A “violent member” of the feared MS-13 street gang should spend 35 years in prison for his role in the 2016 murder of a teenager in East Boston that ranked among “the most horrific and heartless of the crimes of violence” attributed to the group locally, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The government’s sentencing request for Jairo Perez, a gang member in his mid-20s, was filed Tuesday in US District Court in Boston. Perez, formerly of Chelsea, pleaded guilty in May to a RICO conspiracy charge in connection with the slaying of Cristofer Perez de la Cruz, 16.
Perez’s lawyer hadn’t filed a response to the government’s filing as of Tuesday morning.
Prosecutors said Perez and his co-conspirators “lured [de la Cruz] to his death by pretending to be a girl” looking to meet up, and then “stabbed and hacked the young victim multiple times.” Another assailant shot the teen, and the group left him to die on the street.
“[T]he injuries inflicted by Perez and the others were gruesome and unimaginably cruel,” prosecutors wrote. “The autopsy revealed that the young victim suffered 48 sharp force injuries, multiple gunshot wounds, and multiple blunt force injuries.”
In addition, the government said, the “heinous nature of the crime is magnified by the fact that Perez and the others murdered a teenage boy on the sidewalk of a densely populated, residential street in East Boston. . . . It is hard to imagine a crime more deserving of punishment, incapacitation, and deterrence than a murder where a violent street gang bludgeoned a teenage boy with machetes before shooting him and leaving him to bleed to death on a public sidewalk.”
The filing quoted Perez as telling someone after the killing, “I am at peace with what I have done, doggie” and “I [expletive] slept well!”
Prosecutors said Perez joined in the murder simply to move up in stature in his gang, identified in court papers as the Trece Locos Salvatrucha clique of MS-13.
“MS-13 is one of the most violent and dangerous criminal organizations operating in the United States today,” prosecutors wrote.
The government filed its sentencing request pursuant to an earlier plea agreement. Under terms of the agreement, defense counsel agrees that 35 years is an appropriate prison term for Perez, who faces a maximum penalty of life behind bars, records show.
He’ll also be subject to deportation proceedings when he completes his sentence. Perez is slated to be sentenced Friday.
The other assailants in the murder, Edwin “Demente” Diaz, Edwin “Sangriento” Gonzalez, and Rigoberto “Ninja” Mejia, have all been convicted for their roles in the slaying. Mejia faces sentencing Wednesday, Gonzalez will be sentenced next month, and Diaz received a 35-year term in August, records show.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.