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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Chelsea Gang Leader Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Prison

BOSTON – A leader of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG) was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston on racketeering, drug trafficking and firearms trafficking charges.

Angel “Stackz” Mejia Zelaya, 24, of Chelsea, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 188 months in prison and five years of supervised release.  In January 2019, Mejia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. 

Mejia was a leader in the ESMG, a violent, Chelsea-based street gang, which was responsible for various violent crimes, including multiple shootings, and drug distribution in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia, as well as other members and associates of the gang, were also actively involved in illegally selling firearms, including handguns and shotguns, in and around Chelsea.

Mejia participated in multiple, gang-related shootings. On July 5, 2015, Mejia was involved in a shooting targeting a rival gang member on a public street in Chelsea, which did not result in the rival gang member being injured. On March 29, 2016, Mejia and his lieutenant, Josue “Superbad” Rodriguez, agreed to provide a .22 caliber revolver to a third ESMG member, Brandon “Big Baby” Baez, so that Baez could “spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ESMG. On April 3, 2016, in Revere, Baez used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed to be members/associates of a rival gang as they sat in a vehicle. Both men were wounded, but not killed. Baez called Mejia immediately after the shooting to inform Mejia that Baez had just shot two men. Mejia further admitted to supplying other ESMG gang members with firearms, including a juvenile who then accidently shot another person.

While Mejia was the leader of the ESMG, the gang dealt substantial quantities of drugs, including cocaine and cocaine base (crack), in Chelsea and surrounding communities. Mejia was responsible for the distribution of at least a kilogram of cocaine base.  Mejia and his gang subordinates stored drugs at and distributed drugs from a residence on Tudor Street in Chelsea and another residence in the Chelsea area. The gang kept handguns at both locations to protect their drug operations, as well as for other gang activities. 

The prosecution of Mejia arose out of an investigation of various street gangs, including the 18th Street Gang, ESMG and the Boylston Street Gang, which 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.

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 today. 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.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated June 6, 2019