Chelsea Man Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving Attempted Murder
BOSTON – A Chelsea man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to RICO conspiracy involving attempted murder and drug trafficking.
Brandon Baez, aka “Big Baby,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and cocaine. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for May 3, 2019.
During an investigation into a network of street gangs that had created alliances to traffic weapons and drugs throughout Massachusetts, Baez was identified as a member of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG), a Chelsea-based street gang, which used violence to further its criminal activities and enforce its internal rules. Specifically, ESMG uses violence to protect its members/associates, target rival gang members/associates and intimidate potential witnesses.
In intercepted calls on April 3, 2016, Baez informed Angel Mejia, a leader in the ESMG, that he had just shot two men in a black Cadillac at a gas station in Revere because he believed that they were members of a rival street gang. Baez told Mejia that he believed he had killed at least one of the intended victims. Two days before the shooting, Mejia and fellow ESMG member Josue Rodriguez had provided Baez with the .22 caliber revolver used in the shooting. Following the shooting, Baez asked Mejia for assistance getting a larger caliber handgun as no one was killed during the Revere shooting. Baez was subsequently arrested in Chelsea by local law enforcement officers while armed with the .22 caliber revolver used in the Revere shooting.
In October 2017, Rodriguez was sentenced to over 10 years in prison. Mejia previously pleaded guilty and is pending sentencing.
Baez is one of 53 defendants indicted in June 2016 on federal firearms and drug charges following an investigation into a network of street gangs that created alliances to traffic weapons and drugs and to generate violence against rival gang members. According to court documents, the defendants, who are leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Street Gang, were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. During the course of the investigation, over 70 firearms were seized.
The charge of RICO conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base provides for a maximum sentence of twenty years, a minimum of three years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Kelly Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Maura Healey, Attorney General of Massachusetts; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes; and Brockton Police Chief John Crowley made the announcement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also acknowledges the assistance of the Suffolk and Middlesex County Sheriff Departments and the Malden, Revere and Everett Police Departments. Lelling’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.
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