Florida Fugitive Captured in New Bedford

REVERDES will be arraigned in New Bedford court as a fugitive from justice.

The Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, New Bedford Police, and the US Marshal’s Service today captured a fugitive wanted for attempted murder during a Florida home invasion.

A multi-agency team consisting of a state trooper, a deputy marshal, and a local police detective found JOE REVERDES, 31, of Port Richey, Fla., at an address in New Bedford. After determining that the suspect had local relatives, troopers, marshals and detectives began conducting interviews and checking possible addresses for REVERDES. Their efforts paid off today as investigators located REVERDES and placed him under arrest on the Florida fugitive warrant.

REVERDES will be arraigned in New Bedford court as a fugitive from justice. Florida authorities will arrange to rendite the suspect to answer to charges of attempted felony murder, home invasion robbery, and conspiracy to commit a crime in connection with a home invasion in Port Richey in June 2014.

No further information is being released at this time.

New Bedford MetroPCS robbed, clerk killed

New Bedford Police, Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to this office and Homicide Unit prosecutors are currently investigating a homicide, which occurred this afternoon in the City of New Bedford.

Police received a 911 call regarding a shooting at the MetroPCS cellular phone store at 209 Coggeshall Street around 12:30 p.m. today. Upon arrival, police and rescue personnel located a male shooting victim in the area near the parking lot outside the store. The victim, a 36-year-old man, was rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:12 p.m. today.

The victim will not be publicly identified until next of kin notifications have been made.

The investigation is being coordinated by Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn.

Anyone who was in the area of Coggeshall Street and Belleville Avenue between noon and 1 p.m. today and may have seen anything connected to this incident is urged to contact New Bedford Police’s Detectives Division at 508-991-6300. If individuals wish to remain anonymous, they can call New Bedford Police’s anonymous tip line at 508-961-4584, or utilize the district attorney’s anonymous text-a-tip program by either logging on to tipsubmit.com or by texting the phrase “CALL50” to the phone number 274637 (which spells CRIMES).

Downtown New Bedford Bank 5 robbed

This morning at approximately 10am the Bank 5 located at Rivet and County St. was robbed by a lone male. The suspect entered the bank and claimed to have a firearm but none was shown.

He fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and was last seen running easterly on Rivet St. He is described as a short white male in his 20’s wearing a black hat and black jacket.

Detectives are currently on scene and photos will be made available at a later time.Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. William Sauve at 508-991-6300 ext. 130 or leave an ANONYMOUS TIP at 508-961-4584

Senator Montigny Promoted to Top Senate Leadership Positions

Senator Montigny has been appointed to Chairman of the Committee on Rules, Assistant Majority Leader of the Senate and Vice Chair of the Committee on Health Care Financing.

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) today promoted Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) to Chairman of the powerful Committee on Rules and Assistant Majority Leader of the Senate.

“I am truly honored to be selected by Senate President Rosenberg to serve as a top member of Senate leadership. I look forward to working with the Senate President in formulating policy that benefits all citizens of the Commonwealth, particularly those who are still struggling financially while continuing to advocate for New Bedford and the surrounding communities that I represent in the Senate.” said Senator Mark Montigny.”

The Committee on Rules, because of its importance and significance to the body has been considered one of its most influential committees. Given its key role in the Senate, the committee has long been chaired by its Majority Leader. In a break from tradition, Senator Montigny as the new Assistant Majority Leader will instead serve in that role. As chair, Senator Montigny will determine whether, and in what order, proposed legislation will come to the floor of the Senate for formal consideration. As Assistant Majority Leader, Senator Montigny will also work with the Senate President in developing future legislative initiatives and serving as conduit between rank and file members of the Senate and leadership.

“Senator Montigny and I have been friends and colleagues for many years and I have the utmost respect for his judgment and admire his common sense and intellectual curiosity to make sure that the best version of legislation will go to the Senate floor. I am pleased to have him play a key role on my leadership team as we formulate policy for the next legislative session. I look forward to visiting New Bedford with Senator Montigny, in the near future so as to learn firsthand the local priorities and needs of his district.” said Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.”

Senator Montigny has also been appointed Vice Chair of the Committee on Health Care Financing.

He represents the Second Bristol and Plymouth District consisting of the city of New Bedford and the towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven in the county of Bristol; and the town of Mattapoisett in the county of Plymouth.

Four suspects arrested in New Bedford Petro Mart robbery

new-bedford-arrest-gunAs a result of an investigation by Detective Tyrone Jones, a search warrant was obtained for the first floor apartment of a Mitchell Street home. The case involved the January 8th armed robbery at the Petro Mart located at 171 Coggeshall St. where the clerk was beaten and robbed.

Found during the search was some of the clothing used during the robbery, stolen cigarettes, a fake handgun, and a starter pistol.

Scheduled to be arraigned this morning in Juvenile court for armed robbery charges are a 17 yr. old male juvenile, his 13 yr. old brother, and a 15 yr. old cousin.


One adult will also be arraigned this morning, he is not related to the juveniles. He is also facing armed robbery charges. He is identified as Jose Alberto Sanchez age 20 of Mitchell St. New Bedford.


City Councillor Steven Martins honors pizza delivery driver Jarrid

“Jarrid is a hard working young man whose story is like every young adult who is trying to make a living and provide for his family”, said Councillor Martins.

New Bedford Ward Two City Councillor Steven Martins will honor Jarrid Tansey this week during the city council session. “On Thursday, January 22, 2014, I will be pleased to honor pizza delivery driver, Jarrid Tansey, at City Hall in the New Bedford City Council Chambers.  Jarrid will be in attendance with his family”.

“Jarrid is a hard working young man whose story is like every young adult who is trying to make a living and provide for his family. He goes to work every day, works over 40 hours and does it with a good attitude and smile on his face. His actions in the video sent a strong message across the world that this type of bullying is not acceptable and he inspired all of us”, said Councillor Martins.

Last Wednesday, a video went viral by a security camera at F & R Auto Sales in Westport, MA, which shows employees’ getting in a heated argument with Jarrid over failing to return change after they gave him two $20 bills and two $5 bills. He left with the money – a $7.78 tip.  Only to return by the request of the car dealership employees’ to give back the money and humiliate him on video.

The video, which nearly had 1 million views across the world, triggered people’s outrage.  Mr. Tansey, a New Bedford resident, who earns minimum wage as a pizza delivery driver and also works a second job, said he was “honored” to be receiving this Citation by the New Bedford City Council.

In addition to the special ceremony and inspired by many right here in the community, there will be a letter read by Councillor Martins with a special message from Fernandes Masonry, a dynamic masonry construction firm located in the City of New Bedford, who is heavily involved in the community.

The New Bedford City Council Meeting will begin at 7:00 p. m., and is open to the public.

New Bedford public schools awarded nearly $100,000 in grants

New Bedford Public Schools was recently awarded $97,000 from several grants.

  • $50,000 from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for high school and middle school science equipment, including virtual science labs.
  • $20,000 for the Twilight Program at Whaling City Alternative High School, an enriched after-school academics program that includes online learning and college and career readiness.
  • $17,000 in summer enhancement funding from the U.S. Department of Education, through its 21st Century Community Learning Centers by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, for Lincoln and Ashley schools, where students will work with the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the New Bedford Whaling Museum to develop a publishable text focusing on city history.
  • $10,000 from the New Bedford Education Foundation and $3,500 from Bristol County Savings Bank for Homework Helpers, an innovative call-in television show produced by and aired on New Bedford Cable Access.

“We are extremely pleased with these grant awards as they recognize important programs geared toward the education of all our students here in New Bedford,” said Superintendent Pia Durkin. “Our schools and educators have demonstrated their innovative approaches to teaching, and through these grants we can fund more programs that contribute to our building an excellent school system.”

New Bedford Man Convicted of 2003 Drive By Slaying

40-year-old Shawn Hunt was sentenced to life in prison for the 2003 slaying.

Bristol County District Attorney Tom Quinn announced that 40-year-old Shawn Hunt was convicted today (20 Jan, 2015) of 2nd Degree Murder, connected to the 2003 slaying of 20-year-old Alberto “Tito” Gonzalez in New Bedford.

Mr. Hunt, of New Bedford, was convicted by a jury of his peers this afternoon in Fall River Superior Court. The jury deliberated for approximately seven hours over the course of two days before returning its verdict shortly after 2 p.m. today. Superior Court Judge Robert Cosgrove immediately sentenced Mr. Hunt to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Dennis Collins and Chuck Nadeau.

Mr. Hunt stood accused of taking part in a drive-by shooting Mr. Gonzalez to death near the intersection of Hillman and Spruce streets on November 30, 2003. The case was one of the first to be solved by the district attorney’s Cold Case Unit in 2009.

“This case has been a long and arduous ordeal for the victim’s family. The senseless killing of Mr. Gonzalez has caused a great amount of anguish for his family and his friends over the years. I hope that today’s verdict will bring them some solace,” District Attorney Quinn said. “We are very grateful for the jury’s verdict. I want to thank the entire prosecution team for their perseverance on this case, specifically Dennis Collins, William McCauley, Chuck Nadeau, State Police Detective Ann Marie Robertson, New Bedford Police Sgt. Andrew Simmons and all the others who assisted in this case. I am very proud of their dedication.”

Why New Bedford Needs a Problem Properties Ordinance

Press release from the New Bedford Mayor’s office:

What it is:

A powerful tool to hold accountable the small number of property owners who neglect their responsibility to neighbors and the city by allowing criminal activity to persist at their property. It will force those owners to bear the cost of excessive police intervention at their property—rather than shifting the burden to all taxpayers.

Responsible property owners are welcoming this ordinance because they see it as an important tool. Responsible property owners are maintaining their property, screening their tenants etc. and yet absentee landlords are running nearby properties into the ground, lowering every other homeowner’s property values and negatively impacting the quality of life in the neighborhood.

How it works:

The Problem Properties Ordinance enables the City to charge a property owner for the cost of police response to his/her property with eight (8) or more valid police complaints in the previous 12 months at the property.

The focus of the City’s effort is on “the worst of the worst.” Data suggest the properties that will end up making the list will far exceed the standard set by the ordinance. There are a substantial number of properties with a dozen or more police calls within very short time periods. Those are the properties that the City and neighborhood leaders are concerned about.

The measure is specifically designed so that a well-intentioned property owner will not become unfairly penalized. That is why the ordinance includes

  1. an exemption for all property owners pursing evictions against problem tenants
  2. a special appeal process by an independent panel
  3. a very narrow and clear definition of what complaints will count
  4. written notice to the property owner once 5 valid complaints have registered
  5. appeal option to Superior Court available to the property owner.

How the Eviction exemption will work:
If property owner has commenced an eviction proceeding against the tenants responsible for the incidents, any enforcement action will be stayed until that process has concluded.

How appeals process will work: Designation as a problem property and cost assessment is appealable to the Problem Properties Appeals Panel. A decision by the Appeals Panel may be appealed to Superior Court.

Mayor Mitchell and his staff have spent two and half years working closely with the City Council to make changes they have requested. This is the fourth version of the ordinance that has been submitted to the Council. There is a broad consensus in the City that this version strikes the right balance and will be a major step forward in addressing the problem.

Troopers Charge 6 with Animal Cruelty after Cockfighting Evidence Found

Some of the boxes in which the chickens and other material was being transported.

Massachusetts State Police arrested six men Sunday morning after stopping a car in Worcester and finding evidence, including dead chickens and live ones that later had to be euthanized, that the occupants were involved with cockfighting.

At approximately 5 a.m. Sunday, Trooper Jeremiah Dwyer stopped a Honda Odyssey van with Massachusetts plates for motor vehicle violations on the eastbound side of Route 290. After approaching the van, Trooper Dwyer observed a large pile of loose cash under the driver’s seat. During questioning the driver, later identified as RICHARD DIAZ, 30, of Lawrence, stated he and his five passengers were coming from Queens, N.Y., and going to Lawrence. The front seat passenger, later identified as YAMIL A. MALDONADO, 28, of Lawrence, stated that he owned the van and gave troopers consent to search it.

Trooper George Demos of the State Police K9 Section, along with his partner Cayman, responded to assist in the search, as did Trooper Luis Aguirre, who interviewed the van’s occupants in Spanish.

Troopers located a large black trash bag in a hidden compartment under the van’s floor. The bag contained what appeared to be several dead, skinned chickens. Four boxes in the rear of the Honda were also located; each contained a live chicken that had been subjected to procedures related to cockfighting, including having their lower bodies shaved and crests on their heads cut off. Also located in the vehicle was additional cash in the glove box, which, combined with the cash under the driver’s seat, totaled $4,500.

Also found was paraphernalia related to cockfighting, including razor blades, nail clippers, imitation spurs, wax and liquid tape used to secure the spurs to the chickens, lighters believed to be used to heat the wax, and a spray bottle with a clear liquid believed to be used to make chickens “slick” prior to fighting.

Troopers arrested all six men and charged them with: 1.) Cruelty to Animals; 2.) Possession of Fighting Animals; and 3.) Conspiracy to Commit a Crime. Those arrested were:

  1. RICHARD DIAZ, 30, 305 Water St. #2, Lawrence;
  2. YAMIL A. MALDONADO, 28, 105 Jackson St. #48, Lawrence;
  3. JOSE M. FIGUEROA, 27, 1075 Washington St., Dorchester;
  4. JOSE M. VASQUEZ, 34, 119 Bennington St., Lawrence;
  5. HELPIS S. RODRIGUEZ, 40, 20 Bennington St., Lawrence; and
  6. DAMIAN CASTILLO, 34, 71 Bine St., Nashua, N.H.

The men were transported to the State Police Barracks in Holden where they were booked. They were bailed and ordered to appear at Worcester District Court for arraignment today. DIAZ, the driver, will also be cited for speeding and committing a marked lanes violation.

The chickens were turned over to Worcester Animal Control. State Police have been notified that the chickens had to be euthanized.

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