By John Lynds
The story of Wilson Martinez, whose body was found on Constitution Beach the day before school was to start in September 2015, was so tragic that it stunned the tight-knit Eastie community for weeks. Friends, family and classmates all remembered 15-year-old Martinez as a good kid that was looking forward to going back to school at East Boston High to begin his sophomore year and looking to attend college after graduation.
However, his murder that year was only the tip of the iceberg, and the beginning of a string of murders of teens in the neighborhood that spanned over a year. Two weeks after Martinez was killed, Irvin Depazm, 15, was fatally stabbed on Trenton Street. Then on Jan. 10, Christofer Perez-De la Cruz became the third teenager to be murdered in Eastie after he was shot and stabbed to death near 144 Falcon St. Perez-De la Cruz was followed by the murder of Blanca Lainez in June 2016 and then Luis Fernando Orellana Ruano who was stabbed to death at East Boston Stadium on Christmas Eve 2016.
Martinez’s friends and family can take some solace in the fact that his alleged murderer has pleaded guilty in federal court last week.
Henry Josue Parada Martinez, 22, a Salvadoran national formerly of Eastie was indicted under the country’s Racketeering Influence Corruption Organization or RICO statute. Martinez, a member of the notorious MS-13 gang who goes by the name ‘Street Danger’, plead guilty to host of charges, including the September 7 killing of Wilson Martinez.
According to the Acting United States Attorney in Massachusetts, William Weinreb, Martinez became known to federal investigators during a far-reaching investigation of MS-13 in Massachusetts and the murders of teens both here and in surrounding communities like Chelsea. Martinez was identified as a member of MS-13’s Molinos clique, which operated in Eastie and other parts of Massachusetts.
Martinez admitted that in September 2015, he was one of four individuals who murdered Wilson Martinez at Constitution Beach. Federal agents subsequently recorded conversations with Martinez in which he acknowledged being a member of MS-13, admitted that he was one of the men who murdered the victim, and identified other MS-13 members who committed the murder with him.
Martinez was one of 61 individuals named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. Martinez is the 26th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
Martinez faces up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence.
U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV has scheduled sentencing for March 1, 2018.