The Brotherhood: Ray Cole of Concord
Ray Cole tried to get out of prison before BOWW formed in November 2005, and prison officials were on his side.
The 34-year-old, now incarcerated in New York and admittedly distanced from the group for years, was in the Berlin state prison on a 3½- to 10-year sentence for a second-degree assault outside Margarita’s Mexican restaurant Concord, in which he broke a man’s jaw and nose. He was also ordered to get drug and alcohol counseling. The sentence was enhanced because Cole had been imprisoned twice previously for terms longer than one year, one of which involved a larceny conviction.
In spring 2005, three months after he began serving his sentence, Cole asked a judge to amend it so he could get substance abuse treatment outside of prison. Prison officials also urged the court to relocate Cole from the Berlin prison to home confinement.
They said he had completed two levels of a drug treatment program, had never tested positive for drugs and had only a handful of disciplinary infractions since 2003. The most critical of these occurred that year, when Cole was cited for inciting a group demonstration.
Recalling the episode, Cole wrote in an email that he had threatened an inmate in the mess hall after the inmate began discussing being a sex offender. He said he was punished with nearly two weeks in solitary confinement.
“I did 15 days in the box and that was that,” Cole wrote.
A judge ultimately denied the requests for home confinement, writing in April 2005, “The court objects to any lessening of this prisoner’s sentence in terms of place of confinement or otherwise.” (The emphasis is the judge’s.)
Cole did win parole in 2007 but soon returned to prison on a violation.
During his brief time outside the walls, Cole robbed two men in Concord, one of them during a home invasion in a Fisherville Road trailer park in search of drugs, according to court records.
During the home invasion, Cole and two other men entered the trailer and beat a man with their fists and a hockey stick, according to court records. They told the victim, who lived in the trailer with his terminally ill father, they wanted to know where his father’s prescription medications were.
Cole and the two others found and stole the pills, as well as a gold chain, a diamond ring, cash and a PlayStation before fleeing the home. “The three of them . . . ran through the woods, jumped a lot of fences and ran back to Fisherville Road,” an FBI agent investigating the case wrote in an affidavit.
Cole hid the gold chain and some of the money in the Perley Street home of a friend, the affidavit said.
In the days after the robbery, Cole told one of his accomplices to call the Concord Regional Crimeline and identify other people as the suspects, the affidavit said. The accomplice never made the call and instead provided details of the crime to the FBI.
Cole was charged in federal court with the home invasion and the other Concord robbery. He pleaded guilty in 2010 and received three sentences of 15 years each, which he is serving in a New York federal prison. He is serving the sentences concurrently and will be eligible for parole in 2022, according to a prison official.