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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

MS-13 Member Sentenced for RICO Conspiracy Involving Murder

Defendant admitted responsibility for the murder of a 16-year-old in East Boston

BOSTON – An MS-13 member was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 16-year-old boy in East Boston.  

Rigoberto Mejia, a/k/a “Ninja,” 32, a Salvadoran national, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 330 months in prison and five years of supervised release.  Mejia will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. In April 2018, Mejia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.

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 three 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. 

Mejia is one of 49 defendants who have been convicted as part of this ongoing prosecution. Sixteen of those defendants, including Mejia, have been held responsible for racketeering conspiracy involving murder. Forty of the 49 convictions, including Mejia, were the result of guilty pleas prior to trial. Nine other defendants were convicted after trial.

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 Daniel F. Conley; 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.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated September 12, 2018