For Immediate Release - March 21, 2011

Four Arrested and 16 People Indicted in Connection with Widespread ATM, Electronics Theft Ring

Burglaries and Break-Ins Occurred Across Six Counties

BOSTON - Four people were arrested today in connection with operating a network of over a dozen individuals who conspired to commit numerous burglaries and break-ins across the state, including breaking into several ATMs to steal over $340,000 in cash, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announced today.

"These individuals allegedly conducted these crimes throughout Massachusetts, and these arrests are the result of a collaborative investigation between our office and the Massachusetts State Police," AG Coakley said. "We will continue to work with our partners throughout all law enforcement agencies to ensure that our communities are safe and businesses are protected.

"This has been a lengthy and thorough investigation, and this morning teams of troopers, agents and officers hit homes of several suspects," said Colonel Marian J. McGovern, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. "I am proud of the work done by our Gang Unit in initiating this investigation and am grateful to Attorney General Coakley's office for securing the indictments and prosecuting these criminals."

The arrests are the result of indictments returned by a statewide grand jury last week against 16 individuals pdf format of 2011_03_21_atm_arrest_indictments_attachment.pdf
in six counties who orchestrated burglaries and attempted break-ins around the Commonwealth. The four defendants were arrested today by Massachusetts State Police assisted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and are charged as follows:

James J. McNeil, age 43, of Haverhill

  • Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime
  • Larceny of a Motor Vehicle/Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle
  • Possession of Burglarious Tools
  • Malicious Destruction of Property
  • Attempted Larceny
  • Conspiracy

Francisco Ortiz, age 37, of Lowell

  • Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime (3 counts)
  • Breaking and Entering into a Vault
  • Larceny of a Motor Vehicle/Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle (4 count)
  • Possession of Burglarious Tools (3 counts)
  • Malicious Destruction of Property (3 counts)
  • Larceny over $250
  • Attempted Larceny (3 counts)
  • Conspiracy (4 counts)

Wilson Martinez, Jr., age 33, of Pepperell

  • Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle (2 counts)
  • Conspiracy to Break and Enter in the Nighttime
  • Conspiracy to Commit Larceny Over $250

Feliciano Colon, age 35, of Lawrence

  • Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle (2 counts)
  • Conspiracy to Break and Enter in the Nighttime
  • Conspiracy to Commit Larceny, Over $250

In April 2007, the Massachusetts State Police Gang Unit began investigating a string of ATM break-ins and that investigation quickly merged with a similar investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Investigators discovered that a major figure in the ring, Miguel Carballo, and associates Michael Vasquez, Wilson Martinez, and Feliciano Colon allegedly conspired to break into an electronics store in New York and, using a stolen motor vehicle, transport the stolen goods back to the Lawrence area where they intended to sell the items in Massachusetts.

Authorities also allege that Caraballo, with assistance from George Velasquez and Juan Rosa, conspired to burglarize banks and businesses in several towns including Brookline, Framingham, Franklin and Fitchburg. Both Velasquez, and later Caraballo, used their respective girlfriends as lookouts during these burglaries. The men would gain access into the establishments by disabling the alarm systems. Once inside these establishments, they would break into the ATMs by various methods and transported the funds using stolen motor vehicles. Authorities allege the men stole over $340,000 in cash from these ATMs.

On March 14, 2011, the statewide grand jury sitting in Boston returned indictments against sixteen defendants for crimes committed in Essex, Hampshire, Norfolk, Middlesex, Franklin and Worcester counties in connection with this case. The four defendants arrested today were arraigned in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Worcester in superior courts and ordered held on bail. The remaining defendants are either held on other charges or will be summonsed to court and arraigned at a later date.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General William R. Freeman, of AG Coakley's Criminal Bureau with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police, Essex District Attorney's Office, the Haverhill Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Massachusetts State Police Commonwealth Fusion Center.