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Man Arrested July 21 Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges

Hector Rivera allegedly a member of violent Latin Kings gang.

A man arrested by Wellesley Police and the FBI July 21 at the Burke Lane home where he was a come-and-go tenant - the friendly sort, who mowed the lawn for the property's owners - was part of a violent, drug-infested world of organized crime in Pennsylvania, according to a superseding indictment levied by the Department of Justice.  

The indictment, filed April 28 and unsealed the day of the arrest, charges Hector Luis Rivera, 26, of 7 Burke Lane and 11 others with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise; murder in aid of racketeering activity; conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activity; conspiracy to commit kidnapping and assault in aid of racketeering activity; kidnapping and assault in aid of racketeering activity; using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence; distribution of controlled substances; convicted felons in possession of firearms; sales of firearms to known felons; and criminal forfeiture of 14 firearms and ammunition.

The clerk's office at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse at 1 Courthouse Way in Boston confirmed Thursday that the Rivera arrested in Wellesley July 21 is the same man named in the Pennsylvania indictment. 

All 12 defendants face maximum life sentences, if convicted.

Going by the nickname "King Tito," Rivera was a member of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation Bethlehem (Pa.) Sun Tribe, which "used violence and intimidation as a means to maintain its territory, power, and profits," according to a Department of Justice summary of the indictment. "Its own members were subjected to murder, kidnapping and assault as punishment for violating any of the tribe's rules."

The Latin Kings are widely considered the largest and most organized Hispanic street gang in the U.S. The region in which the Bethlehem Sun Tribe operates has been identified by the Department of Justice as a haven of gang violence. In 2006, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania received a $2.5 million federal grant to establish the Route 222 Corrider Anti-Gang Initiative; it was one of six sites in the nation to receive such anti-gang funding.

Among the specific incidents chronicled in the indictment is one on March 17, 2004, involving Rivera. On that day, he and five other defendants - Luis Colon, Neftali Colon, Oscar Hernandez, Pedro Velasquez and Carlos R. Martinez - traveled to Vineland, NJ with firearms, ammunition and body armor. They allegedly had been ordered by the Philadelphia chapter of the Latin Kings to serve as "soldiers," assisting the murders of several New Jersey Latin Kings, but were unsuccessful.

Wellesley police were involved when they received a call from the FBI at 5:30 a.m. July 21 requesting assistance with Rivera's arrest. WPD records clerk Sue Morse said local police were informed by the FBI that Rivera was the target of a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania but were not told the nature of Rivera's alleged crimes. Rivera was arrested at his home at 6:13 a.m., booked at WPD headquarters and transported to the Federal District Court of Massachusetts in Boston.

There, on July 21, Rivera was represented at a pretrial hearing by Boston attorney Charles McGinty; the goverment was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maxim Grinberg. The government moved to detain Rivera, and a detention hearing was set for July 26. On that day, Rivera waived his rights to identity and detention hearings and the production of his arrest warrant in Boston, requesting those processes be carried out in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he will be prosecuted.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler ordered Rivera's transport, by U.S. marshal, to Pennsylvania, where Rivera has requested a court-appointed attorney.

The house at 7 Burke Lane is a single-family home owned by a local family who requested anonymity because of safety concerns. Rivera began renting a room there about three weeks before his arrest, according to a member of the owning family, and had been a month-to-month tenant previously, as well.

Wellesley police spokeswoman Lt. Marie Cleary said she was not authorized to comment on an FBI case.

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