Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder aboard Nantucket scalloping boat

Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 31, killed a crew member and attacked two others on a scalloping boat off the coast of Nantucket.

A Virginia man was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Boston federal court Thursday after admitting to a 2018 murder off Nantucket.

Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 31, killed a crew member and attacked two others on a commercial scalloping boat off the coast of Nantucket, United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a statement.

U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs sentenced Meave Vasquez to 235 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Meave Vazquez, who is originally from Mexico, is in the United States illegally and will be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of the sentence.


In September 2018, Meave Vasquez and his three victims were crewmates on a scalloping boat off the coast of Nantucket. While working inside the shucking house, Meave Vazquez knocked a crewmate, referred to as Victim A, unconscious with a hammer. He then stabbed another crewmate, Victim B, with a long fishing knife, officials said. 

A third crewmate, Victim C, climbed up from the boat’s ice hold “in response to the commotion,” the statement said. Meave Vasquez stuck Victim C with the hammer, who fell back down the ladder with a head injury. Meave Vazquez trapped Victim C and another crew member in the ice hold by covering the door with a heavy basket of scallops. 

Meave Vazquez also attempted to stab the boat’s captain before climbing to the top of the boat’s rigging, where he remained until he was taken into custody by the Coast Guard.

Victim A and Victim B were taken to a nearby ship for medical attention where Victim B was pronounced dead.

Earlier this year, Meave Vazquez pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the second degree, one count of attempted murder, and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. 


“This was a horrific act of workplace violence. Today’s sentence, although it cannot erase the [trauma] and pain caused to the families of the murder victim and the survivors of the brutal attack, I hope it brings some accountability,” Rollins wrote.

U.S. Attorney Rollins, Admiral Mauger, FBI SAC Bonavolonta, and Matthew B. Millhollin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston issued Thursday’s statement. The investigation was led by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Wichers and Laura J. Kaplan of Rollins’ Criminal Division prosecuted the case.


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