barred the admission of statements of witness who did not appear at trial [unless they were unavailable to testify and where the defendant had had a previous opportunity to cross-examine them].

However, in Davis v. Washington, the United States Supreme Court, defining what constitutes a 'testimonial statement', ruled that statements are not testimonial if they were made under circumstances to enable police assistance to an ongoing emergency. In contrast, statements are testimonial when their primary purpose is to establish or prove events relevant to a criminal prosecution.

In this case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the 911 caller's statements were made in the course of an 'ongoing emergency', and that therefore her statements was non-testimonial in nature; and not, in other words, under circumstances to prove the facts for a criminal prosecution.

The prosecutor, therefore, was permitted to introduce the 911 call, even though the caller did not testify at trial, and according to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, this did not violate the defendant's constitutional Right of Confrontation under the Sixth Amendment.

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October 11, 2011

Boston Police Target Convenience Store Owner for Selling 'Drug Paraphernalia'

The Boston Police Department and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino recently announced that they are targeting convenience store owners, primarily in Roxbury, who allegedly sell drug paraphernalia, such as "crack pipe kits", and charging them with violating the Massachusetts Drug Crimes Laws.

The investigation was reportedly initiated after complaints from the neighborhood that the stores selling these items would attract too many drug users and addicts.

In all, the Boston Police Department reportedly focused their attention on 14 locations and seized various items the store owners were selling to customers, including 'crack kits', illegal poker machines, Viagra pills, glass smoking pipes, and other items that drug users can allegedly use to support their habit.

14 store owner will reportedly be summonsed and charged with violating the Massachusetts Drugs Laws.

What is interesting about this case is that it appears many of the items that were reportedly being sold are not, in and of themselves, illegal. An item, for example, that could be used for legal purposes and sold lawfully, is now considered to be 'drug paraphernalia' by the Boston Police, subjecting these store owners to arrest and prosecution.

But the question that will inevitably be posed in most, if not all, of these cases, if it's legal to sell the item, then how can the proprietor be prosecuted criminally where it's the buyer who then elects to use the item for unlawful purposes?

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October 3, 2011

Boston Man Indicted on Sex Crimes Charges

Norman Barnes, 28, was indicted by a special grand jury on violation of Massachusetts Sex Crimes for his alleged involvement in forcing underage women into prostitution.

Barnes is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Boston's Suffolk Superior Court on various sex crimes charges, including 10 indictments charging Deriving Support from Prostitution; Statutory Rape; and Dissemination of Obscene Material.

Norman Barnes was arrested on May 19 when one of the young ladies was located by her family at a motel. Massachusetts State Police arrested Barnes that evening at the motel, also seizing almost $20,000 in cash along with a key to the room where he was allegedly staying with a 15 year old girl.

According to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, the charges against Norman Barnes allege that he forced two underage women, ages 15 and 16, to engage in prostitution and then collected the profits. It is also alleged that he took photos of the two girl to post on the internet, offering their services for a fee.

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October 1, 2011

Boston Woman Arrested for Stabbing Boyfriend

Angel Haywood, 26, of Boston's Dorchester section, was arrested this weekend on Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend.

Haywood is was charged with Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon after she turned herself into the police station and admitting to stabbing her boyfriend.

According to the Boston Police Department, the incident occurred at about 4:00 o'clock this morning after the couple returned home. Haywood allegedly admitted to grabbing two knives and then stabbing her boyfriend, after which she jumped out a window and ran - with the stabbed boyfriend chasing her.

Boston Police spokesperson reported that when Angel Haywood turned herself in, she was crying and her clothes were bloodstained.

Although police searched the apartment and reportedly recovered two knives, the boyfriend who was stabbed has apparently not been located.

In Massachusetts, Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is punishable by imprisonment to the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years; or to state prison for up to 10 years. Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon is defined as an intentional touching of another person, no matter how slight, with a dangerous weapon.

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September 30, 2011

Massachusetts Woman Reported Being Raped After Facebook Encounter

A Massachusetts woman reported this week that she was allegedly raped after meeting a man on Facebook at an Andover hotel. David Rodriguez has been charged in connection with this alleged incident with several Massachusetts Sex Crimes Charges.

According to police, the woman replied to a request for a modeling agency. At the hotel, the woman was allegedly given a drink that was believed to be spiked and ultimately made her feel dizzy. Although the woman reportedly refused to take off all her clothes, she did agree to model lingerie for the man. After taking several photos, however, the man allegedly raped her.

David Rodriguez, who was arrested in New Jersey, has been arraigned in Lawrence District Court on charges of Rape and Assault and Battery. Following his arraignment, he was held on $100,000 cash bail.

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September 27, 2011

Latest Massachusetts Armored Car Robbery Believed to be "Inside Job"

Three men, two of which were employees of the armored car company, were arrested this week on Massachusetts Robbery Charges in connection with Monday's armored car robbery in Methuen: Eliezer Martinez, 26, and Jose Salazar Vasquez, 21, both from Lawrence; and Justin Levesque.

Methuen Police and Boston FBI reported that the men, two of which are employees of the armored car company, that they were working a transaction shortly after 3:00 p.m. when they were approached by a man with a gun and ordered back into the armored car where they were robbed.

The Essex County District Attorney's Office, however, reported that the armored car guards allegedly gave conflicting stories, purportedly not getting straight the description of the alleged robber.

Although police allegedly did recover cash, a gun and duct tape, there is no confirmation as of yet how much of the approximately $380,000 that was allegedly stolen was recovered.

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September 26, 2011

Randolph Man Charged with Drug Dealing in Quincy

Destin Jean, 22 of Randolph, was arraigned in Quincy District Court this morning on several Massachusetts Drug Crimes Charges, including Drug Trafficking.

He had also previously been charged in Quincy on Gun Crimes Charges as well as Larceny of a Motor Vehicle and Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

According to the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, Destin Jean was arrested following the execution of a search warrant after he had reportedly been the subject of a 'month long investigation' of alleged drug crimes.

In many types of these 'investigation' cases, police officers often typically engage confidential informants to purportedly conduct a few 'controlled drug buys' from a person suspected of dealing in narcotics from their home or other residence. Often times, the police themselves never enter into the home but rely almost exclusively on the representations of these 'confidential informants'.

The confidential informants, meanwhile, are most often individuals who themselves have gotten or sometimes are currently in trouble with the police, and offer to provide information for lenient treatment in their present (or sometimes anticipated future) criminal matters.

In applying for the Search Warrant, the police almost never reveal the true identity of the confidential informant, but rather refer to him/her by code name, for instance, CI12, or "AJAX". Ultimately, once the warrant is executed, the police hope to find evidence of criminal conduct and be able to establish a direct link to that criminal conduct to the person targeted in the investigations.

Sometimes, however, the government's case could turn out to be a 'dud', particularly if the person arrested did not reside in the own; had no personal belongings within that might establish his residence there; had no independent access to the home without another person; had not previously been seen at or near the home; or if several or more persons could have also had access to the alleged criminal instrumentalities seized.

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September 24, 2011

Boston Man Arraigned in Murder of Rockland Mother

Orlando Kavanaugh, 28 from Boston, was arraigned in Brockton's Plymouth County Superior Court on several Massachusetts Crimes of Violence Charges and Gun Crimes in connection with the death of Tina Gonsalves.

Kavanaugh has been charged with First Degree Murder; Armed Home Invasion; Armed Assault to Murder; Assault with a Dangerous Weapon; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm; and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office, Orlando Kavanaugh allegedly broke into Tina Gonsalves' Rockland apartment by breaking a window and then unlocking the back door. At some point during the unlawful entry, Gonsalves reportedly confronted and struggled with Kavanaugh, during which the handgun Kavanaugh allegedly was carrying went off, striking Gonsalves in the stomach. She later died of her wound at a Weymouth Hospital.

Afterwards, prosecutors allege that Kavanaugh ran to a waiting car outside, but not before he was also shot in the shoulder by Gonsalves' son, who had his own firearm.

Police reportedly recovered Kavanaugh's hooded sweatshirt from the scene, and also obtained video surveillance footage from a Brockton Hospital where he was dropped off to be treated for his own gunshot wound. The video footage reportedly also captured the alleged 'getaway vehicle', though it's not clear if anyone else has been charged or even arrested in connection with this incident.

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September 22, 2011

Boston Man Arrested for Murder of Elderly Neighbor

Adam J. Cassino, 25, of South Boston, was arrested on Murder Charges by Boston Police today and charged in connection with the beating death of his 65 year old neighbor, Barbara Tagen.

Cassino was arraigned today in South Boston District Court and charged with First Degree Murder.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Adam J. Cassino beat his neighbor in her apartment this past August, and that forensic evidence, including witnesses, allegedly link him to the murder.

Although the motive for the Murder is unclear, prosecutors allege that Tagen had accused Cassino of stealing from her in the past, and that this incident may have also been a robbery that preceded the beating death.

Boston Police also reported searched Cassino's home and allegedly seized an unidentified object that they believe contains forensic evidence, suggest it may have been the weapon used to beat Tagen.

Following his arraignment in South Boston District Court on First Degree Murder Charges, Cassino was held without bail.

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