Judge Revokes Kessel Bail; Ex-HHS Football Player Hires Bulger Lawyer

Ian J. Kessel. (Lee County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office booking photograph.)

A 20-year-old Haverhill man, charged with armed robbery during an alleged “drug deal gone bad” last year in Bradford, had his bail revoked Thursday and will be jailed until his trial next month.

Ian J. Kessel had been released on bail and allowed to travel, but Superior Court Judge Timothy Q. Feeley reversed the order. The judge said the ex-Haverhill High School football player must be held because of his late June arrest in Florida for alleged marijuana possession and resisting an officer. He was represented in Salem Superior Court by Boston attorney Hank Brennan, a member of mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger’s defense team in 2013.

“Mr. Kessel, like any other citizen, is presumed innocent,” Brennan told WHAV. “He has an entitlement like any other similarly situated citizen deserves. He intends to go to court before a jury of his peers,” he added. Brennan declined to discuss the defense strategy.

Kessel, Dalvin F. Andino, then 19, also of Haverhill, and a 17-year-old minor were arrested during January of 2016 at Forest Acres apartments. They were indicted two months later by an Essex County grand jury.

“The victim in this case made an arrangement to buy marijuana and was told to meet at Forest Acres Drive,” Haverhill Police Lt. Robert P. Pistone said at the time. “When he went there, he was directed to get into a motor vehicle where a gun was put to his head. He was robbed of a good sum of money,” he added.

Earlier this summer, following reports of disturbances, Haverhill Police watched Kessel’s 12 Lexington Ave. home with the department’s conspicuous, white Navistar International truck, labeled as a “video surveillance unit.”

In June, the former running back for the Hillies, who also has a Naples, Fla., home address, was charged by the Lee County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, described as less than 20 grams, and a nonviolent resisting officer charge. Until the arrest, Kessel had been released from earlier conditions that he honor a curfew and stay with his parents.

“He violated the terms of his release not to get into any further trouble with the law,” said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokesperson for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

Kessel is expected to stand trial Sept. 12 for jury trial.