Sunday, June 20, 2010

Attorney Powderly Defends Client Implicated and Charged in February '10 Fall River Murder

By Kevin P. O'Connor

Herald News Staff Reporter

Posted Jun 15, 2010 @ 06:25 PM


A city man was charged with murder Tuesday for a Feb. 27 killing that prosecutors say was part of a gang feud.

But the man killed had nothing to do with the gangs involved or the feud, the prosecutor added.

Erroll Powell, 21, of 194 Fifth St., was ordered held without bail. He is charged with walking up to a red Jaguar sedan parked on Charles Street and firing at least three shots into the back seat, killing Jonathan Nieves and wounding his brother, Jacobo Nieves, at 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 27.

“This was the result of a gang dispute,” prosecutor Stephen Nadeau told District Court Judge Joseph Macy. “It appears Mr. Nieves was an innocent victim.

“No one in that car was related to the gang dispute that was going on.”
Powell was ordered held pending a hearing on Friday to determine if he should be granted bail while awaiting trial.

Delma Sadm, 26, also of 194 Fifth St., was arrested with Powell and also ordered held without bail. She is charged with being an accessory to murder and intimidating a witness.

Her lawyer, James Powderly, is scheduled to return to court today to offer an argument for bail.

Police became aware of the shooting when Nieves and his brother were delivered to the emergency room at St. Anne’s Hospital at 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 27. Jonathan Nieves was pronounced dead on arrival with three bullets in his chest. Jacobo Nieves was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence for treatment of gunshot wounds to his left hand and right biceps.

When the brothers arrived at the hospital, police were already circling the Sunset Hill housing complex after getting calls reporting gunshots there.
The Nieves brothers had been in the back seat of the red 2002 Jaguar sedan when someone walked up to the passenger side of the car and fired at least three rounds into the car.

Police recovered three spent .40 caliber shells at the scene and pathologists pulled a .40 caliber slug from Jonathan Nieves’ body, according to the police report.

Fall River detectives and State Police investigators assigned to District Attorney Sam Sutter began the investigation that night.

Police located witnesses who reported seeing a light colored Lincoln Town Car leaving the area immediately after the shooting. The car was noticeable because it had a New York Yankees decal in the rear window, police were told.

The car provided the break: The car was located on Fifth Street and the owner later admitted the car was borrowed by a friend on Feb. 27 in the hours before dawn. The car owner told police she believed the friend was going to buy drugs.

But shortly after the car was returned, police allege, Delma Sadm called the owner of the car and ordered her to clean it out, wipe it down and to remove the Yankee sticker from the window.

Nadeau told the judge the investigation is continuing and requested that case files be kept sealed from the public while others involved in the shooting are sought.

Defense lawyer Gerald FitzGerald did not object to sealing the file. Judge Macy approved the request.

Nieves’ death set off a furor in the city. It came during a weekend that included a stabbing and another shooting, both unrelated.

Mayor William Flanagan met with police brass about the incidents and mentioned them a week later when he promoted Police Capt. Daniel Racine to chief.

Powell is charged with murder, two charges of assault and battery with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, using a gun in the commission of a crime and firing a gun within 500 feet of a home.

He faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Sadm is charged with being an accessory and intimidating a witness.

The charge against her reads: “Knowing that Erroll Powell committed a felony, to wit, murder, (she) did harbor, conceal, maintain or assist such person with the intent that such person should avoid or escape detection, arrest, trial or punishment.”

Sadm faces a possible sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

"My Client has a strong alibi. This is clearly a case of mistaken identify." - Attorney Powderly on behalf of Joseph Rocha


By Kevin P. O'Connor

Herald News Staff Reporter

Posted June 14, 2010 @ 10:38 PM


Four men, charged with a robbery that netted a few hundred dollars in cash, will need thousands of dollars if they want to post bail for their freedom.

Derek Rocha, 23, and Joseph Rocha, 24, both of Whipple Street, Bruce Alves, 24, of Healey Street, and Andrew Aguiar, 23, of Church Street, were all arrested Sunday, charged with robbing two Fall River men, both 18, on Brown Street earlier that day.

The men told police they were sitting in their car in a parking lot, waiting for a friend, when they were approached by two of the men, whom they knew slightly.

The men began to speak and then one of the four defendants requested a cigarette. When one of the 18-year-olds complied, he had a knife put to his throat and was ordered to turn over his cell phone and cash, police said. Both men complied, police were told.

The two 18-year-old men called police an hour later to report the crime. Officer Charles Freitas took the report and relayed a description of the car the men said the robbers used. The four suspects were arrested shortly after that when Officer Dwayne Cabeceiras spotted their car on Hope Street and went into the Santo Cristo Club to find them.

Judge Christopher Welch set bail at $2,000 cash for Derek Rocha, $2,500 cash for Joseph Rocha, $1,000 cash for Alves and $3,000 cash for Aguiar. An individual’s past police record is taken into account when bail is set.

All four men told police they had been in the Santo Cristo Club all afternoon, watching World Cup soccer, defense lawyers argued Monday.

“My client has a strong alibi,” said lawyer James Powderly, the lawyer for Joseph Rocha. “This is clearly a case of mistaken identity.”

Both Powderly and lawyer Kenneth Van Colen, the lawyer for Alves, asked for and received permission to hire an investigator to find witnesses who saw the four men in the Santo Cristo Club through the afternoon.

“Everything about this tells you something else is going on,” Van Colen said. “These two victims don’t want to report the crime. It took them an hour to call the police. When the police arrived, they gave conflicting stories about what happened.

“The case is suspect, at best.”

The charge of armed robbery is a felony that carries a minimum 5-year sentence with a possible sentence of life in prison.

The case will go to a grand jury, which must determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

The lawyers in the case will return to court on July 9 for a status conference.

E-mail Kevin P. O’Connor at

Monday, June 14, 2010

FBI arrests alleged boss of Puerto Rico drug ring

FBI arrests alleged boss of Puerto Rico drug ring

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The FBI has arrested the alleged ringleader of a violent drug-trafficking ring suspected of ordering five recent murders, an agent said Friday.

Jose Claudio Montes, also known as "Chiki Bazooka," was captured Thursday inside a housing project where he allegedly controlled the trade of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, said Luis Fraticelli, special agent in charge of the FBI in Puerto Rico.

Claudio and dozens of associates were arrested as part of a lengthy investigation of drug gangs inside Puerto Rico's housing projects that has led to more than 1,400 arrests since 2006.

Authorities have arrested 41 of 76 people who were indicted with Claudio by a U.S. grand jury. The rest are believed to be in Puerto Rico with the exception of five, who are in Delaware and Massachusetts, Fraticelli said.

Also Friday, U.S. authorities announced the seizure of 532 pounds (241 kilograms) of cocaine hidden on a pleasure craft named "La Burla" — Spanish for "Mockery" — that was intercepted Thursday off Puerto Rico's west coast. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested the two Puerto Rican men and one Dominican man aboard.

As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is a favored transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the U.S. mainland. Some of the drugs are consumed locally and authorities blame the Caribbean island's soaring homicide rate largely on feuds between rival drug rings.

Claudio is responsible for five slayings over a one-month period beginning in April and had targeted seven other people for execution, Fraticelli said. He has not been charged with murder and the island's police chief said the slayings are under investigation.

During a raid last month on the gang's property, Claudio threatened to kill anyone who came to arrest him as well as residents of the San Juan housing project, the agent said.

"He said 'I'm going to kill everybody,'" Fraticelli said. "From this day forward he will not take advantage of anybody."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Three Men Arraigned on Insurance Fraud Charges in 2008 Car Fire

If you or a loved one is facing arson or fraud charges, call to speak with Attorney James Powderly now at 508-343-0676 for a free, confidential consultation. Attorney Powderly can advise you and help you in dealing with Police Detectives and on-going investigations, a critical part of evidence gathering process, with the goal of effectively asserting your Constitutional Rights. If you have been contacted by the Police and they have asked you to give a statement, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer regarding your rights and options before speaking with the police.

Three Men Arraigned on Insurance Fraud Charges in 2008 Car Fire

By Staff reports
Posted Jun 11, 2010 @ 10:05 AM

A lengthy investigation into a November 2008 vehicle fire in a remote section of Rehoboth resulted in the recent arraignments of three men on insurance fraud and conspiracy charges.

On June 1 in Taunton District Court, Woonsocket, R.I. residents Delin Dambra, 29, and Craig Ostrowski, 22, and Attleboro resident Wesley Salvas, 28, were arraigned on charges brought by Rehoboth police officer Brian Ramos.

Dambra, was charged with burning a motor vehicle to defraud the insurer, accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact and conspiracy, all felonies.

Ostrowski and Salvas are each charged with burning a motor vehicle, burning a motor vehicle to defraud the insurer and conspiracy, all felonies.
The charges were made after a lengthy investigation into a vehicle fire that occurred on Nov. 19, 2008 on Starr Lane. This area is in a remote section of town by the Swansea line.

The vehicle, a grey 1999 Jeep Cherokee, was fully engulfed in flames when police and fire personnel arrived on the scene. The vehicle was destroyed by the fire.

The suspects' next date in court is July 7, 2010 for a pre-trial conference.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dennis men get 15 years for cocaine trafficking

*****If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts for the trafficking or distribution of cocaine, herion, or other controlled substances call Attorney James Powderly for a free, confidential consultation to learn how a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer can help protect your Constitutional rights.


Two Dennis men will face at least 15 years each in state prison after they were found guilty yesterday of trafficking nearly a half-kilogram of cocaine from New York City.

Following six days of testimony and more than 20 witnesses, a Barnstable County Superior Court jury took about two hours to return guilty verdicts against Hector Jimenez-Simo, 25, and Anthony Reyes, 27, both of 109 Route 28, who were each charged after police found them with 436 grams of cocaine.

Investigators from the Dennis Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, who had been tracking Reyes and Jimenez-Simo since November, arrested the two men Dec. 5 on Route 25 in Bourne as they returned from New York City with the drugs, according to the Cape and Islands District Attorney's office.

The cocaine, valued at more than $88,000, was stored in a television set in the rear passenger seat.

"It is a large amount of cocaine, and it illustrates the pipeline between New York City and Cape Cod for the distribution of drugs," District Attorney Michael O'Keefe said yesterday. "It's a good thing this particular load was intercepted."

The case is thought to be the first on the Cape to include evidence presented from new Global Positioning System technology which investigators used to track the vehicle to and from New York and around the Cape as they were allegedly made drug deals, said Assistant District Attorney Nicole Manoog, who prosecuted the case.

"I don't think many courts have allowed that evidence before. ... It's definitely becoming an important tool," Manoog said yesterday.

"We've all seen how GPS has helped us in our personal lives. This is a great application of that technology for law enforcement," echoed Dennis police Chief Mike Whalen.

Judge Robert C. Rufo sentenced Jimenez-Simo, thought to lead the operation, to 17 to 20 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction in Walpole. Reyes, who prosecutors believe served as a body guard, was sentenced to 15 years.

Reyes' attorney, Lawrence Glynn of Falmouth, did not return calls yesterday. Jimenez-Simo's attorney, Robert Galibois of Plymouth, declined to comment.

"(Those are) as harsh a sentence as you receive for manslaughter," said O'Keefe, the District Attorney. "I wouldn't suggest that this is an end to the flow (of drugs from New York). But I hope it sends a message to those people who would engage in this level of trafficking, you're going to face justice."

Woman arrested for passing false prescriptions

****If you or a loved one are facing Massachusetts Drug Charges resulting from the possession, distribution or sale of prescription drugs or pill, call Attorney James Powderly for a free, confidential consultation to understand how a skilled drug defense lawyer can help protect your Constitutional rights.

SALEM (FOX 25 / - A woman was arrested this morning for passing false prescriptions with her small child in tow.

Michele Manion, 27, allegedly tried to get a prescription filled for 60 Percocets at a local Target. Percocet is a pain medication. The prescription was written on a pad that had been stolen out of a Massachusetts doctor’s office.

Manion was arrested at the scene. She and her child were taken to the Salem Police Department for booking. The child was released into the custody of the father.

This mother also possessed other drugs including a bottle of Klonopin, which is an anti-seizure drug, and an empty bottle of Oxycodone. Police are still investigating the legitimacy of these prescriptions.

Manion was charged with possession of a false or forged prescription, which is a felony. She was arraigned in Salem District Court and was released on $500 cash bail.