Three Members and One Associate of Violent North Carolina Latin Kings Gang Sentenced to Prison
|U.S. Department of Justice August 15, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Three members and one associate of the North Carolina Almighty Latin King/Queen Nation (ALKQN) have been sentenced this week in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina.
The announcement was made today by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand of the Middle District of North Carolina; Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte Division; Chief of the Greensboro, North Carolina Police Department Ken Miller; and B.J. Barnes, Sheriff of Guilford County, North Carolina.
U.S. District Court Judge James A. Beaty, Jr. sentenced the following defendants:
- Jorge Peter Cornell, 36, of Greensboro, North Carolina, aka “King Jay,” was sentenced on August 14, 2013, to serve 336 months in prison.
- Jason Paul Yates, 32, originally of Chicago but recently living in North Carolina, aka “King Squirrel,” was sentenced on August 15, 2013, to serve 206 months in prison.
- Steaphan Acencio-Vasquez, 22, of Raleigh, North Carolina, aka “King Leo,” was sentenced on August 13, 2013, to serve 96 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
- Ernesto Wilson, 55, of New York City, aka “Yayo,” was sentenced on August 13, 2013, to serve 204 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Cornell, the leader of the North Carolina ALKQN, was convicted by a federal jury on November 21, 2012, of racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity, and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence for an April 2008 assault with a dangerous weapon.
Wilson, an ALKQN associate, was convicted by a federal jury on November 21, 2012, of racketeering conspiracy.
ALKQN members Yates and Acencio-Vasquez previously pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the defendants were members and associates of ALKQN, a violent street gang that originated in Chicago in the 1960s and ultimately migrated to cities throughout the United States, including New York City and ultimately Greensboro in 2002. From approximately 2005 until December 2011, ALKQN gang members met on a regular basis to increase their knowledge base of the gang rules; discuss criminal activity and how to deal with rival gangs, including by attempted murder; purchase firearms; circulate firearms for use in criminal activity by other ALKQN members; and engage in violent crimes such as robberies, bank fraud, arson, and carjacking. The proceeds of this criminal activity helped to finance the gang’s illegal activities. ALKQN members also attempted to murder members of the gang when they attempted to terminate their membership.
Evidence presented at trial also showed that Cornell conspired with other ALKQN members to commit racketeering acts, including the April 2008 shooting of a rival gang member; the commissioning of no fewer than five Hobbs Act Robberies of businesses located throughout the Greensboro area; the plotting of firebomb attacks on the residences of former ALKQN members; attacks on former ALKQN members; and the killing of former ALKQN members through drive-by shootings. Cornell also provided firearms to members of ALKQN to commit several of these crimes.
ALKQN member Wesley Anderson Williams, who pleaded guilty on October 1, 2012, to racketeering conspiracy, will be sentenced by Judge Beaty on August 20, 2013. Russell Lloyd Kilfoil, an ALKQN member who was convicted by a federal jury on November 21, 2012, will be sentenced on August 28, 2013.
The investigation was a joint operation conducted by the FBI’s Greensboro Field Office, Greensboro Police Department, and the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Leshia Lee-Dixon of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A.J. Lang of the Middle District of North Carolina.