March 3, 2009

Boy, 13, Accused of Killing Rival Brother

Diversity in Cape Cod - "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

HYANNIS, Mass. (March 2) - 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 seventh grader, is now accused of masterminding the slaying of his 16-year-old half-brother so he could take over the drug operation — one 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. Another 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.

Boy, 13, Accused of Killing Rival Brother

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