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Early voting for New Bedford’s municipal election set

Early voting for the city’s municipal election will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at the city’s main public library downtown, the Board of Election Commissioners announced.

Registered voters will be able to cast ballots that day, next Saturday, at the main facility for the New Bedford Free Public Library system, downtown at 613 Pleasant St.

New Bedford voters are casting ballots this year for the city’s Assessor-at-Large, three of the six elected School Committee members, all five Councilors-at-Large and all six Ward Councilors.

Polling locations citywide will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 2.

Another option for voters looking to cast ballots ahead of Election Day is absentee ballots, which are available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Friday in the Election Office in City Hall, at 133 William St. Parents or family members can apply for an absentee ballot on behalf of children attending college out of town. Those ballots must be returned to the Election Office by 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot in the Election Office is noon Nov. 1. The office is in Room 114 on City Hall’s first floor.

Anyone with questions on their voting status or polling location, or who would like to request an early or absentee ballot for themselves or a family member, can call the Board of Elections at (508) 979-1420.




Former Member of Massachusetts Latin Kings Leadership Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

A former Inca, or leader, of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) pleaded guilty today to racketeering charges.

Juan Liberato, a/k/a “King Prodigy,” 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Jan. 26, 2022.

The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.

Liberato admitted to being the Inca, or leader of the Latin Kings in Massachusetts. In this role, Liberato attended various meetings that were recorded by cooperating witnesses where the business and affairs of the gang were discussed and decisions were made concerning the operations of the gang. In particular, Liberato was recorded in attendance at a series of leadership meetings where crimes being committed by the gang, including drug deals and violence, were discussed.

In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Liberato is the 53rd defendant to plead guilty in the case.

The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was also provided by the FBI North Shore Gang Task Force and the Bristol County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of Mendell’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.




COVID-19 vaccination clinics planned for the next several days in New Bedford , some canceled

COVID-19 vaccination clinics are planned for the next several days in New Bedford. No appointment is needed at these walk-up clinics. Available vaccines can change according to supplies.

Upcoming New Bedford Vaccination Clinics

Friday, October 15:

• PAACA (360 Coggeshall St.) – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., J&J
Fire Station 8 (1599 Acushnet Ave.) – 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Pfizer and J&J

Saturday, October 16:

• Riverside Park (North End) – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pfizer and J&J

Sunday, October 17:

• Riverside Park (North End) – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pfizer and J&J
Fire Station 8 (1599 Acushnet Ave.) – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pfizer and J&J

Monday, October 18:

• Andrea McCoy Recreation Center (181 Hillman St.) – 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pfizer and J&J

Tuesday, October 19:

• Former Fire Station 11 (754 Brock Ave.) – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., J&J
Greater New Bedford Community Health Center (874 Purchase St.) – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pfizer, Moderna, J&J

Friday, October 22:

• PAACA (360 Coggeshall St.) – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., J&J

Important: Clinic Cancellations

Friday, October 15:

• New Bedford High School (230 Hathaway Blvd.) – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, October 19:

• Normandin Middle School (81 Felton St.) – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, October 20:

• Keith Middle School (225 Hathaway Blvd) – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 21:

• Roosevelt Middle School (119 Frederick St.) – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, October 22:

New Bedford High School (230 Hathaway Blvd.) – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Pfizer for ages 12+ and J&J for ages 18+ (Minors need parental consent, provided either in advance online, or in-person at the school)

Background on Cancellations: Earlier this week, state health officials withdrew state support for certain COVID-19 vaccination clinics in New Bedford, and elsewhere in the region. Therefore, effective immediately, clinics that had been scheduled as part of the state’s Block-by-Block vaccination initiative, as well as clinics at New Bedford Public Schools, are cancelled.

Clinics at four City public schools—Normandin Middle School, Keith Middle School, Roosevelt Middle School, and New Bedford High School—that had been planned for October and November will no longer take place. The City of New Bedford Health Department and New Bedford Public Schools are exploring other options for reestablishing school-based clinics.

The changes mean that outside of vaccine access through health providers and participating pharmacies, limited vaccination clinics remain in the city.

Reminder on the importance of vaccinations, especially ahead of the holidays: Vaccination levels in the region remain low, and daily case rates remain high. Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not only about protecting yourself – it’s also about protecting your family, friends, and community. This week’s state withdrawal of support for local clinics comes at pivotal time ahead of the holiday season, when large family gatherings could lead to super-spreader events, without vaccinations.

For people who are unvaccinated and want to have a safe holiday season with loved ones, the coming week is a great time to start, and be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving.
City leaders and health officials are urging unvaccinated residents to get their first shot by Monday, Oct. 18, to have safe and healthy holidays. People who get their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine by Oct. 18 can be fully vaccinated by the week of Nov. 22, including three weeks between shots and two weeks after the second shot.




UPDATE: New Bedford Police arrest 43-year old serial robber

UPDATE: An earlier article incorrectly identified the suspect as a 57-year old man. The suspect is a 43-year old man.

New Bedford police detectives have arrested an Acushnet man for a series of armed robberies.

On October 8, Major Crime detectives concluded an investigation into five armed robberies committed this year in the city by taking CHRISTOPHER DAPONTE, 43, of 57 Bernard St., Acushnet, into custody.

All of the robberies were committed by a suspect of identical physical characteristics, clothing, and methods of operation. On each occasion, a firearm was aimed at employees and cash was demanded by the masked suspect who then fled the scene. The robberies were committed:

• April 23, at Walgreen’s pharmacy located at 2170 Acushnet Ave.
• April 29, at St. Anne’s Credit Union located at 3087 Acushnet Ave.
• May 12, at St. Anne’s Credit Union located at 3087 Acushnet Ave.
• September 24, at Mechanic’s cooperative bank 1238 Kempton St.
• October 5, at Mechanic’s cooperative bank 1238 Kempton St.

A search of DAPONTE’s residence led the detectives to discover clothing and a pellet gun used during the crimes. He was also found to be in possession of a small amount of fentanyl at the time of his arrest. DAPONTE has been charged with multiple offenses including armed robbery while masked, confining, or putting someone in fear to steal, and drug possession.

The arresting officer was Det. Jordan Ferreira.

New Bedford police officers have continuously demonstrated their commitment to seeing investigations through and bringing dangerous offenders into custody. If you have any information on criminal activity, the New Bedford Police Dept. wants to hear from you. You can leave an anonymous tip on our voicemail at (508) 991-6300 Ext. 1.




New Bedford Police Department arrests man after going on rampage at work

City of New Bedford police department arrested 53-year old Marrion Roberts after he allegedly attacked a co-worker at “New England Plastics” on Duchaine Blvd.

The unnamed victim was sitting in his car when the suspect allegedly smashed his window with a wrench and subsequently struck him in the face.

The suspect then chased the victim into the business and threatened another worker with the pipe when he attempted to intervene. The suspect then fled the business and was later apprehended nearby by police.

The suspect Marrion Roberts was charged with:

• Assault and battery with a dangerous weapons;
• Aggravated assault;
• Assault with a dangerous weapon;
• Destruction of property over $1,200.




27-year-old New Bedford drug trafficker with illegal gun sentenced to prison

A 27-year-old narcotics trafficker with a history of violence, who also assaulted a fellow inmate in the Dartmouth House of Corrections, was sentenced to serve five to seven years in state prison last Friday, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Joshua Sullivan pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with trafficking cocaine, possession with intent to distribute MDMA, unlawful possession of a firearm-subsequent offense, unlawful possession of ammunition, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

The defendant was the target of a New Bedford Police Department search warrant for two Linden Street addresses. On March 10, 2020, officers executed the search warrants and located approximately 250 MDMA pills, 26 grams of cocaine and crack cocaine, 11 suboxone tabs, a loaded .22 caliber Ruger multiple scales, cut corner bags and more than $1,300 in cash.

At the time of his arrest, the defendant was on probation out of Middlesex County for a case involving a drug-related robbery which resulted in a shooting of the victim.

On June 1, 2020, while incarcerated at the Dartmouth House of Corrections, this defendant joined another inmate to gang up on a third inmate and violently assaulted him.

The state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Renee Dupuis and the case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra.

“The defendant has a significant record including being on probation for serious offenses out of two courts when he committed these offenses. He was not deterred by being on probation and even beat up another inmate while in custody for these charges. He clearly is a danger to the community and needs to be kept off the street,” District Attorney Quinn said.




Massachusetts State Police and Malden Police arrest and charge man for 1991 murder of 17-year old

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Malden Chief of Police Kevin Molis have announced that Rodney Daniels has been charged with the murder or Patricia Moreno that occurred on July 20, 1991 in Malden.

Today, a Middlesex Grand Jury indicted Daniels, age 48, for murder in connection with allegedly fatally shooting Patricia in the head outside a Henry Street apartment in Malden where she lived with her foster family. Daniels was arrested in Georgia without incident on September 27, 2021, and will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court tomorrow.


Middlesex District Attorney photo.

“After three decades we have taken the first steps today to hold accountable the person who we allege took Tricia’s life. It is always with mixed emotions that we make these announcements as we know this will not fill the void caused by the loss of a daughter, a sister and a friend to many,” said District Attorney Ryan. “I do hope, however, that it brings hope to some of the families who are still awaiting answers. This is a case that was solved not by a new development in forensic science, but as a result of relentless investigative work and a change in circumstances for some parties involved. When we created a dedicated unit to look at our uncharged cases, we hoped for outcomes like this one. We know that time can change many things and in this case we were able to uncover new information that led us to this arrest.”

On July 20, 1991, just after 3:00 a.m., police responded to the third-floor apartment at 21-23 Henry Street, Malden, where the 17-year-old victim, Patricia Moreno, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head. Patricia had been living at this location after being placed with a foster family. The investigation revealed that the victim’s foster mother, her two teenage daughters and her daughter’s boyfriend, Rodney Daniels, were also present in the apartment.

When police and emergency medical personnel arrived, Patricia was alone, face down, on the third floor fire escape landing, still breathing but seriously injured. The victim was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, where it was determined that she had suffered an irreversible brain injury. She died that afternoon as a direct result of the gunshot wound. No weapon or cartridge casing was recovered from the scene.


Middlesex District Attorney photo.

The surviving occupants of the apartment claimed that they had heard a pair of gunshots, but had no information as to the identity of the shooter. There was no evidence of forced entry into the home. During the subsequent investigation police interviewed Rodney Daniels, who claimed that he had been sleeping in an armchair in the living room when he was awakened by the sound of two gunshots, and that he subsequently walked out onto the fire escape where he located the victim. The victim’s foster mother then called for police and an ambulance.

Over the course of the investigation police learned that Rodney Daniels had been in possession of multiple handguns close in time to the murder. Further investigation also revealed that Daniels had engaged in threatening behavior toward the victim in the weeks before her death. Numerous parties were interviewed over the course of many years but no arrest was made in the case.

In 2020, after the case had been assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office unit dedicated to these types of uncharged cases, crime scene investigators returned to 21-23 Henry St. and reconstructed the position of the victim on the third-floor fire escape. Based on the position of the entry wound and the downward trajectory of the bullet, the path of the bullet was consistent with having been fired by an individual standing in the area of the doorway to the apartment, where the victim had resided with her foster family, and where Daniels had been staying that evening.

As investigators continued to search for new information, they began re-interviewing witnesses and were also able to locate a witness who had been out of the United States for an extended period. That witness, who lived in the second-floor apartment at the time of Patricia’s murder, revealed that on the night of the murder the witness had been awakened by a loud noise and immediately looked to the fire escape. The witness was able to provide a physical description of the party, which was consistent with the appearance of Rodney Daniels, and described the party immediately retreating into the apartment and closing the door behind him.


Middlesex District Attorney photo.

As a result of the new information investigators applied for and obtained a warrant from the Malden District Court for the arrest of Rodney Daniels on the charge of murder. On September 27, 2021, Daniels was arrested at his home without incident by Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Malden Police detectives and the City of South Fulton Police in Georgia with the assistance of their Metro South Swat Team. He was arraigned in Georgia as a fugitive from justice and is being transported back to Massachusetts to be arraigned tomorrow. The prosecutor assigned to this case is David Solet, Chief of the Cold Case Unit. The Victim Witness Advocate assigned to the case is Kristen Chamberlain.

Recognizing the enormous hole that the loss of a loved one leaves in the life of a family, District Attorney Marian Ryan created a new Cold Case Unit in 2019. Prosecutors and detectives working with the unit re-examine existing evidence and utilize the latest investigative techniques and technology to examine uncharged cases across the County. The Unit investigates unsolved homicides, suspicious deaths where foul play is suspected, and missing persons cases.




Acushnet man throws his hat in the ring in a national “Dad Bod” contest

“Only the man with the most fatherly figure will reign supreme” is the tagline for the saucy contest featuring a relatively new phenomenon called a “Dad Bod.” If you live under a rock and don’t know what a “Dad Bod” is, the official definition is “…a male physique that is relatively slim but not lean or toned.”

I prefer the Urban Dictionary’s version which describes it in hilarious fashion:

“If human bodies were cuts of meat, the dad bod would skew more marbled rib eye than filet mignon; or, if human bodies were sea mammals, dad bod would be more like a grazing manatee than a speedy dolphin.”

Acushnet father Thomas Gomes who has a great sense of humor has decided to enter the contest which offers a grand prize of $25,000 and a 2-page advertorial in Men’s Journal.

Like any beauty pageant, each contestant is asked a few questions but with this particular competition, they have to also tell a dad joke. It’s all in good fun and if you are in a generous mood you can help out the organization’s chosen cause: the B+ Foundation for Childhood Cancer which raises money with events like dance marathons and 5Ks, as well as T-shirt sales. They provide financial and emotional support to families of children with cancer nationwide. The B+ Foundation also funds critical, cutting-edge childhood cancer research.

You can see more pictures and vote online here.




Massachusetts man who robbed Attleboro marijuana dealer at gunpoint sentenced to prison

A 22-year-old Rockland man who robbed an Attleboro marijuana dealer at gunpoint last April was sentenced to serve up to seven-and-a-half years in state prison earlier this week, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Ivan Andjuar pleaded guilty on September 13 in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with armed robbery and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

On April 6, 2020 the defendant traveled From Rockland to a Biltmore Street home in Attleboro to purchase marijuana. Upon arrival at the home, the defendant approached the residents of the home, who were outside on the front porch. Once close to the residents, the defendant pulled out a firearm and pointed it at one of the two victims. While pointing the gun, the defendant demanded that the victim hand over all the marijuana he had. When the first victim refused to comply, the defendant then pointed the gun at the second victim and repeated his demand. At that point, the first victim complied and gave the defendant whatever marijuana he had. The defendant then retreated back to the vehicle and fled.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Lopes and the four to seven-and-a-half year state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Susan Sullivan. The defendant will also be placed on supervised probation for three years after his release from prison.

“This case highlights the violence that is still associated with the distribution and or possession of marijuana on the black market,” District Attorney Quinn said.




Massachusetts State Police en route to event pause after coming across disabled vehicle

These days police get criticism for the actions of a few bad police officers who are the exception, not the rule. While people remember the tragic consequences of those bad police officers, every day across America thousands of officers many of their deeds go unnoticed or recognized and, of course, the media who likes to sensationalize won’t cover it. We want to share the small, but kind acts of these Good Samaritans.

“When we practice loving kindness and compassion we are the first ones to profit.”-Rumi.

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“Today, Troopers Aaron Richardson and Farrah Gray, State Police Community Liaison members, were on their way to assist in planning for an event in western Massachusetts when they came across a disabled vehicle in the left lane on I-90 westbound in Ludlow.

They stopped and began to change the flat tire for the motorist. Trooper Greg Warren from the Northampton barracks and Trooper PJ Pollawit of the State Police truck team also stopped to assist, including by helping block the left lane from oncoming traffic, because of the dangerous position of the disabled vehicle in a busy travel lane.

The vehicle operator was able to get out of the left lane and move on with his day quickly with the help from these Troopers.”


Massachusetts State Police photo.

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