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Press Release

Chelsea Gang Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving Attempted Murder and Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant admitted to attempting to murder rival gang member and hide evidence from gang-related shooting

BOSTON – An East Side Money gang member, known as “Superbad,” pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to racketeering and drug trafficking charges.


Josue Rodriguez, a/k/a “SB,” a/k/a “Superbad,” 20, of Chelsea, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO, and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Sept. 13, 2017.


Rodriguez is a member of the East Side Money Gang (ESMG), a Chelsea-based street gang, which uses 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.


On July 5, 2015, Rodriguez ambushed a rival gang member walking down the street, shooting at him with a semi-automatic pistol, but did not hit him. On March 29, 2016, Rodriguez and another ESMG member agreed to provide a .22 caliber revolver to a third ESMG member so he could “spank” with it – meaning that he could use it against rivals of ESMG. On April 3, 2016, the third gang member used the revolver to attempt to murder two men believed to be members/associates of a rival gang. One of the targets was shot in the head.


On May 26, 2016, Rodriguez attempted to hide a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver used in a shooting, as well as spent and live shells after another ESMG member/associate attempted to shoot a rival gang member.


The East Side Money gang was also involved in drug trafficking, including cocaine, cocaine base (“crack”) and heroin. Rodriguez conspired with other gang members and associates to distribute at least a kilo of cocaine and cocaine base. Rodriguez further admitted that he stored drugs at and distributed drugs from his home on Tudor Street in Chelsea, and that the gang maintained at least one firearm at the location.


Rodriguez is the 11th defendant of 66 alleged gang members/associates from the Greater Boston area who were charged in June 2016 with federal firearm and drug offenses to plead guilty.


According to court documents, the defendants, who are leaders, members, and associates of the 18th Street Gang, East Side Money Gang and the Boylston Gang, were responsible for fueling a gun and drug pipeline across a number of cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. Specifically, the gangs created alliances in order to traffic weapons and drugs, including cocaine, crack, and heroin supplied though a Brockton-based drug network. 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 mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to a lifetime in prison, a minimum of five years and up to life of supervised release, and a fine of $10 million. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the parties have agreed that the appropriate sentence should be between 120 months to 190 months, with the United States recommending 14 years in prison. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Field Division; Matthew Etre, 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 Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; 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. Weinreb’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

Updated June 16, 2017

Drug Trafficking