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Shaun Harrison, former English High dean, pleads guilty to federal racketeering charges

Shaun O. Harrison appeared in Suffolk Superior Court in 2018 on charges related to the shooting of a 17-year-old student.Pat Greenhouse

A former member of the Latin Kings and academic dean at Boston’s English High School who is serving time in state prison for attempting to kill a student he had directed to sell marijuana at the school pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Boston to racketeering charges, officials said.

Shaun Harrison, 63, faces a sentence of 18 years and two months in federal prison under the terms of his guilty plea to a charge of “conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity,,” the US attorney’s office said in a statement.

Harrison is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15.

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Last week, a federal judge in a separate case ordered Harrison to pay $10 million for emotional distress and punitive damages to the student he tried to kill.

US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said Harrison had stolen “the youth and innocence from impressionable minors, exploiting his position of trust to corrupt and coerce vulnerable and at-risk children into a world of criminal activity. And, but for a miracle, he nearly took a juvenile victim’s life, shooting him at point blank range in the back of the head.”

“Much of this crime and violence was perpetrated while Mr. Harrison was an Academic Dean at a Boston Public School and on the City’s payroll,” Rollins said in the statement. “He used his position of trust to find his victims and groom them. It is truly disgusting.”

Harrison’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment in December 2019 that charged dozens of leaders, members, and associates of the Latin Kings with racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy, and gun charges, prosecutors said. Harrison is the 60th and final defendant in the case to plead guilty, while two other defendants remain wanted on federal warrants, according to the statement.

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Harrison was hired by Boston Public Schools in 2015 to work as an academic dean at English High School in Jamaica Plain, where he was to act as a mediator between students and teachers, work with at-risk teens, contact families of struggling students, and run an anger management program, prosecutors said.

At the same time, Harrison was a member of the Latin Kings known as “Rev” or “King Rev,” and he used his position at the school to recruit new members and direct them to sell marijuana and other drugs that he provided and to bring him the proceeds, according to the statement.

Soon, Harrison began to suspect that one of the students dealing drugs for him had stolen money from him, was no longer interested in selling drugs, and might tell police about Harrison’s activities, prosecutors said.

On March 3, 2015, Harrison met the student, 17-year-old Luis “Angel” Rodriguez, at a McDonald’s, where he pulled out a gun and shot Rodriguez point-blank in the back of the head, a scene that was captured on surveillance video, according to the statement.

Rodriguez survived and told police about Harrison’s recruitment of students into the Latin Kings and distribution of drugs at school, prosecutors said. Harrison was arrested, charged in Suffolk Superior Court with crimes connected to the attempted murder, and convicted by a jury in 2018, according to the statement.

He was sentenced to about 25 years in state prison, where he continued to associate with Latin Kings members after his conviction, discussing the identities of confidential informants in his case and making other attempts to identify the people who contributed to his conviction, prosecutors said.

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The Latin Kings have put money into Harrison’s jail accounts and provided other support during his incarceration in state prison, while discussing his loyalty to the gang and refusal to implicate others, according to the statement.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.