News Release
September 29, 2006

Head of "Decologero Crew" Sentenced to Life in Prison

Boston, MA... The leader of the Decologero Crew drug gang was sentenced today in federal court to life imprisonment on RICO charges and for ordering the murder of a Medford woman to prevent her from cooperating with law enforcement as a witness against him and his criminal associates.

June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England ; United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; John Blodgett, Essex County District Attorney; Martha Coakley, Middlesex County District Attorney; Glenn N. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in New England; and Colonel Mark Delaney, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, announced that PAUL A. DECOLOGERO, age 48, and formerly of Burlington, Massachusetts, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

On March 20, 2006, DECOLOGERO was convicted of the November 13, 1996, witness tampering murder of 19-year-old Aislin Silva. DECOLOGERO was also convicted under RICO, the federal racketeering statute, of heading a criminal enterprise, called the “DeCologero Crew”, that engaged in drug dealing and predatory drug activity such as robbing competitive drug dealers of their money and drugs.

Co-defendants John P. Decologero, Jr., age, 32, Paul J. Decologero, age 31, and Joseph F. Pavone, age, 32, all formerly or one-time residents of Burlington, Massachusetts, were convicted along with PAUL A. DECOLOGERO on RICO charges, as well as other charges related to witness tampering, drug dealing, and robberies. Only PAUL A. DECOLOGERO was charged with and convicted of the actual murder of Ms. Silva, which the evidence showed he ordered so that she would not be a witness against him and his criminal associates. In May 2005, co-defendant Derek Capozzi, age 33, and formerly of Beverly, Massachusetts, was convicted after a separate trial of being an accessory after the fact to the killing of Ms. Silva.

The evidence presented during the ten-week trial showed that in 1995 and 1996, PAUL A. DECOLOGERO headed the DeCologero Crew, a criminal organization that included at least his brother John DeCologero, Sr., his nephews, John P. Decologero, Jr. and Paul J. Decologero, Pavone, Capozzi, Kevin Meuse, Thomas Regan, and Stephen DiCenso. When guns stolen by members of the crew were discovered by police and federal agents at the Medford apartment of Aislin Silva, where they had been stashed by Crew member Stephen DiCenso, PAUL A. DECOLOGERO ordered that Ms. Silva be kept away from law enforcement officers for a week, and then ordered that she be killed in order to protect himself and his Crew from her possible cooperation with federal authorities as a witness against the DeCologero Crew. Paul J. Decologero and Pavone were convicted of participating in a witness tampering conspiracy, and along with John P. Decologero, Jr., of various other charges. Capozzi was previously convicted of joining the conspiracy to kill Aislin Silva, and then being an accessory after the fact to her killing, based on evidence that he helped dismember her body with two other members of the DeCologero Crew and dispose of it in a burial site that has never been located.

Judge Zobel sentenced John P. Decologero, Jr. earlier this month to seventeen and one-half years in prison. Paul J. DeCologero and Pavone were sentenced on August 30, 2006; Paul J. DeCologero was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison; and Pavone was sentenced to six years in prison. Capozzi was also sentenced in August 2006 by Judge Zobel to twenty-three years in prison, to be served consecutively to an unrelated lengthy sentence he was already serving.

A joint investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Massachusetts State Police, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the Medford, Woburn, Lowell, and Wilmington Police Departments.