Today, we saw that organized crime is no match for law enforcement.
Today’s operation culminated this morning after a meticulous, year-long investigation dealt a crippling blow to what is one of the city’s most brazen and violent gangs.
Last July, the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force joined forces with BPD’s Homicide Unit to target those responsible for the significant number of shootings and homicides attributed to the Dorchester-based N-O-B and Wendover Street gangs.
Most of the individuals arrested today, engaged in a ruthless—and senseless—string of attacks and murders, terrorizing the communities in which they operated—all across the state. Our investigation also found some of them were involved in violent crimes as far away as Maine, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
As alleged, these gang members made a living committing armed robberies and dealing drugs, and tried to gain respect, reputation, and rank within their criminal enterprise by shooting and murdering their rivals, specifically, members and associates of the Cameron Street gang.
Historically, the rivalry between the two Cape Verdean gangs is one of the most violent in Boston, and their feuding, akin to the Hatfields and McCoys of years gone by, have led to spikes in shootings and killings on city streets for decades.
To support their drug trafficking, we allege some of the individuals arrested today lured sex trafficking victims across state lines with promises of profits, and instead prostituted them to paying customers. They showed no mercy to innocent victims—who we know, on at least one occasion, was a 16-year-old girl.
Time after time, they bragged about their violent crimes, in numerous rap videos made to memorialize their members who have either been murdered or locked-up.
Many of those arrested are repeat offenders with criminal records dating back to when some were as young as 14 years old. In fact, a couple of them were wearing GPS bracelets while committing their alleged crimes.
Throughout the course of this investigation, dozens of firearms were taken off the streets —many of which were used in the commission of other crimes—including a .45 caliber handgun that was used in a shooting on the campus of UMASS-Dartmouth in 2016, and a handgun that ballistics matched to eight separate shootings.
We must keep sustained pressure on gangs like N-O-B which are one of the primary drivers of violent crime here in the city. The key to this fight is leveraging our partnerships to use all of our collective resources to dismantle these criminal enterprises.
Used wisely, federal charges such as the RICO and VICAR statutes, enable us to secure the cooperation of gang members, remove repeat offenders from the community, and deter others from taking their place.
Many of this city’s residents are struggling every day to survive the violence that surrounds them. It is our duty to protect them and that’s exactly what we did here today. As a result of our combined efforts, the threat posed by this criminal organization has been neutralized, and the members and associates of this vicious gang will now have to answer for their horrible crimes.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the officers, agents, and analysts who worked extremely hard on this case. US Attorney Lelling, Commissioner Gross, and ATF Special Agent in Charge Kelly Brady and his team, along with all of the departments that are members of FBI Boston Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force. Each and every one of them were critical to the success of this operation.