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Press Release

Newburyport Man Pleads Guilty to Dealing Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A man with alleged ties to the Latin Gangsta’ Disciples street gang pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston  in connection with the sale of numerous firearms in and around Lawrence.

Jose Ilarraza, a/k/a “Kae-Kae,” 26, of Newburyport, pleaded guilty to dealing firearms without a license and conspiracy to deal firearms without a license. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Jan. 23, 2019. In February 2018, Ilarraza was charged along with Bryan Torres-Almanzar, a/k/a “Flex,” 19, and Eric Valentin, a/k/a “Jefe,” 22,   both of whom previously pleaded guilty.

In September 2017, an individual who was working as a cooperating witness for federal investigators was approached by Ilarraza after Ilarraza heard that the cooperating witness was interested in obtaining firearms to send to the Dominican Republic. Ilarraza, who was incarcerated at the time on state charges of breaking and entering and resisting arrest, instructed the cooperating witness to contact Torres-Almanzar, who, according to Ilarraza, was heavily involved in firearms trafficking.

On six occasions between Sept. 12, 2017, and Oct. 19, 2017, another cooperating witness used Ilarraza’s tip to purchase firearms from Torres-Almanzar and Valentin. The cooperating witness was directed to put the proceeds of the first such sale into Ilarraza’s canteen account at the Middleton House of Corrections.

The charges of dealing in firearms without a license and conspiracy each provide for a sentence of no greater than five 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 other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Lawrence Police Chief Roy P. Vasque; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett; Lowell Superintendent of Police Kelly Richardson; and Nashua (N.H.) Police Chief Andrew J. Lavoie made the announcement today. 

Updated October 9, 2018

Firearms Offenses