Former high school dean who recruited for gang pleads guilty to conspiracy

Shaun Harrison, who worked with at-risk students at Boston's English High School, was already in prison for shooting a teenager.

A former Boston high school dean who recruited students into the Latin Kings and is already serving a 25-year sentence for shooting a teenager pled guilty this week to an additional charge of conspiring with gang members while in prison, federal prosecutors in Massachusetts announced this week.

Shaun Harrison, 63, who is also known as “Rev” and or “King Rev,” was a member of the Latin Kings when he was hired in 2015 to serve as an academic dean at Boston’s English High School, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Massachusetts said. His job at the school was to mediate conflicts between teachers and students, work with families of struggling learners and teach after-school anger management classes.

Federal prosecutors say he used that position to recruit at-risk students into the Latin Kings to sell drugs at the high school. He became suspicious that one of those students was stealing from him and planning to report Harrison to the police. On March 3, 2015, Harrison arranged to meet the student at a McDonald’s and used a handgun to shoot the student in the back of the head at point-blank range. This shooting, which the student survived, was recorded by a surveillance camera.

The student gave police information about Harrison’s gang-related activities and the former administrator was sentenced to approximately 25 years in state prison for his crimes. “Mr. Harrison stole the youth and innocence from impressionable minors, exploiting his position of trust to corrupt and coerce vulnerable and at-risk children into a world of criminal activity,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said. “And, but for a miracle, he nearly took a juvenile victim’s life.”

Harrison now faces an 18-year sentence after pleading guilty this week to a federal racketeering and conspiracy charge stemming from his continued association with the gang while in state prison, prosecutors say. Harrison and Latin Kings members discussed efforts to identify confidential informants in the case over the phone, they say.

Nearly 60 other people have pled guilty in this case and Harrison is scheduled to be sentenced in November. “This former high school dean and self-professed anti-violence advocate was supposed to be looking out for the best interests of his students when in reality he was living a double life as a Latin King, engaging in violence while recruiting at-risk students to traffic drugs and further the insidious needs of the gang,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division.

More from DA: We’re quitting—Neglect, politics and COVID are to blame

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

Most Popular