After a two-week trial, a federal jury convicted a Lawrence man of orchestrating a violent and gruesome kidnapping scheme, authorities said Tuesday.
Danny Veloz ran an armed and sophisticated crew that carried out several kidnappings, including one where a victim was burne
d with a hot iron, federal prosecutors said.
He was arrested in September 2012, after federal authorities probed kidnappings and home invasions in Lawrence, the US Attorney’s Office in Boston said in a statement.
The federal jury in Boston that convicted Veloz Monday of conspiracy to commit kidnapping deliberated for less than an hour, according to the attorney’s office.
Veloz, a 40-year-old who is also known by his alias “Maestro,” will be sentenced on Nov. 17. He could face up to life in prison.
Sophisticated and armed crews known as “Joloperros,” were the target of a federal kidnapping investigation in 2012. “Joloperros,” according to the US Attorney’s Office, is loosely translated to mean “Stick-up Guys.”
Veloz’s crew consisted of six other men, four of whom were also from Lawrence, prosecutors said.
Federal authorities said that crew, wearing shirts that read “police,” kidnapped two men at gunpoint in July 2012. The two victims were kidnapped on Allston Street in Lawrence and taken to Manchester, N.H., where they were held overnight, prosecutors said. One of the kidnapping victims, prosecutors said, was burned with an iron before police rescued them.
That kidnapping, according to federal authorities, was one of several Veloz’s crew attempted that year.
A search of Veloz’s home yielded information about GPS tracking devices used to commit kidnappings and cell phones he used to communicate with his associates, prosecutors said.
Since the wide-ranging federal investigation into Lawrence-based kidnapping crews began in 2012, more than 20 people have been convicted of either kidnapping-related offenses or being associated with kidnapping and home invasion crews, according to the attorney’s office’s statement.Danny McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org