Skip to main content
Press Release

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Murder Aboard Commercial Scalloping Boat

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

BOSTON – A Mexican national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with a murder aboard a scalloping vessel off the coast of Massachusetts.

Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the second degree, one count of attempted murder, and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for June 28, 2022. Meave Vazquez was indicted in November 2018.

On Sept. 23, 2018, the scalloping vessel, The Captain Billy Haver, was sailing approximately 55 miles off the coast of Nantucket with seven crew members aboard, including Meave Vazquez and the three victims. Inside the shucking house, Meave Vazquez used a hammer to strike Victim A hard in the head into unconsciousness. Meave Vazquez then walked out onto the deck and stabbed Victim B multiple times with a long fillet knife. In response to the commotion, Victim C climbed up from the ice hold, was struck in the head by Meave Vazquez with the hammer and fell back down the ladder, bleeding from his head. Meave Vazquez then struggled with the vessel captain before climbing to the top of the rigging mast.

Victim A and Victim B were taken by rescue boat to a nearby ship for medical attention where Victim B was pronounced dead.

Meave Vazquez remained at the top of the mast until the Coast Guard arrived that evening and was immediately taken into custody. Meave Vazquez was transferred into federal custody upon his arrival at the Boston port the next day. Maeve Vazquez is in the United States illegally.

The charge of second-degree murder provides for a sentence of up to life in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of attempted murder provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of assault with a dangerous weapon provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Meave Vazquez will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of any sentence imposed. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; James Noble, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S Coast Guard Investigative Services Northeast Region; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. The investigation was led by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Wichers and Laura J. Kaplan of Rollins’ Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

Updated March 11, 2022

Violent Crime