No matter where you may live in the world, it appears that you can’t get away from the violence associated with the illicit drug trade. That would include Hyannis, Massachuetts, home of the Kennedy compound where a 13 year old teen is accused of killing his own brother in an effort to take over the family drug trade business.
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Cops: Boy killed brother for drugs
By DENISE LAVOIE
HYANNIS, Mass. – Like most boys, 13-year-old Mykel Mendes looked up to his big brother, Jordan. The two rode bikes together, did yard work together and hung out together. But when it came to the family business – a major drug ring – Mykel did not want to share, police say.
Mykel, a 7th-grader, is accused of masterminding the killing of his 16-year-old half-brother so that he could take over the drug operation – one that police say they inherited from their father, who is in prison for running one of the biggest cocaine rings on Cape Cod.
Jordan was found shot, stabbed 27 times and dumped into a pit, where his body was torched. A 13-year-old friend and a 20-year-old cousin also are charged with murder.
The killing has shaken the normal quiet of winter on Cape Cod, the summer tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, salt water taffy and famous residents. Jordan Mendes lived just a few miles from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port.
“It’s very disturbing,” said Debra Dagwan, a Hyannis resident and member of the local school board. “It indicates what drugs can do to people, whether they are involved with drugs or selling them. It’s a dangerous life, no matter how you look at it.”
Mykel’s lawyer, John Cunha, dismissed claims by authorities that Mykel planned his brother’s death to take over his drug business.
“He loved his brother,” Cunha said. “He’s not the 13-year-old Al Capone.”
The boys’ father, Manuel Mendes, 33, ran a drug ring that brought large quantities of cocaine to the Cape from New York and Boston. Jordan was 8 and Mykel just 5 when he was arrested and sent to prison to serve eight to 10 years. Two years later, in 2002, authorities caught him running the drug business from behind bars. That time, he was sentenced to 35 years on federal drug-trafficking charges.
Authorities say that Jordan took over where his father left off, selling OxyContin and cocaine. District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said that Jordan was a “significant drug dealer.”
Mykel, according to authorities, was jealous of the money Jordan was making and wanted to take over.
Over two days in December, police say Mykel, his 20-year-old cousin, Robert Vacher, and 13-year-old Kevin Ribeiro stole $10,000 from Jordan, killed him, poured gasoline on his body and set him on fire.
The three walked into a car dealership, pulled the $10,000 out of their pockets and bought a used silver BMW, O’Keefe said.
Lawyers for all three youths deny that they took part in the slaying.
“To actually kill somebody to obtain money to buy a used car, which they have no license for and won’t be able to get a license for almost four years – that’s not the way 13-year-olds think,” said William Gens, Ribeiro’s lawyer.
Mykel, who has a different mother, did not grow up in the same house as Jordan. But after Mykel moved to the Cape with his mother, the boys became inseparable, according to family members and friends.
“Jordan was very close to Mykel,” said Jordan’s mother, Paula Carberry. “He took care of him, looked out for him. He loved him.”
After his father was sent to prison, Jordan – named after basketball star Michael Jordan – became “the little man in the house,” Carberry said.
Carberry denies that Jordan was involved in drugs. She said that his grades had improved and that he had talked with an ex-girlfriend about moving to Florida after high school to open a clothing store.
When Jordan did not come home from school Dec. 15, Carberry and other family members went out to look for him. The next day, they found his body – still burning – in an 8-by-10-foot pit in woods less than a mile from Carberry’s home.
Ribeiro’s chilling account of the slaying is outlined in a one-page police report.
As Jordan walked down the basement stairs of Mykel’s house, Vacher shot him, then stabbed him repeatedly in the neck, Ribeiro told police.
Ribeiro said he and Vacher then rolled Mendes’ body in a rug and took it to the pit. The next day, he said, they brought a container of gasoline and set Mendes’ body on fire, according to the police report.
The two boys are now in the custody of the state Department of Youth Services. Because of their age, they cannot be tried as adults for murder. If convicted, the teens would remain in state custody until they reach 18. Vacher was being held without bail on first-degree murder charges.
Carberry said that she always thought Mykel was jealous of Jordan, but cannot understand how he could do what he is accused of doing.
“Whatever happened to my brother’s keeper?” she said.
“You were supposed to be my brother’s keeper, and he was yours.” *
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