Former Boston Public School Dean who Recruited Students into Latin Kings Gang Pleads Guilty
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant attempted to murder a student he recruited while working at Boston Public Schools
BOSTON – A former member of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) who was at the time an academic dean in the Boston Public Schools pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to racketeering charges. The defendant attempted to murder a student that he had recruited into the gang and who was selling marijuana in the high school at the defendant’s direction.
Shaun Harrison, a/k/a “Rev,” 63, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Harrison faces a sentence of 218 months, or approximately 18 years, in prison. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Nov. 15, 2022. Harrison is the 60th and final defendant in the case to plead guilty in the case. Two defendants remain wanted on federal arrest warrants.
“Mr. Harrison stole the youth and innocence from impressionable minors, exploiting his position of trust to corrupt and coerce vulnerable and at-risk children into a world of criminal activity. And, but for a miracle, he nearly took a juvenile victim’s life, shooting him at point blank range in the back of the head. Much of this crime and violence was perpetrated while Mr. Harrison was an Academic Dean at a Boston Public School and on the City’s payroll. He used his position of trust to find his victims and groom them. It is truly disgusting,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “For years, the Latin Kings terrorized our communities and targeted youth to join their violent criminal enterprise. No more. Thanks to the exceptional collaboration between our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, this dangerous organization has been dismantled. Today’s conviction of Mr. Harrison brings an end to the Latin Kings’ reign and offers accountability to the many victims and various communities harmed by each of the 60 total defendants the U.S. Attorney’s Office has prosecuted and convicted. And we remain diligent in our quest to find the two remaining defendants that fled and have active warrants. They can run, but they can’t hide. We will not stop until we find them.”
“This former high school dean and self-professed anti-violence advocate was supposed to be looking out for the best interests of his students, when in reality he was living a double life as a Latin King, engaging in violence while recruiting at-risk students to traffic drugs and further the insidious needs of the gang,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Shaun Harrison continued to associate with the Latin Kings while serving time on state charges behind bars and his conduct warrants his conviction today as a federal felon.”
In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against dozens of leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings.
The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.
In 2015, Harrison was hired by the Boston Public Schools to serve as an academic dean at English High School. In that role, Harrison was to act as a mediator between teachers and students, contact families when students struggled, work with at-risk students and run an anger management program for 10 boys after school. While working at the Boston Public Schools, Harrison was a member of the Latin Kings, known as “Rev” or “King Rev,” and used his position as academic dean to recruit a number of the at-risk students into the Latin Kings gang. Harrison directed the recruited students to distribute marijuana and other drugs, which he provided, in the high school and collected the drug proceeds. A number of the students that Harrison recruited included Wilson Peguero, a/k/a “King Dubb,” who later became the “Inca” or the leader of the D5K Chapter of the Latin Kings; Alexis Peguero, a/k/a “King Lexi,” who became the “Cacique” or the second-in-command of the D5K Chapter of the Latin Kings; Dante Lara, a/k/a “King Nasty;” Oscar Pena, a/k/a “King O-Block;” and others. Wilson Peguero, Alexis Peguero, Lara and Pena were each charged in this case and sentenced to serve 30 months, 21 months, two years and 32 months in prison, respectively.
In March 2015, Harrison came to believe that one of the students distributing drugs for him had stolen money from him, no longer wished to sell drugs and may tell the police about Harrison’s crimes. On March 3, 2015, Harrison met up with this student at McDonalds. While walking behind the student, Harrison pulled out a handgun and shot the student in the back of the head at point blank range. This shooting was captured on video by a surveillance camera in the area. The student survived.
The student provided information to police concerning Harrison, his recruitment of students into the Latin Kings and the sale of drugs in the Boston Public Schools. Harrison was arrested soon thereafter and charged in Suffolk Superior Court with crimes related to the attempted murder. In 2018, Harrison was convicted by a jury and sentenced to approximately 25 years in state prison.
While in state prison following his conviction, Harrison continued to associate with Latin Kings members, including through jail calls to other co-defendants. Conversations between Harrison and other Latin Kings members included discussions about the identities of confidential informants in Harrison’s case and other efforts to identify those who contributed to his conviction. The Latin Kings supported Harrison during his state incarceration, discussed Harrison’s loyalty to the Latin Kings and refusal to implicate others and put money into his jail accounts.
The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
U.S. Attorney Rollins; FBI SAC Bonavolonta; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden; Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long; and New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira made the announcement. Valuable assistance was also provided by the FBI North Shore Gang Task Force and the Bristol County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of Rollins’ Organized Crime & Gang Unit prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated August 9, 2022