Home New York Press Releases 2010 Thirteen Members of the Latin Kings Street Gang Indicted on Long Island

Thirteen Members of the Latin Kings Street Gang Indicted on Long Island
Charges Include Gang-Related Shootings, Murder Conspiracy, Drug Distribution, and Illegal Firearms Possession

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 14, 2010
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

A superseding indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip, New York, charging 13 alleged current and former members of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) with gang-related crimes. The charged crimes include four gang-related shootings, conspiracy to commit assaults with deadly weapons, conspiracy to murder members of the rival Crips street gang, attempted shootings, threatening to commit crimes of violence, attempting to commit armed robbery of a narcotics trafficker, trafficking in firearms; harboring Latin Kings after two shootings, conspiring to distribute and distributing crack cocaine and heroin, and illegal possession of firearms in connection with crimes of violence. The defendants arrested today are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge William D. Wall at the U.S. Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York. The case is assigned to United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, and Richard Dormer, Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department.

According to the superseding indictment, the original complaint filed in this case, and detention memoranda filed by the government, since February 2008, members of the Latin Kings from Huntington and Brentwood engaged in a series of violent gang-related activity, including, conspiring to shoot members and associates of rival gangs—the Crips, Southside Posse, Zulu Nation, and MS-13—as well as other individuals who “disrespected” the Latin Kings; attempting to shoot a bouncer employed at a Nesconset nightclub in February 2008 because he had punched a member of the Latin Kings during a fight inside the nightclub; and in November 2008, attempting to rob a drug dealer at his residence in Kings Park, New York.

In 2009, over a period of nine months, a pattern of retaliatory violence between the Latin Kings and other rival gangs in the Huntington Station area allegedly resulted in four separate shootings of individuals and multiple attempted shootings. The Latin Kings also shot at the residences of rival gang members, including a residence in which a 1-year-old baby slept. In September 2009, one of the defendants was attacked by rival gang members and slashed in the face. That attack enraged members of the Huntington Latin Kings, who vowed to kill members of the Crips and spent hours driving through Huntington Station and Wyandach searching unsuccessfully for Crips.

As part of the government’s investigation, which began in 2008, a member of the Huntington Latin Kings, who worked as a confidential source under the supervision of the FBI, recorded conversations at gang meetings and with other Latin King gang members. The confidential source also purchased drugs and guns, including some that had been used in shootings, from fellow gang members.

“The charges announced today are part of our continuing enforcement actions to make the streets and neighborhoods of Long Island safe for its residents and free of the fear and anxiety caused by gang violence,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and the Suffolk County Police Department, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation, and thanked the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance. Ms. Lynch added that the government’s investigation is continuing.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk stated, “Gang violence on Long Island isn’t a new problem, and our efforts to police and prevent it aren’t new either. The Long Island Gang Task Force was formed eight years ago to combine the resources of the FBI and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. The goal, as ever, is to make all Long Island neighborhoods as safe as they can be. Our commitment to that goal is unwavering.”

Police Commissioner Dormer stated, “Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and I are committed to working together with our partners in law enforcement to bring alleged gang members to justice to account for their charged crimes.”

The charged offenses carry the following maximum statutory penalties: assault with dangerous weapons—20 years’ imprisonment; murder conspiracy—10 years’ imprisonment; threatening to commit a crime of violence—five years’ imprisonment; conspiring or attempting to commit assaults with dangerous weapons—three years’ imprisonment; illegal firearms possession in connection with a crime of violence—13 defendants face mandatory five years and a maximum of life in prison, 10 face at least seven years and a maximum of life in prison, and seven face mandatory sentences of at least 10 years and a maximum of life in prison; trafficking in firearms—five years’ imprisonment; conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine—a mandatory sentence of at least 10 years and a maximum of life in prison; attempted armed robbery—20 years’ imprisonment; and harboring—10 years’ imprisonment.

The United States Attorney’s Office in Central Islip, working with its partners, including the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security-Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Nassau County Police Department, and Suffolk County Police Department, have arrested in excess of 75 gang members, including members of the MS-13, Latin Kings, Crips, Bloods and 18th Street Gang, over the past ten months.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie N. Capwell and Nicole Boeckmann.

The Defendants:

ANGEL CORDERO, JR.
Alias: “Epic” and “King Epic”
Age: 27
JOSE SOSA
Alias: “King Sosa” and “Sosa”
Age: 22
LUIS LEMUS
Alias: “King Scar” and “Scar”
Age: 21
EDWIN MOREJON
Alias: “King Drama,” “Drama” and “E-Money”
Age: 20
LUIS G. HERNANDEZ*
Alias: “King Infinite” and “Infinite”
Age: 25
WILLIAM RODRIGUEZ
Alias: “King Villain,” and “Villain”
Age: 23
MICHAEL DIAZ*
Alias: “King Popeye,” “Popeye” and “P-Eye”
Age: 29
JOSE CANDELARIO*
Alias: “King Dice” and “Dice”
Age: 22
RUDDY VASQUEZ*
Alias: “King Estrella,” “Estrella” and “Star”
Age: 24
ROBERT WILLIAMS
Alias: “King Illis” and “Illis”
Age: 30
EDWIN RIVERA, JR.
Alias: “King Bunny” and “Bunny”
Age: 24
LUIS J. HERNANDEZ, JR.
Alias: “King Justice” and “Justice”
Age: 29
SCAL MAZARA
Alias: “King Puppet,” “Puppet” and “Pup”
Age: 26

* (These defendants were arrested today. The remaining defendants are in federal or state custody and will be arraigned at a later date.)