Wielding the threat of dark magic, a suspect arrested in a drug probe kept an East Side neighborhood virtually captive, afraid to complain about him, police said.
Felix “Cuba” Delgado, who was already being sought by Massachusetts police for grave robbing, was arrested Tuesday afternoon — but officers weren’t prepared for what they found in his Hallett Street basement.
We found two human skulls and bones that appear to have come from the remains of two people,” said Police Capt.Armando Perez. “This was like nothing we had ever seen before.”
Perez said they found altars throughout the first-floor apartment and basement, many covered in blood.
“Delgado is a high priest in the Santeria religion and practices the dark arts,” Perez said. “People in the neighborhood are either from Puerto Rico or the West Indies, where this religion is practiced and they were afraid to say anything against Delgado for fear he would put a curse on them.”
Along with the human remains, police found ominous carved figurines, candles, antlers, flowers, miniature coffins, bottles of rum, religious statues and chicken carcasses scattered about Delgado’s murky field-stone basement. Strange symbols depicting stars, the moon and a skull were also drawn in pale chalk on the cellar’s floor.
Delgado, 40, was charged with being a fugitive from justice, a felony, while police said they continue to investigate him for drug allegations. He was being held pending extradition to Worcester, Mass.
Perez said Tuesday’s arrest was part of an initiative by the new Violent Crime Reduction Task Force responsible for the big marijuana bust on the city’s West Side on Saturday.
“Here again, we got some information and the task force acted on it immediately,” he said.
Massachusetts authorities said Delgado is a suspect in the theft of bodies and body parts from a 112-year-old mausoleum.
Last month, a Hartford man, 32-year-old Amador Medina, was charged in connection with the grave-robbing incident.
Hartford police said Medina told them he, too, was using the bones, especially those of children, in ceremonies for Santeria, an African-West Indies religion that often involves the sacrifice of animals.
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