The Brazilian National that terrorized store clerks across East Boston for months prior to his arrest in April will face serious federal charges for one of his numerous heists.
Diego Evangelista DaSilva, 33, was charged on Friday, Nov. 13 with one count of armed robbery for the April 21 robbery of Lanzilli’s Gas Station and Grocery Store on Bennington Street in Orient Heights.
DaSilva is being charged under the Federal Hobbs Act, which provides a stiffer sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.
According to the charging documents, on April 21 just before 8:30 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Lanzilli’s. The robber, later identified as DaSilva, was observed wearing a gray knit cap, a flesh colored mask, and a gray hooded sweatshirt with a red garment/jacket underneath. During the robbery, the DaSilva allegedly passed a demand note to the clerk, made verbal demands for money and displayed what appeared to be a firearm tucked into the waistline of his pants. Following the robbery, law enforcement obtained surveillance photographs of the robber approaching Lanzillis, exiting the area, and at one point going between two buildings and later emerging wearing a red jacket and bulky clothing underneath. The robber then walked across Bennington Street and ordered a sub from Subway and used the store’s Wi-Fi to order a cab, which dropped off the robber near Washington Park in Chelsea.
On April 26, 2020, law enforcement surveilled the area of Washington Park and observed an individual, who fit the physical description of the robber getting into and then driving away in a car. Law enforcement conducted a vehicle stop, determined that the driver, Da Silva, did not possess a driver’s license and detained him. During a later search of the car, a black semi-automatic BB gun was recovered under the vehicle’s seat, along with a gray knit cap.
A search of DaSilva’s home led to the seizure of a red jacket and other items consistent with the clothing worn by the robber.
DaSilva was later interviewed and admitted to robbing Lanzilli’s.
DaSilva also confessed to his involvement in 11 other armed robberies in Eastie and the surrounding communities.
Dasilva said on Tuesday, April 14 he was involved in an armed robbery of a store at 210 Border Street. According to police the victim said an unknown male had entered the store and handed the victim a note demanding the victim give the suspect the money inside of the register. The victim told police the suspect displayed a firearm inside of his waistband. The victim said she notified her manager who complied to the suspects demands and handed over the cash from the register. The victims said the suspect took the money and fled in an unknown direction.
On Tuesday, March 10 officers responded to a radio call for a robbery in progress at the store at 1 Central Square. The victim told police an unknown Hispanic male, later identified as DaSilva, had handed her a note demanding the victim open the cash register and give him the money. The victim said the suspect displayed a firearm. The victim said she opened the cash register and handed over the money to the suspect who fled the store.
According to police Dasilva first struck Eastie back on Monday, Jan. 13. On that day police responded to a radio call for a robbery in progress at a store located at 396 Chelsea Street. Officers spoke to the victim who said he had been robbed by an unknown male with a firearm. The victim removed the money from the cash register, handed it over to the suspect who took it and fled the store on Saratoga Street toward Meridian Street.