BOSTON (CBS) – The United States Attorney for Massachusetts announced federal charges against 31 alleged members of a Boston-based street gang for violent crimes across the region.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling announced the charges against members and associates of NOB, a Boston-based gang, during a news conference Tuesday, along with Boston Police, the FBI and ATF.
NOB stands for for Norton, Olney and Barry, street names in Dorchester.
“Over the last approximately four years, it is alleged that NOB members/associates have committed multiple murders and shootings – many of which targeted rival gang members, particularly members/associates of the Cameron Street gang, another Boston-based street gang,” Lelling’s office said in a statement.
Arrests spanned Boston, Lynn, Everett, Fall River, and other several towns. Eleven search warrants were also executed in Boston, Weymouth, Brockton, Everett, Attleboro, Fall River, and Providence.
Lelling announced charges that include racketeering (RICO) conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, drug trafficking, crossing state lines for the purpose of prostitution, firearms charges and bank fraud.
Several guns were seized as part of the investigation.
“Today the buck stops here. Today in the federal system, they will be held accountable. Today we send a message to the people of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – we have your back,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Gross. “Even in a time of anti-police sentiment. We will do our jobs.”
FBI Boston special agent in charge Joseph Bonavolonta said the arrests were the culmination of a “meticulous yearlong investigation” that “dealt a crippling blow to what is one of the city’s most brazen and violent gangs.”
“Many of the individuals arrested today engaged in a ruthless and senseless string of murders, terrorizing the communities in which they operate all across the state. Our investigation also found some of them were involved in violent crimes as far away as Maine, Connecticut, and Rhode Island,” said Bonavolonta.
Both Gross and Lelling said many of the crimes were committed by suspects who were wearing GPS bracelets after having been released on bail for previous offenses.
“What really struck me was the degree of brazen violence committed by some of these defendants, as alleged in the complaint, while they’re already on release for other state charges,” said Lelling. “So picture this – bracelet on the guy’s leg, and he’s in the midst of assaulting a rival gang member. So state level charges and state level penalties, at least for this group, was not enough of a deterrent.”