Police: MS-13 member charged in connection with 2010 murder of man under a Chelsea bridge

Local News

Adam Rodriguez, 33, was arrested Wednesday and is facing a RICO charge.

Authorities announced Thursday that a suspected MS-13 gang member has been arrested and charged in connection with the killing of a man under a Chelsea bridge in December 2010. 

Adam Rodriguez, also known as “Pelon,” was arrested Wednesday and indicted on a racketeering conspiracy, or RICO, charge, according to state police. The 33-year-old made an initial court appearance in Boston’s federal court and is being held, pending a Nov. 16 hearing.

According to police, it is alleged that Rodriguez and other members of the MS-13 gang murdered an Allston man under a bridge in Chelsea on Dec. 18, 2010. Authorities allegedly matched the 33-year-old’s voice to a Jan. 26, 2011 recording during which he allegedly acknowledges his role in the murder and was beaten for 13 seconds by other members of the gang for leaving Massachusetts after the slaying without the gang’s permission.

Police said it is also alleged that Rodriguez committed other attempted murders after the 2010 slaying but information on those incidents was not immediately available. 

The superseding indictment also charges 30-year-old William Pinedo Portillo, also known as “Humilde,” with RICO conspiracy, according to state police. He was originally indicted in 2017, but after an arrest warrant was issued, investigators determined he had been deported to El Salvador under a different name. Police said an investigation determined that his father’s car was used to transport Rodriguez and other MS-13 members, as well as the murder victim, to the scene under the bridge in 2010.

Portillo was arrested in May 2022 on the outstanding warrant when he was encountered crossing the Texas border and returned to Boston, according to police. He remains in custody awaiting trial. Authorities also allege he worked to sell a gun to an individual he believed to be a fellow MS-13 member, but who was a cooperating witness with law enforcement. Portillo is accused of conspiring to murder an MS-13 member he believed to be an informant, according to police.

Police said that a charge of RICO conspiracy can result in a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.