MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving Murder
Defendant admits responsibility for the murder of a 16-year-old in East Boston
BOSTON – An MS-13 member pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 16-year-old boy in East Boston.
Rigoberto Mejia, a/k/a “Ninja,” 32, a Salvadoran national, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for July 24, 2018.
During the multi-year investigation of MS-13, Mejia was identified as a “homeboy,” or full member, of MS-13’s Trece Locos Salvatrucha (TLS) clique. Evidence further showed that on Jan. 10, 2016, Mejia and other MS-13 members murdered a 16-year-old boy whom they believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang. Mejia’s alleged co-conspirators stabbed the victim multiple times while Mejia shot the victim.
After a multi-year investigation, Mejia was one of dozens of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 named in a superseding indictment targeting the gang’s criminal activities in Massachusetts. Mejia is the 44th defendant to be convicted as part of the ongoing prosecution. To date, all eight defendants who have gone to trial have been convicted, and 36 others have pleaded guilty.
Under the terms of the proposed plea agreement, Mejia will be sentenced to 330 months in prison. He will also be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Turco of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary; Revere Police Chief James Guido; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement today.
The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.