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Justice News

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

Friday, October 20, 2017

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving Murder & Attempted Murder

Defendant admits responsibility for his role in murder of innocent bystander in Chelsea

BOSTON – An MS-13 member pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.


Bryan Galicia Barillas, a/k/a “Chucky,” 20, a Guatemalan national who resided in Chelsea, 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 Jan. 12, 2018.


On Oct. 18, 2014, Galicia Barillas, a member of MS-13’s Enfermos Criminales Salvatrucha (ECS) clique in Chelsea, and another alleged MS-13 co-conspirator encountered a group of individuals suspected of belonging to a rival gang. The co-conspirator, who was allegedly armed with a weapon that Galicia Barillas provided to him, shot at one of the gang rivals and missed, killing an innocent bystander who was looking out a nearby window of a room she shared with her three children.


Galicia Barillas, a juvenile at the time of the murder, acknowledged that he provided the gun to the co-conspirator before the shooting and was present during the shooting. The co-conspirator previously pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial on Nov. 6, 2017. 


Galicia Barillas also accepted responsibility for his role in the following: an April 2015 conspiracy to kill a MS-13 member that the gang believed was cooperating with law enforcement authorities; a May 26, 2015 stabbing and attempted murder of a rival gang member in Chelsea in which the victim survived the attack; and a September 8, 2014 stabbing and attempted murder of an individual in Chelsea.


After a three-year investigation, Galicia Barillas was one of 61 persons named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. According to court documents, MS-13 was identified as a violent transnational criminal organization whose branches or “cliques” operate throughout the United States, including in Massachusetts.  MS-13 members are required to commit acts of violence to maintain membership and discipline within the group. Specifically, MS-13 members are required to attack and murder gang rivals whenever possible.


Galicia Barillas is the 20th defendant to plead guilty in this case.


If the Court accepts the terms of the plea agreement at the time of sentencing, Galicia Barillas will be sentenced to 22 years in prison. Galicia Barillas 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.


Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, 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 Joseph Cafarelli; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement.


The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. All remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Violent Crime
Updated October 20, 2017