For Immediate Release - September 16, 2016

Man Arraigned in 2010 Lawrence Murder

A man with 7 known aliases, who was wanted in connection with a 2010 Lawrence stabbing death, was arraigned on a murder charge in Salem Superior Court today after state and federal law enforcement agencies tracked him down in a federal prison.

Juan Peguero aka Miguel Cordero, aka Obed Encarnacion-Medi, aka Jose Medina, aka Josue Medina, aka Josue Encarnacion and aka Obed Medi was ordered held without bail by Judge Timothy Feeley following his arraignment on first-degree murder charges.  He entered a plea of not guilty.

The defendant is accused of brutally stabbing Juan Guzman Tapia multiple times on Bromfield Street in Lawrence on November 23, 2010.  Initially it was believed that Mr. Peguero fled to his native Dominican Republic after the murder.  An Essex Grand Jury returned a murder indictment on March 30, 2011.  As a result, the Essex District Attorney’s Office worked to have him extradited from the Dominican Republic to face the charges. 

After those efforts proved fruitless, the Essex District Attorney's Office contacted the US Marshal’s Office for assistance.  Through their efforts with the State Department, it was discovered that Mr. Peguero had illegally entered the United States through Puerto Rico in October of 2011 under an assumed identity.  He was arrested and charged federally with illegal entry and narcotics and sent to federal prison.  His arrest escaped notice since Mr. Peguero had no known fingerprints on file.

At the request of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) in July of 2015, the Boston Field Office of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) conducted a nationwide search for Mr. Peguero.  DSS learned that Mr. Peguero was incarcerated in a federal prison in Georgia under the alias of Jose Manuel Rodriguez.   DSS Special Agent in Charge David Hall commented that, “the arrest of Mr. Peguero demonstrates that together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, the Diplomatic Security Service is committed to use all resources at our disposal to bring fugitives to justice.”

US Marshal John Gibbons expressed his appreciation for the work of all of the law enforcement agencies involved.  “I would like to thank the deputies, federal, state, and local officers for their tenacity, perseverance, and tireless efforts in determining the true identity and whereabouts of Mr. Peguero,” US Marshal Gibbons said.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Maureen Wilson Leal is prosecuting the case for the Commonwealth.

Mr. Peguero is represented by Attorney Michael Phelan and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  The case is scheduled for a Pre-Trial Conference on October 6, 2016.