Before Fatal Shooting, Josh Pierre Charged with Selling Cannabis to Waltham Minors 

By Chris Wangler
August 31, 2023

Gardencrest resident Josh Pierre, 21, remains at large after authorities allege he fatally shot Waltham resident Shelson Jules back in May.

Only weeks before the shooting, Pierre was charged with dealing marijuana in Gardencrest and elsewhere.

Two of the alleged buyers were 14-year-old Waltham students.

“Ongoing Situation”

On May 5, Pierre was arrested by investigators from the Southern Middlesex County Regional Drug Task Force.

Waltham District Court records refer to “an ongoing situation occurring in the Waltham Public Schools, especially the middle schools, where numerous students are using nicotine and THC vape pens.”


THC vape pens allow more discreet cannabis use than joints or pipes, which produce smoke and marijuana odors.

Police suspected Pierre of using Snapchat, a social media platform popular with teens, to sell the vape pens to underage students. 

As part of the investigation, the task force surveilled Pierre in a Honda Accord later connected to the fatal shooting.

He was observed at various Gardencrest locations and elsewhere allegedly trafficking marijuana to males of different ages. 

A McDevitt eighth grader, 14, who lives in Gardencrest was observed in a suspected drug deal with Pierre.

When interviewed by police, the middle schooler admitted that he purchased a “DP” or disposable THC vape pen for $40.

He told police he bought it for someone else and did not name Pierre as the dealer.

During another suspected drug deal, Pierre picked up a 14-year-old Waltham student on Cushing Street.

After police pulled over the vehicle, the student was found with marijuana on his person, though he declined to name Josh Pierre as the supplier. 

A vehicle search revealed nearly three ounces of marijuana, cash, five cellphones and drug paraphernalia, leading investigators to conclude that Pierre was involved in trafficking drugs. 

He was arrested on scene and charged with various Class D drug trafficking offenses, including furnishing marijuana to a minor.


After being arraigned on May 8, Pierre was released on $500 bail, according to court records.

A second suspected dealer, Nyaja GilChrist, was in the vehicle at the time and was also charged with drug offenses, including possession of pressed fentanyl pills with intent to distribute. 

Court records for GilChrist have been impounded in Waltham District Court. 

Still at Large

Josh Pierre remains at large after he was named last month as the alleged shooter in the death of Shelson Jules, 22, another Gardencrest resident, on May 22.

He is considered armed and dangerous. 

The office of Middlesex DA Marian Ryan said Pierre and other individuals traveled to Waltham to meet the victim.

After a brief exchange, he allegedly shot Jules from behind twice at Lyman and Faneuil Streets near Gardencrest, killing him. 

An online fundraiser for Shelson Jules has raised more than $20,000 as friends and loved ones mourn his tragic death.

Josh Pierre is described as a black male, 5’4” with black hair, brown eyes and weighing approximately 150 lbs. He was last seen in a 2016 silver Honda Accord MA registration 2XG H85.

Authorities warn the public not to approach him if spotted. Call Waltham Police or State Police with information about his whereabouts.


Another Waltham resident, Strawensky Cebeat, 21, was arrested in connection with the deadly shooting. Authorities said he was in the vehicle at the time.

On July 28, he was arraigned in Waltham District Court as an accessory after the fact to murder and for withholding evidence.

A Middlesex DA release said Cebeat “was held in lieu of posting $50,000 cash bail, plus other conditions of pretrial release.”

Court records for Cebeat have also been impounded in Waltham District Court.

File photos