Burlingon Man Convicted in 1996 Killing of Medford Woman
MAR 20 -- Boston, MA... June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England, United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, John Blodgett, Essex County District Attorney, Martha Coakley, Middlesex County District Attorney, Glenn N. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in New England and Colonel Thomas Robbins, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced that PAUL A. DECOLOGERO, age 47, and formerly of Burlington, Massachusetts, was convicted today in federal court today after a two month trial before United States District Judge Rya W. Zobel of the November 13, 1996 witness tampering murder of 19 year old Aislin Silva, of Medford, Massachusetts. DECOLOGERO was also convicted under RICO, the federal racketeering statute, of heading a criminal enterprise, called the DeCologero Crew, that engaged in drug dealing and predatory drug activity such as robbing competitive drug dealers of their money and drugs. Co-defendants JOHN P. DECOLOGERO, JR., age, 32, PAUL J. DECOLOGERO, age 31, and JOSEPH F. PAVONE, age, 32, all formerly or one-time residents of Burlington, Massachusetts, were also convicted on RICO charges, as well as other charges related to witness tampering, drug dealing, and robberies. Only PAUL A. DECOLOGERO was charged with and convicted of the actual murder of Ms. Silva, which the evidence showed he ordered so that she would not be a witness against him and his criminal associates. In May 2005, co-defendant DEREK CAPOZZI, age 33, and formerly of Beverly, Massachusetts, was convicted after a separate trial of being an accessory after the fact to the killing of Ms. Silva.
The evidence at trial showed that in 1995 and 1996, PAUL A. DECOLOGERO headed the DeCologero Crew, a criminal organization that included at least his brother John DeCologero, Sr., his nephews, JOHN P. DECOLOGERO, JR. and PAUL J. DECOLOGERO, PAVONE, CAPOZZI, Kevin Meuse, Thomas Regan, and Stephen DiCenso. When guns stolen by members of the crew were discovered by police and federal agents at the Medford apartment of then 19 year old Aislin Silva, where they had been stashed by Crew member Stephen DiCenso, PAUL A. DECOLOGERO ordered that Ms. Silva be kept away from law enforcement officers for a week, and then ordered that she be killed in order to protect himself and his Crew from her possible cooperation with federal authorities as a witness against the DeCologero Crew. PAUL J. DECOLOGERO, and PAVONE were convicted of participating in a witness tampering conspiracy, and along with JOHN P. DECOLOGERO, JR., of various other charges. CAPOZZI was previously convicted of joining the conspiracy to kill Aislin Silva, and then being an accessory after the fact to her killing, based on evidence that he helped dismember her body with two other members of the DeCologero Crew and dispose of it in a burial site that has never been located.
Judge Zobel did not yet set a sentencing date. At sentencing, PAUL A. DECOLOGERO and PAUL J. DECOLOGERO face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while JOHN P. DECOLOGERO, JR. faces a maximum sentence of forty years in prison and PAVONE faces a maximum sentence of thirty five years in prison. CAPOZZI was previously sentenced in August 2006 by Judge Zobel to serve 23 years in prison, to be served on and after an unrelated lengthy sentence he was already serving.
A joint investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Massachusetts State Police, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the Medford, Woburn, Lowell, and Wilmington Police Departments. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Bator and Timothy Feeley of Sullivan’s Major Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ernest DiNisco of Sullivan’s Organized Crime Strike Force Unit.