Member of violent local gang sentenced to seven years in federal prison

Joshua Teixeira was only 2 when Nardo Lopes fatally stabbed Bobby Mendes in 1995, setting off years of murderous violence in Dorchester's Cape Verdean community.

That violence and the lure of profits from trafficking drugs, guns and women eventually swept Teixeira up. Last week, a judge in US District Court in Boston sentenced him to 7 years in federal prison on RICO charges for his role in the Norton/Olney/Barry Gang, which had begun to expand beyond Dorchester - and the gang's long-running and deadly feud with the Cameron Street Gang - into other cities in eastern Massachusetts and even other states until the feds and Boston Police rounded members up in June, 2020.

Teixeira, now 27 and with a street name of Trouble, had pleaded guilty in April to one count of RICO conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances - marijuana - for his participation in the gang, which also styled itself the Head Shot Mafia in the rap videos it liked posting to YouTube, with lyrics and props meant to scare people in other gangs, in particular Cameron Street. Other gang members who were arrested in that sweep have also pleaded guilty and are now awaiting their own sentencing.

In their sentencing recommendation, for 8 years, prosecutors cited a 2018 gun battle on Winter Street in Dorchester that Teixeira was involved in - and wound up getting shot in the back at as an example of the sort of violence that made him and other NOB members a menace not just to other gangs but to the public at large:

"Defendant, along with two other NOB members/associates (including Anthony 'Ant' Depina), drove into rival Cameron street gang territory in Dorchester during ongoing hostilities between the gangs - these hostilities resulted in numerous shootings and murders which both predated and postdated this shooting. ... Defendant was armed with a 9mm handgun. After Defendant and his two cohorts pulled up near a group of people, Defendant fired at least six shots at the group. At least two individuals from the group returned fire and wounded both Defendant and NOB member/associate Anthony Depina. This exchange of gunfire occurred at approximately 9 p.m. in a residential neighborhood. Defendant’s actions endangered not only the specific people who were targeted, but also innocent individuals who lived in that neighborhood. Multiple shots were fired from three different shooters - any of these shots could have struck an innocent bystander on the street or in nearby residences. Moreover, this shooting was part of the ongoing gang conflict between NOB and the Cameron street gang which produced a climate of fear in the Dorchester neighborhood through the constant potential for random violence as gang members/associates attacked each other without regard to the safety of those around them."

According to an FBI affidavit filed earlier in the case, police retrieved surveillance video of the exchange:

"Officers observed the vehicle in which Teixeira was a passenger pull up to the curb on Winter Street near a group of individuals standing together. Pursuant to the investigation, officers were able to identify that Teixeira was the back seat passenger of the vehicle. Per the video footage, Teixeira got out of the vehicle. Teixeira and at least two individuals in the group almost simultaneously began shooting at each other. Teixeira then fled the area in the vehicle. Ballistics recovered from the scene established that there were two shooters in the group of people, and that Teixeira was firing a 9mm pistol – multiple shots were fired by Teixeira. "

The feds say this gun violence followed Teixeira - a party he attended in Quincy was raked by gunfire, and a couple weeks before his arrest in June, 2020, rival gang members opened fire on his Dorchester home - leading to another gun battle when his boys returned fire.

That affidavit provided additional evidence that Teixeira was part of a criminal conspiracy, including talking with a NOB member in jail about taking out a drug dealer - and taking his stuff, and rushing to Boston Municipal Court one day to duke it out with members of a rival gang:

"On or about October 28, 2019, defendant Michael Brandao and another NOB member were scheduled to begin trial on firearms charges in Boston Municipal Court. BPD officers were on hand at the courthouse for security purposes. Officers observed that, while in court, the other NOB member was confronted by a rival gang member and other individuals. During the confrontation, which was escalating towards violence, Brandao was observed making phone calls from a cellular phone. Shortly thereafter, Joshua Teixeira, David Rodriguez and another NOB member/associate arrived at the courthouse and engaged in a physical confrontation. Teixeira was subsequently arrested for the affray.

"Following this arrest, Teixeira called NOB gang members/associates from jail (in coded calls) to recover marijuana, money and other contraband that Teixeira had at his residence. On or about October 3l, 2019, various NOB gang members/associates were observed by law enforcement going to Teixeira's residence to remove the drugs, money and other contraband – Brandao was one of them. In recorded jail calls, Brandao (as well as other gang members) can be heard talking to Teixeira from within Teixeira's residence as they attempt to recover the contraband. In fact, Brandao's street name 'Fredo' is mentioned in the call and his voice has been identified by officers with experience dealing with Brandao.

Officers subsequently observed the various gang members leave the residence and then speed away in various vehicles. Officers were able to stop some NOB gang members/associates, including Brandao. The officers recovered significant quantities of marijuana, and cash from two gang members (each had approximately $2,000 – the cash was not seized). The seizures did not involve Brandao. Following the seizure, Teixeira was recorded in a jail call complaining that he had lost his marijuana to the police."

In a long overview of the NOB gang and its more violent episodes filed as part of the government's sentencing recommendation, the feds recount the gang's history in Dorchester:

"The violence between NOB and the Cameron Street gang arises out of a long-standing conflict within the Cape Verdean community in Boston which began with the 1995 murder of Bobby Mendes. On October 10, 1995, Mendes was fatally stabbed by Arnaldo 'Nardo' Lopes. Lopes immediately fled after stabbing Mendes. In the aftermath of the killing, friends and family of Mendes began a series of retaliatory acts of violence against the Lopes side of the dispute. In turn, the Lopes faction, led by Arnaldo's brother, began to target witnesses to the stabbing as well as respond to these retaliatory acts of violence. The Arnaldo Lopes side of the dispute aligned themselves with other individuals in the area of Stonehurst Street in Dorchester. The Mendes faction remained in the Wendover Street area of Dorchester, and the group has been referred to as 'Wendover' since that time. The two groups, centered around Wendover and Stonehurst Street, were essentially at war with each other. Both groups thereafter began to exhibit more typical gang-related behavior, such as organizing drug networks, participating in premediated group shootings and wearing distinct clothing associated with their respective groups. A geographic area, or 'turf,' was established and controlled by each of the groups, with Columbia Road being the dividing line.

"As the dispute escalated, alliances were established with other Cape Verdean groups in the area. Individuals associated with Stonehurst aligned with another Cape Verdean street gang named the Cape Verdean Outlaws ('CVO'). This expanded the Stonehurst turf beyond Stonehurst Street and into the Hancock Street and Bowdoin Street neighborhoods. Wendover maintained its turf on the other side of Columbia Road and at times aligned with individuals in the Woodward Avenue area. In the years after their alliance, the original Stonehurst faction began to associate with younger Cape Verdean associates in the Cameron Street area. The Cameron Street gang is the present-day group associated with the Arnaldo Lopes faction of the Lopes/Mendes dispute. Essentially, they are a younger off-shoot of the original Lopes/Stonehurst group, and they have maintained their role in continuing the dispute against Wendover and its associates.

"The Wendover and Cameron Street ongoing feud had an escalation of violence in 2014 based on various murders. The level of firearm incidents began to escalate, with Wendover members/associates shooting at Cameron Street members/associates with greater frequency. The arrest and eventual incarceration of Wendover's leader led to a small decrease in the level of intensity between the two groups. The arrest also left a temporary void in the group's ability to defend itself from Cameron Street and to commit acts of violence. Younger Wendover associates began to fill this void. This younger subgroup is NOB.

"The August 20, 2016, homicide of Wendover member/associate Ailton Goncalves (the leader of Wendover at that time) sparked an increase in violence. Cameron Street gang members/associates Danilo Depina and Aaron Almeida were arrested and charged based on the murder.1 This murder in turn led to the retaliatory murder of Cameron Street gang member/associate 'Bunz' on September 20, 2016, in Dorchester. Many of the violent crimes in this case arose out of this background of ongoing gang warfare. In fact, NOB members/associates have publicly identified that one of the reasons for their crimes of violence was retaliation for violence committed against them and their associates. In this regard, NOB members/associates have repeatedly referenced the murders of NOB members/associates in their communications and music/videos as driving violence committed by NOB."

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