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State Police, Local Police Partners, DA Dismantle Sophisticated B&E Ring

Some items seized during execution of search warrants at targets’ homes this morning.


Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Massachusetts State Police Colonel John Mawn Jr. announced today that JOVAN LEMON, 29, of Providence, RI, PAUL LEMON, 30, of Warwick, RI, STEVEN BERDUGO, 28, of Providence, RI, and PAUL MILLER L, 46, of Woonsocket, RI have been arrested and charged in connection with 43 burglaries and break-ins across 25 towns in Massachusetts between 2018 and 2024. The defendants are part of an organized burglary ring with ties to a violent Providence-based gang known to law enforcement agencies in Rhode Island.


The defendants were directly indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on April 18, 2024 for a total of 95 counts of unarmed burglary and breaking and entering a dwelling house in the daytime with intent to commit a felony.  The incidents giving rise to the charges occurred in the communities of Billerica, Boxborough, Carlisle, Easton,Hopkinton, Lincoln, Weston, Sudbury, Andover, Bellingham, Boxford, Franklin, Hudson, Littleton, Medway, Middleton, Millis, North Attleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Seekonk, Sharon, Southborough, Wenham, and Westwood between July 21, 2018 and March 30, 2024. 


The residents of the majority of homes were persons of Indian or South Asian heritage. Investigators believe that they were targeted based on of their ethnicity relying on a belief that their households were more likely to contain precious metals, jewelry and other valuable heirlooms.


Communities where known residential burglaries occurred.


Property reported stolen in the breaks included many pieces of diamonds and other gems and studded jewelry with values of individual pieces up to approximately $75,000; gold bracelets, necklaces and  earrings and large quantities of cash.  In several instances, the property had been secured in locked safes, weighing up to 400 pounds, which the perpetrators removed from the residence along with the stolen valuables.


The aggregate reported value of the stolen property exceeds $4 million.


“The defendants in this case were very sophisticated.  They targeted victims based on their ethnicity and then gathered information about their targets in order to strike when families were not at home.  They were disciplined in concealing their identity, avoiding alarms and minimizing cell phone use before, during and after the breaks and using Wi-Fi jammers.  Despite these challenges and the complicated nature and breadth of this investigation, law enforcement collaboratively and persistently worked to today begin the process of holding these four defendants accountable,” said District Attorney Marian Ryan. 


Lieutenant Colonel Mark Cyr, commander of the Massachusetts State Police Division of Homeland Security, added: “The theft crew we arrested today stole countless items of great monetary, emotional, and cultural value from families in multiple states, and did so by violating the sanctity of their homes. Such brazen criminal actions will not be tolerated in our communities. This investigation highlights the dedication of our law enforcement partners to work collaboratively to take down complex criminal networks.”


The arrests are the result of a nine-month investigation by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, and the Massachusetts State Police Division of Homeland Security, including the MACrimeNet program operated by the MSP Fusion Center. 


The MACrimeNet program provides police from different departments capabilities to obtain and share intelligence about criminal acts and patterns, suspects, and other relevant information to help solve complex or cross-jurisdictional cases.


Further assistance was provided by the Rhode Island State Police and local police departments across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


The defendants were taken into custody without incident this morning after being arrested in their homes by members of the United States Marshals Service/Rhode Island State Police Task Force.


The prosecutor assigned to this case is Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Michael Klunder.


This is an open and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Massachusetts State Police in partnership with Police Departments from the communities of Andover, Billerica, Bellingham, Boxborough, Boxford, Carlisle, Easton, Franklin, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Littleton, Medway, Middleton, Millis, North Attleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Seekonk, Sharon, Southborough, Sudbury, Wenham, Weston and Westwood in Massachusetts; Avon, CT; East Lyme, CT and Connecticut State Police; Barrington, RI, Cranston, RI and Lincoln RI; and Nashua, NH with additional assistance from Holliston, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Walpole, Wellesley and Westborough MA Police Departments, Cumberland, Providence and West Warwick, RI Police Departments and the United States Marshals Service/RISP Task Force.

 

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