May 23, 1998
Boston, MA. - John R. Bartolomeo, 29, of East Boston, Massachusetts, was sentenced by United States District Judge William G. Young to a 35-year federal prison sentence for the killing a rival motorcycle gang member and for distributing cocaine and methamphetamine.
United States Attorney Donald K. Stern, George C. Festa, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Norfolk County District Attorney Jeffrey A. Locke and the Weymouth Police Department jointly announced that, before being sentenced, Bartolomeo pled guilty to a number of federal drug charges in connection with an undercover investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the drug trafficking activities of certain members of the Salem, Massachusetts Chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. As part of his guilty plea to those charges, Bartolomeo also admitted that he ran down and killed William Michaels on July 29, 1995 in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Michaels was a member of the Devil's Disciples Motorcycle Club at the time of his death.
As reflected by the pleadings in the case, the Drug Enforcement Administration's undercover investigation began in February 1995. During the initial phase of the investigation, a cooperating individual made a series of undercover methamphetamine purchases directly from Gregory Domey, the then president of the Salem Chapter of the Hells Angels. A few months later, this individual introduced a DEA Special Agent to Bartolomeo and Domey. After being introduced to Domey and Bartolomeo, the DEA Special Agent made a number of large methamphetamine and cocaine purchases from members of the Hells Angels and their associates.
The DEA's investigation of the drug trafficking activities of the Salem Chapter of the Hells Angels ended on September 5, 1996 with the arrest of Bartolomeo and 15 other individuals. On that day, a team of agents and a number of state and local police officers also executed ten search warrants, including a search warrant at the clubhouse of the Salem Chapter of the Hells Angels on Shaws Court in Lynn.
On July 29, 1995, in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Bartolomeo, with Anthony Eicks as his passenger, ran down and killed Devil's Disciples member William "Cats" Michaels. After the collision, Bartolomeo escaped from the scene and subsequently went to New York, where he remained in hiding for several weeks. During the later part of 1995, Bartolomeo resurfaced in Massachusetts. The DEA Special Agent then resumed making undercover narcotics purchases from Bartolomeo.
Shortly after Bartolomeo's arrest on September 5, 1996, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office merged their respective investigations into Bartolomeo's criminal activities, including the killing of William Michaels. That joint investigation resulted in Bartolomeo's admission and the 35-year prison sentence imposed by Judge Young today.
U.S. Attorney Stern stated, "This case is an excellent example of a successful joint effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement. By combining investigative resources with the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, we were able to bring Bartolomeo to justice. I applaud the excellent work done in this case by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office and the Lynn and Weymouth Police Departments."
Stern added, "Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a synthetic drug which can be as destructive and addictive as crack cocaine. We intend to use every available resource to prevent the spread of meth in Massachusetts, both by prosecuting those who sell it and by warning those tempted to use it."
District Attorney Locke stated, "The brazen midday homicide of William Michaels on Route 18 in Weymouth in July, 1995 was the subject of an extensive investigation by this office, the Massachusetts State Police, and the officers of the Weymouth Police Department. Standing alone, the crime presented prosecutors with legal and evidentiary issues which could have made the prosecution of that crime difficult, if not impossible. However, when the crime was joined with an independent investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the result is Bartolomeo's conviction and 35 year prison sentence. In consultation with the Weymouth Police Department and the family of William Michaels, I believe that today's sentence brings justice and some measure of closure to this tragic and senseless homicide."
Locke added, "I commend United States Attorney Don Stern, Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Hobart and the agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration for their efforts and the spirit of cooperation that was displayed in this case."
DEA Special Agent in Charge Festa said, "The men and women of DEA have resolved to make the streets and neighborhoods of New England safe from drugs and violence. DEA will continue to place the highest priority and concentrate the most resoureces on violent drug crimes including those that are perpetrated by outlaw motorcycle gangs. Combined teamwork on the part of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies successfully brought Bartolomeo to justice. The stiff sentence that Bartolomeo received was inescapable and warranted for the crimes he committed."
The investigation of this case was conducted by the New England Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Massachusetts State Police, the Lynn, Massachusetts Police Department, the Weymouth, Massachusetts Police Department and the New Hampshire State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey E. Hobart of Stern's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Robert Delahunt of the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office.
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