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'Architect of ruin': High school dean who shot student he recruited to deal drugs sentenced to over 18 years for racketeering

Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former high school dean convicted of shooting a student he recruited to deal drugs has been sentenced to serve 18 years in prison on racketeering charges, Fox News Digital reported.

Shaun Harrison, a self-styled preacher also called "Rev," was sentenced to 218 months in prison after pleading guilty to a racketeering conspiracy in 2022.

"Harrison was the architect of ruin for an entire generation of promising young lives – exclusively targeting and grooming vulnerable, at-risk youth," said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins in a statement Thursday.

"The level of betrayal and dishonesty exhibited here is astonishing. Harrison was in a position of trust, but was actually a dangerous predator. As the academic dean at a Boston Public high school he lured and manipulated teenagers into a criminal enterprise that specialized in street terrorism," Rollins also said.

While in prison for attempting to murder a student he had recruited to sell marijuana, Harrison continued to associate with Latin Kings, a violent criminal enterprise with thousands of members. The gang supported Harrison while he was incarcerated, refusing to implicate others and putting money into his jail accounts.

Boston Public Schools hired Harrison in 2015 as an academic dean at English High School, a role that involved working with at-risk students. Officials say he used his position to recruit those same at-risk students into the gang. Harrison had students distribute drugs he provided, with Harrison collecting the proceeds.

When Harrison thought one of the students dealing drugs for him had stolen money from him and might inform the police, Harrison shot him in the back of the head. The shooting was caught on camera.

The student survived, but still lives with partial face paralysis, neuropathy in his neck and face, permanent hearing loss, and other significant injuries.

"Shaun Harrison led a double life – using his position as a high school dean to engage in violence and recruit at-risk youth into a violent criminal enterprise. Today’s sentence ensures he will stay in prison and off our city streets for a significant period of time," said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division.

"The convergence of gangs, guns, and drugs are a serious threat to our communities which the FBI and our law enforcement partners are working hard every day to address."

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