DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Massachusetts

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Andrew E. Lelling
, United States Attorney
Contact: Christina DiIorio-Sterling

Brizillian National Charged with Armed Robbery

BOSTON – A Brazilian man, living in Chelsea, was charged today in connection with the April 21, 2020, armed robbery of Lanzilli’s Grocery in Boston.

Diego Evangelista DaSilva, 32, was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of armed robbery. DaSilva, who is currently in the custody in Suffolk County, will make his initial appearance in federal court at a later date.

According to the charging documents, between Jan. 4, 2020 and April 20, 2020, 12 armed robberies occurred at commercial establishments in the metropolitan Boston area. These establishments included pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores. The robbery suspect in each of the robberies appeared to be the same individual based on consistent characteristics recorded on video surveillance and as described in witnesses. The suspect was described as a light-skinned Hispanic male, 5’9 - 6’ tall, medium build, and wearing a hat or hooded sweatshirt. In many of the robberies, the robber entered the establishment, passed a demand note, made verbal demands for money and displayed what appeared to be a firearm tucked into the waistline of his pants.

On April 21, 2020, at 8:20 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Lanzilli’s Grocery in Boston. During the robbery, the robber was observed wearing a gray knit cap, a flesh colored mask and a gray hooded sweatshirt. The video surveillance also shows what appears to be a red garment/jacket under the gray sweatshirt. Surveillance photographs showed the robber exiting the area, going in between two buildings, and later emerging wearing a red jacket. The video shows what appears to be bulky clothing under the red jacket. The robber then entered a local store, and used the store’s Wi-Fi to order a cab. The cab company’s records revealed that the cab proceeded to drop the robber off near Washington Park in East Boston.

On April 26, 2020, law enforcement agencies surveilled the area of Washington Park and observed an individual, who fit the physical description of the robber, wearing similar clothing worn by the robber during the April 21, 2020, robbery. Law enforcement observed the individual drive away in a car, conducted a motor vehicle stop of the car, determined that the driver – DaSilva – did not possess a driver’s license and detained him. During a later search of the car, law enforcement recovered a black semi-automatic BB gun under the vehicle’s seat and a gray knot cap.

DaSilva’s home was later searched and personal papers in his name, a red jacket, and various items of clothing and hats were recovered

According to court documents, DaSilva was later interviewed and admitted his involvement in the string of 12 robberies.

The charge of Hobbs Act robbery provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes; and Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Lelling Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Boston Field Division