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‘Architect of Ruin’: Boston Public School Dean Attempted to Murder Student He Recruited Into Gang, Had Sell Drugs to Students

boston public school dean attempted murder student recruited gang sell drugs
Source: Suffolk County Jail; Unsplash

May 11 2023, Published 11:45 a.m. ET

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A former academic dean at Boston Public Schools has been sentenced to over 18 years in federal prison for his involvement in recruiting at-risk high school students into a gang and running a drug-selling operation on school premises.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Shaun “Rev” Harrison was sentenced by Judge Rya Zobel to 218 months in prison with 98 months of time served for conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, commonly known as RICO conspiracy. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.

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Authorities said Harrison “lured and manipulated teenagers into a criminal enterprise that specialized in street terrorism.” They claimed he was the “architect of ruin for an entire generation of promising young lives – exclusively targeting and grooming vulnerable, at-risk youth" and became the "very thing he was hired to work against.”

Harrison was a member of the Latin King and Queen Nation, also known as the Latin Kings gang, prosecutors said. Members, they continued, use “drug distribution to generate revenue, and engage in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.”

In 2015, Harrison started working for Boston Public Schools as an academic dean of English High School. Harrison’s job included mediating between students and teachers, working with families when students were struggling in school, running an anger management program and helping at-risk students.

Officials said Harrison started recruiting several of these at-risk students to the Latin Kings and ordering them to sell drugs to other students and he would collect the money.

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In March 2015, Harrison started to become suspicious of a particular student, who he thought was pocketing the money, prosecutors said. He believed, according to prosecutors, that the student didn’t want to sell drugs anymore and thought the student would tell police about what was happening at the school.

On March 3, 2015, Harrison met that student at a McDonald’s and shot him in the head, authorities said. The incident was caught on surveillance footage and the student survived.

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The student spoke with investigators and told them about Harrison alleged scheme at the high school, which including recruiting students into the Latin Kings and selling drugs on campus, prosecutors said.

Harrison was convicted of attempted murder for that incident and sentenced to 25 years in state prison, officials said.

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