On Tuesday, August 21, 2007, a Lowell man was identified as a suspect in the death of Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger. Authorities said Paul J. DeCologero, who was convicted in March 2006 of racketeering and witness-tampering charges, is one of two men who are suspected of Bulger’s murder.
Paul J DeCologero Lowell ma died on January 17, 2017 from injuries he suffered in a prison beating. He was 45 years old and is survived by his wife Roberta Rivera, daughter Isabella Rivera and son William Rivera; his mother G.M. Marrs; his brother Ed Ricord; sister Shirliann Johnson and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was convicted of racketeering charges on March 20, 2006, after nine weeks of trial. He was a member of a criminal enterprise, the “DeCologero Crew,” run by his uncle, Paul A.
The crew targeted drug dealers in Boston. They robbed, beat up, and kidnapped marijuana sellers.
They also dismembered the body of Aislin Silva, a friend of Stephen DiCenso, to keep her from talking to police and allowing them to be caught.
The DeCologero crew also robbed and beat Albert Sapochetti, a bookmaker and drug dealer. The crew then hog tied Sapochetti, his neighbor, and his girlfriend. The jury found that this act of extortion was a racketeering offense.
The trial of Paul J DeCologero Lowell ma began in February 2006. In addition to the murder and conspiracy charges, DeCologero was also charged with robbery under the Hobbs Act, possession of marijuana, and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
The jury convicted Paul A. on the armed robbery and racketeering charges. They also convicted DiCenso, Pavone, John Jr., and Meuse on robbery charges, including for robbing Sapochetti at gunpoint.
During the trial, DiCenso testified that Paul A. had instructed him and Capozzi to pick up Silva and take her to a motel.
At the same time, DiCenso also testified that he was with Paul A. in the North apartment during the burglary and helped load the duffel bags of stolen goods into a car.
In other words, DiCenso was able to testify that Paul J. knowingly possessed the weapons at the time of the North burglary. This testimony was sufficient to satisfy the evidentiary burden.
Paul J DeCologero was convicted of racketeering, witness tampering and firearms charges. He appeals his convictions on the basis that the trial was unfair and that the evidence against him was insufficient.
The government presented extensive evidence that DeCologero was associated with a criminal enterprise (the “DeCologero Crew”) that dealt drugs and robbed rival dealers for money and drugs. It also outlined how the crew murdered Medford teenager Aislin Silva in 1996 and burgled the apartment of Jeffrey North, another marijuana dealer, in October 1996.
During the trial, prosecutors showed that DeCologero’s crew had beaten up and stolen weapons from rival drug dealers, including from a woman who was Silva’s girlfriend. They also seized more than ten pounds of cocaine from the woman.
In addition, prosecutors introduced evidence that DeCologero and his uncle, Paul A. DeCologero, organized the murder of Silva in order to protect their gang’s business interests. They dismembered and buried her body in an undisclosed North Shore grave.
The sentencing is the process where a judge or magistrate decides the appropriate punishment for a crime. It is an important part of the justice system and must be fair, proportionate, and based on the harm done to the victim.
The judge or magistrates also consider what crimes the offender has committed and any previous criminal history. Defense counsel will typically present arguments for a less severe sentence, pointing to mitigating circumstances like a lack of criminal record or positive contributions to the community.
Paul A., his nephews Paul J. and John P. DeCologero, Jr., and Pavone appeal their convictions on a variety of RICO, robbery, drug dealing, witness tampering, firearms, and related conspiracy charges.
Despite their numerous claims, Paul A., Paul J., John Jr., and Pavone fail to meet their burden of showing a “spillover” effect from the prosecution of Aislin Silva’s murder that led to their own convictions. In addition, they have not presented evidence that the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence in violation of its Brady duties or violated Paul A.’s Fifth Amendment right to present his defense theory in full.