MS-13 Member Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy Involving Murder of a 15-Year-Old Boy
Defendant and three others lured boy in “catfishing” scheme and killed him on public beach
BOSTON – An MS-13 member was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 15-year-old boy in East Boston.
Carlos Melara, a/k/a “Chuchito,” a/k/a “Criminal,” 21, a Salvadoran national, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 36 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Melara will also be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. In April 2018, Melara pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
On Sept. 7, 2015, Melara, along with Edwin Gonzalez, a/k/a “Sangriento,” Henry Parada Martinez, a/k/a “Street Danger,” and a juvenile MS-13 member participated in the murder of a 15-year-old boy on Constitution Beach in East Boston. The defendants targeted the victim in a “catfishing” scheme in which they used a fake Facebook account to trick the victim into thinking he was talking to a girl. In reality, the Facebook account was being controlled by Gonzalez and other MS-13 members to lure suspected rivals so that the gang could murder them.
On the day of the murder, Melara picked up the victim on a scooter pretending to be a friend of the girl that the victim was planning to meet for a date. Melara drove the victim to Constitution Beach, where the other MS-13 members were waiting to kill him. Melara and the three other MS-13 members took turns attacking and stabbing the victim. While Melara was stabbing the boy, the knife Melara was using snapped and broke in the victim’s chest. Melara and the others left the victim bleeding to death with approximately 33 sharp force injuries and numerous blunt force injuries where the assailants had punched, kicked, and struck the victim with rocks. Following the murder, Melara, Gonzalez, and the juvenile were promoted to “homeboy,” or full members of MS-13, as a reward for their participation in the murder.
After a multi-year investigation, Melara was one of dozens of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 named in a superseding indictment unsealed in January 2016 that targeted MS-13’s criminal activities in Massachusetts. During the investigation, Melara was identified as a member of MS-13’s Everett Locos Salvatrucha (ELS) clique.
Melara, Gonzalez, and Parada Martinez are three of 49 defendants who have been convicted on federal charges as part of this ongoing prosecution in Massachusetts. Sixteen of those defendants—including Melara, Gonzalez, and Parada Martinez—have been held responsible for racketeering conspiracy involving murder. Melara, Parada Martinez, and the juvenile, who was charged separately, pleaded guilty prior to trial. After a multi-week trial, Gonzalez was convicted of RICO conspiracy and held responsible for his role in this murder, in addition to the murder of a 16-year-old boy in a separate East Boston attack in January 2016. Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 22, 2018.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Peter C. Fitzhugh, 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 John P. Pappas; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; 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 U.S. Marshals Service has provided crucial assistance with the case.