For Immediate Release - February 24, 2011

Dorchester Man Indicted on Charges of Perjury and Misleading a Grand Jury During a Criminal Investigation

BOSTON - A Dorchester man has been indicted in connection with intentionally lying to authorities during a criminal investigation in order to protect the location of a wanted criminal, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has announced.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments last week against Rafael Bachier, age 39, on charges of Perjury, Misleading the Grand Jury with Intent to Interfere with a Criminal Investigation, and Accessory after Cocaine Trafficking.

The charges against Bachier arise from a joint Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and Boston Police Department (BPD) investigation into the criminal activities of violent street gangs in the city of Boston. The investigation, dubbed "Operation 1370", targeted members and associates of the Magnolia Steelers, a violent street gang operating in and around the city of Boston.

The Attorney General's Special Grand Jury for Suffolk County conducted an investigation into this activity from July 2009 through October 2009, which resulted in the indictment of 16 individuals on various charges, most of them narcotics-related. Two additional grand jury investigations in Norfolk County resulted in indictments of some of these same individuals. All of the cases have been consolidated and are pending in Suffolk County.

During the course of the investigation, authorities discovered that Bachier, the owner of a local auto body shop, had allegedly been visited by several of the defendants associated with the Magnolia Steelers. Bachier had relevant information about the criminal activities of one of the targets of Operation 1370, Christian Miranda.

During the grand jury investigation, Bachier testified in front of the grand jury and authorities allege that he lied about his relationship with Miranda, who then was a fugitive. Bachier allegedly denied being in any contact with Miranda and knowing his whereabouts. Following his testimony, investigators developed additional evidence that showed this portion of Bachier's testimony was false and that he designed it to aid in Miranda's flight from justice. Allegedly, Bachier had been communicating with Miranda throughout the summer when Miranda was at-large.

Massachusetts State Troopers and Boston Police Officers received information about Bachier's communications with Miranda and authorities used this information to arrest Bachier, after which he allegedly admitted to lying to the grand jury.

On November 19, 2010, Bachier was arrested by Boston Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG's Office. He was arraigned in Dorchester District Court where he pled not guilty and was released on $750 cash bail.

On February 17, 2011, a Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Bachier. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 7, 2011 in Suffolk Superior Court.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Patrick Hanley and Marina Moriarty, of Attorney General Coakley's Enterprise and Major Crimes Division, and was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office and the Boston Police Department - Special Investigations Unit.