Sunday, March 24, 2019


Illegal immigrant charged in New York with vicious rape of woman: police

An illegal immigrant was charged with allegedly "viciously" raping a woman on Long Island for an hour after following her home and knocking her out, officials said.
Ever Martinez-Reyes, 24, a native of El Salvador, was ordered held without bail at an arraignment Saturday on rape, sexual assault, and assault charges.

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The Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said the Sept. 28 rape was “one of the most brutal” she has ever seen, Newsday reported.
“We spent some uneasy days and nights knowing this predator was out there and walking amongst us,” she said, according to the paper.
Martinez-Reyes followed the woman until he felt comfortable enough to assault her, Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said, according to Newsday.
“When he assaulted her and knocked her out, he then proceeded to rape her,” Ryder said. “She woke up and he knocked her out again and viciously continued to assault her.”
Martinez-Reyes had been living in the United States illegally and worked for a landscaping company on Long Island, WABC-TV reported.
Image from surveillance video of the suspect in the rape of a woman in Freeport, L.I., on Sept. 28
Image from surveillance video of the suspect in the rape of a woman in Freeport, L.I., on Sept. 28 (Nassau County Police Department)
He first entered the country illegally from El Salvador in 2010 before he was deported, according to the station. He snuck back into the U.S. in 2014.
The station reported that Martinez-Reyes has no prior arrests and is not affiliated with any gangs.
WPIX-TV reported that Martinez-Reyes was preparing to flee back to El Salvador when he was caught.
Police released surveillance footage of the rape suspect on Thursday, generating tips that resulted in Martinez-Reyes’ arrest, according to Newsday.



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Massachusetts Sanctuary Policies Freed Hundreds of Criminal Aliens in 10-Week Period

Massachusetts Sanctuary Policies Freed Hundreds of Criminal Aliens in 10-Week Period

By Jessica M. Vaughan on July 13, 2018
report prepared by ICE's Boston field office illustrates the nature of ICE's criminal alien caseload in that state, and reveals the public safety problems created by court-imposedand locally adopted sanctuary policies. According to the report, over a 10-week period in the spring of 2018, 456 deportable criminal aliens were arrested in Massachusetts for a wide variety of state crimes. However, ICE was able to get custody of only about half of these criminal aliens, either because local agencies did not honor ICE's detainers or otherwise cooperate with ICE, or because the local agency released the criminal aliens before ICE could issue a detainer. The report provides several chilling examples of offenders who were freed by local authorities, including some who had committed horrific crimes, and including some who were released in Lawrence, Mass., a sanctuary city that has drawn attention for its role as a hub for opioid distribution in New England.
Over the period studied (March 19 to May 30, 2018), Boston ICE officers identified 456 aliens who were arrested on state or local charges and who were determined to be "immediately amenable" to ICE arrest. These "hits" resulted from the electronic sharing of fingerprints through the Secure Communities program, and correspond to the subset of aliens that ICE can identify as likely deportable, such as those lacking legal status, violating legal status, fugitives, or prior deportees. It does not include those who, for example, have not yet been convicted of a crime that might make them deportable, such as green card holders awaiting trial. Nor does it include illegal alien suspects who have never been in contact with immigration authorities and whose fingerprints therefore are not in DHS databases.
ICE responded to the 456 hits in the following ways:
  • 216 cases resulted in the issuance of an ICE detainer and arrest warrant. These aliens had committed crimes including rape, assault, firearms possession, drug distribution and trafficking, drug possession, OUI, domestic violence, property crimes, and motor vehicle offenses. But the report states that in about half of these cases, the local jails will release aliens on bail without notification to ICE, and the aliens are back on the streets.
  • 130 of the aliens were released from custody before ICE could act. These cases were referred to ICE fugitive teams.
  • 110 of the cases were referred to the ICE Criminal Alien Program (CAP) officers, who arrest incarcerated aliens in local jails.
These figures demonstrate the significant adverse effect of state and local sanctuary policies on ICE's ability to remove criminal aliens. The sum of 110 aliens referred to the CAP program and half of the 216 who were subject to detainers that were honored (108) is a total of 218 criminal aliens out of 456. This is only about 48 percent of all deportable criminal aliens that ICE was aware of, that could be readily apprehended and put on the path to removal.
That's a problem for public safety. Yesterday, in a speech on combating the opioid epidemic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called out Lawrence, Mass., one of the most egregious of the state's sanctuary cities, noting that the policies protect the criminal alien drug traffickers who supply opioids in the region. Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera called this a "fabrication" and said that he is considering suing the attorney general for libel. He said that the city notifies ICE of every criminal alien. Rivera grossly misrepresented the city's ordinance, which prohibits Lawrence police officers from notifying ICE about any criminal aliens.
The ICE report gives nine examples of criminal aliens who were set free by sanctuary policies. Among them:
  • In April 2017, a citizen of the Dominican Republic who had been previously deported after convictions for violent and drug crimes was arrested for the rape of a Boston College student who was his Uber passenger. Despite an ICE detainer and discussion of his deportability in court, the judge granted bail of $2,500 and allowed the alien to be released and abscond without notice to ICE. He is still at large.
  • In December 2017 a citizen of Guatemala was arrested in Lynn, Mass., for armed assault to murder and other charges, but was released by the Essex County sheriff despite an ICE detainer and arrest warrant. He was later located by Boston ICE officers.
  • In January 2018, the Worcester, Mass., district court released two citizens of the Dominican Republic who had been arrested for possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, despite ICE detainers. Both are still at large.
  • In February 2018, a citizen of Guatemala who was in removal proceedings was arrested for armed robbery in Lawrence, Mass., but released by the court, and remains at large. Also in February, the same court released another alien identified as a fugitive, who had been arrested for domestic violence. This alien also remains at large.
  • In April 2018, a visa overstayer from Ghana was arrested and charged with raping his Uber passenger. Prior to transferring the man to the county jail, the Quincy District Court officers refused to allow ICE officers to speak with him, and did not forward the ICE detainer and arrest warrant to the county jail. The suspect was later released (without notifying ICE), and was asked to return to surrender his passport, but instead he departed for Ghana the next day.
  • In May 2018, a previously deported alien from El Salvador slashed the throat of a woman in Chelsea, Mass. The Chelsea police identified the suspect as an illegal alien, but declined to contact ICE. Instead, the U.S. Marshals contacted ICE to obtain information on the suspect and were then able to prepare a warrant for assault with intent to murder and subsequently arrested the suspect in Maryland.
The report also provides a breakdown of the immigration status of the criminal aliens identified. These statistics show that ICE issued detainers on less than half the removable aliens identified by Secure Communities fingerprint-matching (216 out of 456). Clearly, the program is far from the overzealous detention dragnet that the program's critics claim it is.
ICE was most likely to issue a detainer in the case of criminals who were prior deportees, violating terms of their release, or who had already been ordered removed by an immigration judge. ICE was less likely to file a detainer seeking custody in the case of criminal aliens who had yet to face immigration court proceedings.

Boston ICE Action on Secure Communities Cases: March 19-May 30, 2018

Immigration Status of AlienNumber of Actionable HitsDetainers IssuedPercentage
Final Order of Removal563461%
Reentry after Deportation664670%
Present without Admission1346347%
Non-Immigrant (Temporary Visa)1163127%
In Removal Proceedings713346%
Order of Supervision/OREC13969%

A conference committee of six Massachusetts legislators is currently locked in discussions to resolve differences in the annual state budget bill, which this year includes language passed in the Senate that would impose an extreme sanctuary policy statewide, including prohibiting law enforcement agencies from honoring ICE detainers and prohibiting use of any local resources to cooperate with ICE. Lawmakers have been unable to agree on language needed to respond to a 2017 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decisionprohibiting compliance with ICE detainers.
Governor Charlie Baker has pledged to use his line-item veto to block the state senate sanctuary provision, but could also try to insert his own sanctuary-lite proposal that would allow detainers to be honored only in the most serious criminal cases, and only for 12 hours, which is an unreasonably short period for ICE to act. Baker's proposal is a misguided attempt to split the difference between the demands of extreme sanctuary proponents and full cooperation with ICE, which is standard and prudent law enforcement practice in most of the United States. But this is not a split-the-difference issue. State and local law enforcement agencies must be permitted to cooperate with ICE all the time, just as they do with all other state and federal law enforcement agencies. It is not up to state lawmakers to micromanage or second-guess which criminal aliens will be subject to immigration enforcement; that is an infringement on the federal government's authority. More importantly, as painfully illustrated by ICE's report, such interference with immigration enforcement results in the unnecessary release of criminal aliens who pose a threat to the public, and who should be sent back to their home countries instead of back to our communities.



Thursday, May 18, 2017


District Attorney Timothy Cruz has been leading the way for a consolidated building for his staff and the State police since he came into office. Now it's a reality. The Carpenter administration, along with Cruz, Representative's Dubois, Cronin, Brady and the Baker administration has made this come together.

The State approved $2 million for the building and the building will house more than a dozen State Police personnel from detectives to patrol officers. The District Attorney's office which was currently in four different buildings will bring together 100 of their personnel 166 Main Street which is right across from Brockton District Court.

Crime is down in Brockton and now with a building that will  house the DA office and the State Police in one place will help with faster processing of information and save time for State detective to drive from the various barracks they were stationed in and be at one place and  shortening response time for State detectives to crime scenes and ultimately have an impact on crime and also the economic factor of over 100 people working in one building and using local business services close by.

The perception of seeing police going into a building downtown and having that will hopefully allieve some fears for local businesses and people doing shopping downtown.

This is another win for Baker administration, our local representatives, DA Cruz and the Carpenter administration.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Campaign Kick-Off for Ward 2 City Councilor Tom Monahan

  • Tom Monahan is going for his fifth run at Ward 2 Councilor. The Campaign Kick-Off is on Thursday, May 25 at 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    at George's Cafe Inc, 228 Belmont Street, Brockton, Ma 02301

    One of Tom's biggest and instrumental contributions among many other was to bring back the Walking Beat Patrols a few years back downtown. You will see the Beat Patrols or riding their bikes when weather permits. So come join Tom and ask questions and have a good time on the 25th at 5:30PM at George's Cafe.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

How Brockton’s Desalination Plant Cost Them Millions


When a prolonged drought threatened its future, the financially strapped city invested millions in a state-of-the-art facility that would turn saltwater fresh—and save the city in the process. That was the plan, anyway.

Inside the building, Aquaria’s machinery performs the difficult task of turning saltwater into fresh. Intake pipes placed in the river—which is partly salty here because of its proximity to the ocean—suck in water and send it through a hollow-fiber ultrafiltration system, which removes pollution and large particles such as algae, bacteria, and soil. The filtered water is then pushed through tubes containing layer upon layer of delicate polyamide membranes, which have pores that are so tiny—one-100,000th the diameter of a human hair—that they trap the salt in a process called “reverse osmosis.” The result is pure H₂O, plus a briny leftover that’s sent back out to sea at high tide. Aquaria, which cost $75 million to build, and which employs the same advanced technology that plants in Abu Dhabi and Texas use to produce fresh water, can generate up to 5 million gallons a day.
On the western banks of the brackish Taunton River, 45 miles south of Boston, sits a windowless one-story building. Located in the town of Dighton, the structure is surrounded by a chainlink fence. Out back, hidden from the road, are three enormous water tanks, each big enough to submerge a house in. Together, they make up a marvel of modern technology: the Aquaria Taunton River Desalination Plant.
After the water is cleaned, it can be pumped through a 20-inch-wide pipeline to Brockton, which lies 16 miles to the north. Brockton paid for most of the plant, which opened in 2008, in an attempt to alleviate the effects of a decades-long drought that delivered such a beating to the local economy that it led to an epidemic of vacant storefronts and even a homeless encampment. The desalination plant was hailed as Brockton’s savior, a project that would revitalize the city.
Today, however, the plant sits idle. In fact, if the Aquaria plant has had any effect at all, it has been to make Brockton’s problems worse. Five years after the facility opened, in 2008, none of the fresh water it produces is reaching the faucets and gardens of homes in Brockton. Instead, the plant produces just enough water to keep its systems working, and then flushes it all down the drain.

By 1900, Brockton had ridden the wave of the Industrial Revolution to become the “shoe manufacturing capital of America.” City leaders, faced with an overwhelming demand for water from factories and a burgeoning population, made the farsighted decision to secure water rights to nearby Silver Lake, a 640-acre body of water. Silver Lake had the best water around. Older residents remember a time when they could see the bottom. The pure, clear drinking water it supplied to Brockton became the envy of the region.
The city’s water troubles started in the 1960s, when a tract-housing boom began to strain the supply, and came to a head during a long drought in the 1980s. Aerial photos taken then show Silver Lake reduced to a puddle surrounded by a dust bowl of dried mud, an environmental nightmare that had repercussions for the entire Jones River watershed in eastern Plymouth County.
At first glance, eastern Massachusetts seems like an unlikely location for a drought. The region receives more than 45 inches of precipitation annually, and the landscape is riddled with ponds and swamps. The truth, though, is that our shallow, porous underground aquifers, as well as our hilly topography, allow the ample rainfall and snowmelt to run quickly into the sea. In 2005, the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston issued a report warning that the region could face increasingly severe water shortages.
This was old news to the residents of Brockton, where the situation was so bad that in 1986 the state barred the city from approving any new water hookups until it found more water. The ban meant no one could build. As the rest of the state experienced the Massachusetts Miracle—rising employment and income through the 1980s—Brockton hemorrhaged jobs. Unemployment soared to more than 14 percent by 1991, and the city was on the verge of bankruptcy. “That’s when Brockton started to slide—rapidly,” recalls Jack Yunits, the city’s mayor from 1996 to 2006. “No business could expand here. Companies stopped coming here. With no growth on the tax base, taxes started soaring. Then the layoffs came. Brockton was a mess. By 1995 they were calling Brockton ‘the Beirut of America.’”
The early years of Yunits’s tenure were consumed by the water question. The water commission, which was appointed by the mayor and city council and included three engineers, met several times a month to discuss possible solutions. Wells were proposed, but the city’s groundwater was too polluted. Taking fresh water from the Taunton River, upstream from where Aquaria sits today, was deemed environmentally destructive. At one point, the water commission voted in favor of hooking up to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), a state system that carries water from huge reservoirs in the western and central parts of the state to Boston and its suburbs. But Brockton’s city council was worried about the MWRA’s rising costs, and about paying for projects that didn’t benefit the city directly.
Brockton took conservation measures, but they were seen as little more than a stopgap. Americans were using more and more water, not less, and city consultants predicted that Brockton’s demand for water would grow from 12 million to 15 million gallons a day, far outstripping the capacity of Silver Lake. Brockton seemed to be facing a hopeless situation.
But in 1996, a local utilities engineer named Jeff Hanson approached the city with a radical idea. What if Brockton could get its water from the sea?

The idea wasn’t as crazy as it seemed. At the time, Hanson was working for Bluestone Energy Services, a boutique engineering firm in Norwell, and had been exploring desalination for a few years. In April 1996, Hanson and a colleague named John Murphy laid out their case to the water commission. After explaining how reverse osmosis works, Hanson told the commission that desalination plants had already been built in the southern U.S. and as far north as New Jersey. The only reason desalination hadn’t yet made it up here, he said, was because it was more expensive than the traditional method of using a reservoir to trap precipitation. But Brockton didn’t have any good reservoir options. Hanson said that Bluestone had already negotiated a deal that would allow the proposed desalination plant to buy power at wholesale prices. And the firm already had an option to purchase land on the Taunton River from a local junk collector. Brockton’s water rates would hardly change, Murphy said—a 2 percent increase would cover the cost.
The commissioners were skeptical. William Zoino, an MIT-trained civil engineer and a cofounder of GZA GeoEnvironmental, an environmental-engineering firm, was one of the three engineers on the water commission at the time. He thought a better bet would be connecting with the MWRA, or just drilling a well in a neighboring town. Mayor Yunits wasn’t a supporter at first, either.
But Hanson’s family had helped put the city on the right water path before. His grandfather, a government shoe inspector, had been on the water commission back in the early 1900s, when the city was developing a plan for Silver Lake. A desalination plant, Hanson insisted, would be the city’s chance to get in on the ground floor of a venture that could prove to be a regional asset. City leaders started to come around to Hanson’s logic, swayed by the idea that once Brockton—which had good highway and rail access, along with a capable manufacturing workforce—was water-rich, it could attract industry, perhaps even biotech companies, to the South Shore. And that helped marshal support for the plant, which came to be seen as a way forward for the local economy.

The technology, meanwhile, was viewed as an increasingly viable option in the Northeast. In a 1995 report, the Army Corps of Engineers had included desalination as one of three possible solutions for the South Shore’s water shortages. A handful of communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, facing ongoing water shortages of their own, were also exploring desalination.
It took six years of negotiations, but in 2002 Brockton signed a contract with Bluestone, which had joined forces with a Spanish company called Inima that had desalination plants in Europe and the Middle East. They formed a new company called Aquaria Water, but as the plan moved forward, Aquaria struggled with red tape—the company needed about two dozen permits to build the plant and move the water. Delays followed, and costs rose by a quarter, to $75 million.
Aquaria wanted to ensure that it would have at least one steady customer, so Brockton agreed to pay the company $120 million over 20 years, starting with the year the plant went online. With the contract, though, the city was merely paying for the right to buy water. If it decided to actually purchase the desalinated water, then it would be on the hook for even more money, up to $1.23 per 1,000 gallons. The council believed that it would never have to pay all of those costs, however, because neighboring towns would eventually begin purchasing water, too, ultimately lowering the price for everyone.

Brockton’s desalination plant finally opened for business in the summer of 2008, to little fanfare. Water-commission chair Stephen Pike came for a tour, declaring that he found Aquaria to be well managed and brimming with state-of-the-art technology. According to the Brockton Enterprise, each member of the commission received a framed aerial photograph of the plant, perhaps intended to be displayed alongside the dire image of a dried-up Silver Lake from 20 years before. Pike told the newspaper, “If anybody says you can’t build a desalination plant, you’re wrong. It’s there.”
It was there—but by then Brockton didn’t need it anymore. Conservation measures may have once seemed like little more than a symbolic response to the city’s problems, but they wound up doing more to solve the water woes than anything else. Brockton reduced its daily usage to fewer than 65 gallons of water per person—part of an agreement with the state to approve new hookups—and its water department started replacing aging pipes in the 1990s, shoring up a system that had been plagued with leaks. Schools and hospitals were retrofitted with modern plumbing systems, and new building standards were put into place. In 1994 and again in 2010, the city launched projects to fit homes with new meters that kept better track of how much water people were using, allowing the city to send out accurate water bills and encouraging homeowners to turn off the tap. Even the depressing fact that businesses were continuing to leave the area had a silver lining: It drove down overall consumption. Between 1976 and 2012, total average daily water use in Brockton dropped from more than 13 million gallons to just over 9 million, an amount that the city’s existing system could handle without help from Aquaria.
The success of the conservation effort took everybody by surprise. “In retrospect, we didn’t need the desal,” Yunits says, “but we had no choice.” The city ordered 1.5 million gallons of water a day from Aquaria in the fall of 2010 because of low rainfall, but it hasn’t ordered any at all since May 2011, when it conducted a test to make sure the water was still okay. Aquaria today is no more than an emergency backup.
Robert Tannenwald, an adjunct lecturer in public economics at Brandeis and one of the authors of the 2005 climate-change study that showed droughts on the horizon for New England, says that despite technological advances, desalination remains one of the most expensive and energy-intensive ways to get water, and should be an option of last resort. “First, fix the leaky pipes,” he says. “And, if possible, create a couple more reservoirs. That would be more cost-effective.”
Aquaria, with its enormous building and operating expenses, cost overruns, and lack of use, has a parallel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which invested in a trash incinerator that’s run up nearly $350 million in debt—another well-intentioned bet on the future by a working-class city that has turned out to be a boondoggle.

More than a decade after the contract was signed, the city of Brockton remains Aquaria’s only customer. Its South Shore neighbors have been wary of the cost, daunted by the required state permitting process, or not in need of the water. Little surprise, then, that the plant hasn’t functioned as the economic generator that the city had hoped. Last year, Brockton got its first new supermarket in a decade, and successfully lured an industrial laundry away from Fall River with a $1 million tax break, but biotech and other forward-looking industries have not appeared.
Today, downtown buildings stand empty, as the Social Security Administration, the IRS, and the Brockton Enterprise have all left their former office spaces for cheaper spots at the edge of town. A vast field of rubble on the north side is all that’s left of the old Howard Johnson’s manufacturing plant. The city government is fiscally solvent, but its infrastructure is crumbling and homeowners are struggling. The foreclosure rate remains the highest in the state, and 7,000 homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. And thanks to the Aquaria contract, the average water bill in the city has jumped 60 percent—from $200 to $320 annually—to pay for water that the city doesn’t use.
Many Brockton residents are demanding that the city find a way out of the contract. “Six million dollars a year going out, and we’re not getting anything in return?” says Ed Byers, a local business owner who has become a leader in the fight against the contract. “Six million a year when we need more police on the street! There’s a real rage.”
The Aquaria plant is not Brockton’s only problem, but it’s an easy target for citizen frustration. And Aquaria itself has done little to win over residents. Sections of its website are still “under construction” nearly five years after the plant opened. When I contacted Aquaria for this story, the company seemed surprised that anyone was calling. Rebecca McEnroe, the project manager I spoke to, told me that the company is complying with the contract “100 percent,” but she declined to answer further questions, or to let me tour the plant.
Last year, Inima, Aquaria’s Spanish parent company, was sold to GS Engineering & Construction, a South Korean conglomerate. Aquaria is losing money despite Brockton’s annual payments, so some city leaders are hopeful that the new owners might be interested in selling the plant to the city at a reasonable price, which would allow Brockton to use it as desired, with no annual fees. If that happened, however, there would still be the question of whether Brockton will ever actually need desalinated water.
Leon Awerbuch, a director of the International Desalination Association, says that Aquaria’s technology is solid, but of questionable necessity. “They put in a really, very good system,” Awerbuch says. But he has little faith that the plant will be needed any time soon—although with climate change, “you never know.”
Hanson, the chief desalination proponent, admits that things didn’t turn out as he’d expected. But he continues to believe in the concept. “It’s the best deal out there, and it’s drought-proof,” he says. “Now, it turns out that their water use went way down. Nobody could have predicted that.”
Brockton’s current mayor, Linda Balzotti, promised last fall to have the city’s legal department look into whether the city could get out of the contract, but just this past March the city’s lawyers concluded that there was no escape hatch.
Balzotti says the Aquaria plant may yet prove to be a good investment. “I understand people’s frustration,” she says. “Here we are now based on a decision that had to be made 15 years ago. So who knows where we’ll be 15 years from now? Maybe it’ll be a whole different place, and everybody’ll be like, ‘Look at Brockton! Brockton did the right thing.’”