Home New York Press Releases 2011 Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Members of Newburgh Latin Kings with Murder and Racketeering in Second Coordinated...

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Members of Newburgh Latin Kings with Murder and Racketeering in Second Coordinated Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Strike
Defendants Also Charged with Attempted Murder, Narcotics Distribution, Attempted Robbery, Assault, Firearms Offenses, and Witness Tampering

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 10, 2011
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), RONALD B. TURK, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ("ATF"), MICHAEL FERRARA, the Chief of the City of Newburgh Police Department, and FRANK PHILLIPS, the Orange County District Attorney, announced today the unsealing of a 42-count superseding indictment charging 31 members and associates of the Latin Kings gang in Newburgh, New York, with racketeering, murder and attempted murder, and a number of other federal crimes. The original indictment was filed last May.

Today's superseding indictment charges members of the gang with three murders: the murder of Jeffrey Zachary in May 2008, the murder of Jerome Scarlett in March 2010, and the murder of John Maldonado in March 2010. The defendants are also charged with two attempted murders; attempted robbery; assault; conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, heroin, powder cocaine, and marijuana; the use and possession of firearms in connection with the crimes of violence and drug distribution conspiracy; and witness tampering, from 2007 through the present.

U.S. ATTORNEY PREET BHARARA stated: "Today's arrests represent the latest salvo in our campaign to rid the city of Newburgh of the scourge that calls itself the Latin Kings. The unprecedented crackdown on gangs that we launched last May continues in earnest. We have made significant progress in cleaning up the streets of Newburgh but we still have work to do. Together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we will use every resource at our disposal to create a safer environment and a brighter future for the community."

FBI Assistant Director in Charge JANICE K. FEDARCYK stated: "The intrinsic hostility of gang related crimes generates a series of violent offenses, crippling the stability of our communities and leading to increased intimidation among our youth. Gang violence depletes a city's strength and robs its inhabitants of their inherent right to live peacefully. We will continue to dedicate resources for the purpose of eradicating these crimes."

ATF Special Agent in Charge RONALD B. TURK stated: "Today's arrests clearly show law enforcement's commitment to the Newburgh community. After last year's initial arrests of gang members, agents and officers continued their tenacious investigation to further charge 15 more gang members. Some of these thugs were extremely violent and today's arrests nearly double the number of those taken off the streets in this case. ATF remains committed to protecting our neighborhoods where residents have a safe, drug-free place to live and play; today we are a little closer to that reality."

Newburgh Police Chief MICHAEL FERRARA stated: "The city of Newburgh has a long history of gang and drug violence. With the assistance of other agencies like the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office, we can change the future of Newburgh. The devastating cuts to our police department have left the city in a very serious state. It is only with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies and with the combining of resources that we will be able to provide a better future for Newburgh and change history."

Orange County District Attorney FRANK PHILLIPS stated: "Today we have seen, once again, the commitment of federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney to provide resources, which would otherwise be unavailable, to local police and prosecutors, to deal a major blow to organized crime in Orange County. Make no mistake: the Latin Kings are an organized crime enterprise and their narcotics trade, maintained through the use of violence, is a clear and present danger to the people of the Hudson Valley. Most significant is the indictment of individuals in connection with three separate murders. Without the commitment of the U.S. Attorney, these murders would likely have been unprosecutable under New York law. I want to again thank U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for his continuing commitment to fight crime in all of the counties of the Southern District of New York."

According to the superseding indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court:

The "Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation" (the "Latin Kings") is a nationwide criminal organization that was founded in the 1940s in Chicago, Illinois. The Latin Kings are organized into local chapters by geographic area. A chapter of the Latin Kings has operated in the East End neighborhood of Newburgh, New York (the "Newburgh Latin Kings"). The Newburgh Latin Kings were governed by a council of five officers, referred to as crowns (collectively, the "Crown Council"). The Crown Council wielded great power and directed punishments, known as "violations," against members who were determined to have committed transgressions. In some instances, the Crown Council used meetings to order attacks on individuals and rival gangs. Eight defendants held positions on the Crown Council at various times.

The superseding indictment charges that the Newburgh Latin Kings was a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization ("RICO"), the purposes of which included the distribution and sale of crack cocaine, heroin, powder cocaine, and marijuana; and preserving and protecting the power, territory, and profits of the Newburgh Latin Kings through murder, attempted murder, other acts of violence, and threats of violence.

Eleven defendants are charged with committing and attempting to commit violent acts as part of the criminal activities of the Newburgh Latin Kings, including the following:

  • WILSON PAGAN, a/k/a "King Gunz," and JOSE LAGOS, a/k/a "King Gordo," are charged with the murder of Jeffrey Zachary in the vicinity of 27 Dubois Street, Newburgh, New York, on May 6, 2008.
  • CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ, a/k/a "King Chi Chi," CARLOS ROMERO, a/k/a "King Los," and LUIS TAMBITO, a/k/a "King Luch," are charged with the murder of Jerome Scarlett, a/k/a "Rude Boy," in the vicinity of Farrington Street and Lander Street, Newburgh, New York, on March 11, 2010.
  • CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ, a/k/a "King Chi Chi," ARMANDO SANCHEZ, a/k/a "King Malo," OSMAN NUNEZ, a/k/a "King Ozzy," CARLOS ROMERO, a/k/a "King Los," JOSE LAGOS, a/k/a "King Gordo," and WILLIAM OVERTON, a/k/a "King Tutu," are charged with the murder of John Maldonado, a/k/a "Tarzan," in the vicinity of Benkard Avenue and Little Monument Street, Newburgh, New York, on March 12, 2010.
  • OSMAN NUNEZ, a/k/a "King Ozzy," and THOMAS JIMENEZ, a/k/a "King Tunes," are charged with the attempted murder of an individual in the vicinity of Washington Street and Clark Street, Newburgh, New York, on November 13, 2009.
  • CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR, a/k/a "King Speedy," is charged with the attempted murder of an individual in the vicinity of 22 Gidney Avenue, Newburgh, New York, on January 7, 2010.
  • PEDRO HERRERA, a/k/a "King Aventura," and JOSE LAGOS, a/k/a "King Gordo," are charged with the attempted robbery of a suspected narcotics dealer in New Windsor, New York, on October 19, 2009.
  • WILSON PAGAN, a/k/a "King Gunz," and LUIS TAMBITO, a/k/a "King Luch," are charged with the stabbing of an individual PAGAN believed was providing information to law enforcement, on January 17, 2010.

The superseding indictment includes 15 new defendants and 16 defendants who were previously charged in the May, 2010 original indictment. All 31 defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute narcotics. Twenty-seven defendants are charged with using, carrying, and possessing firearms during and in relation to the Newburgh Latin Kings' drug distribution conspiracy.

The superseding indictment is the further result of a long-term investigation, dubbed "Operation Black Crown," conducted by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers working with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. The investigation included the use of confidential informants, undercover officers, and surreptitious surveillance to infiltrate the Newburgh Latin Kings' racketeering activities in the East End of Newburgh, New York.

Thirty of the 31 defendants charged in the superseding indictment were arrested today or have previously been taken into custody. CARLOS ORTIZ, a/k/a "King Tone," is still being sought. The defendants arrested today are expected to be presented in White Plains federal court later this afternoon. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge CATHY SEIBEL.

Mr. BHARARA praised the outstanding investigative work of the member agencies of the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force. He added that the investigation is continuing.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office's White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys NICHOLAS McQUAID and BENJAMIN ALLEE are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

United States v. Wilson Pagan, et al., S3 10 Cr. 392 (CS)

Count Charge Defendant Maximum Penalties
1, 2 Racketeering, racketeering conspiracy WILSON PAGAN,
CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ,
PEDRO HERRERA,
ARMANDO SANCHEZ,
LUIS TAMBITO,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
JOSE LAGOS,
CARLOS ROMERO,
CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR,
WILLIAM OVERTON,
THOMAS JIMENEZ,
JASON CARABALLO
Maximum term of life imprisonment
5, 8 ,10 Murder in aid of racketeering WILSON PAGAN,
JOSE LAGOS,
CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ,
ARMANDO SANCHEZ,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
CARLOS ROMERO,
WILLIAM OVERTON
Maximum term of death or life imprisonment, mandatory minimum term of life imprisonment
3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11-14 Attempted murder in aid of racketeering WILSON PAGAN,
JOSE LAGOS,
CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ,
ARMANDO SANCHEZ,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
CARLOS ROMERO,
WILLIAM OVERTON,
CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR,
THOMAS JIMENEZ
Maximum term of 10 years’ imprisonment
15 Assault in aid of racketeering WILSON PAGAN,
LUIS TAMBITO
Maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment
16 Narcotics conspiracy WILSON PAGAN,
CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ,
PEDRO HERRERA,
ARMANDO SANCHEZ,
LUIS TAMBITO,
JASON CARABALLO,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
JOSE LAGOS,
CARLOS ROMERO,
CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR,
WILLIAM OVERTON,
THOMAS JIMENEZ,
STEVEN LEWIS,
HUMBERTO MORALES,
WILFREDO SANCHEZ,
FELIX LAGARES,
KELVIN LAGARES,
JUAN RIOS,
ANDREW SANCHEZ,
WILFREDO NIEVES,
NOEL VELEZ,
NELSON CALDERON,
RICARDO RAMOS,
NICHOLAS COLON,
CARLOS ORTIZ,
DAMON SINCLAIR,
ANGELO DELEON,
DEVON SMITH,
EDNA REYES,
RANDY ANGULO,
LEO AUSTIN
Maximum term of life imprisonment, mandatory minimum term of 10 years’ imprisonment
17-28 Distribution and possession with intent to distribute five grams or more cocaine base WILSON PAGAN,
PEDRO HERRERA,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
HUMBERTO MORALES,
JOSE LAGOS,
STEVEN LEWIS,
CARLOS ROMERO,
WILFREDO SANCHEZ,
JUAN RIOS,
ANDREW SANCHEZ,
WILFREDO NIEVES,
NOEL VELEZ,
RICARDO RAMOS
Maximum term of 40 years’ imprisonment, mandatory term of five years’ imprisonment
29 Murder in connection with a drug crime CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ,
ARMANDO SANCHEZ,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
CARLOS ROMERO,
JOSE LAGOS,
WILLIAM OVERTON
Maximum term of death or life imprisonment, mandatory term of 20 years’ imprisonment
30, 31 Conspiracy and attempted robbery PEDRO HERRERA,
JOSE LAGOS
Maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment
32, 33, 37, 38, 40 Discharge of a firearm during and in relation to narcotics trafficking or a crime of violence WILSON PAGAN,
CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ,
PEDRO HERRERA,
ARMANDO SANCHEZ,
LUIS TAMBITO,
JASON CARABALLO,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
JOSE LAGOS,
CARLOS ROMERO,
CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR,
WILLIAM OVERTON,
THOMAS JIMENEZ,
STEVEN LEWIS,
HUMBERTO MORALES,
WILFREDO SANCHEZ,
FELIX LAGARES,
KELVIN LAGARES,
JUAN RIOS,
ANDREW SANCHEZ,
NELSON CALDERON,
RICARDO RAMOS,
NICHOLAS COLON,
CARLOS ORTIZ,
ANGELO DELEON,
DEVON SMITH,
RANDY ANGULO,
LEO AUSTIN
Maximum term of life imprisonment, mandatory minimum term of 10 years’ imprisonment consecutive to any other sentence
35 Brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence PEDRO HERRERA,
JOSE LAGOS
Maximum term of life imprisonment, mandatory minimum term of seven years’ imprisonment consecutive to any other sentence
36 Use and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence OSMAN NUNEZ,
THOMAS JIMENEZ
Maximum term of life imprisonment, mandatory minimum term of five years’ imprisonment consecutive to any other sentence
34, 39, 41 Use, carrying, and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence which causes the death of another person WILSON PAGAN,
JOSE LAGOS,
CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ,
LUIS TAMBITO,
CARLOS ROMERO,
ARMANDO SANCHEZ,
OSMAN NUNEZ,
WILLIAM OVERTON
Maximum term of death or life imprisonment
42 Attempted tampering with an informant WILSON PAGAN,
LUIS TAMBITO
Maximum term of 30 years’ imprisonment

 

Defendant Residence
WILSON PAGAN Newburgh, New York
CHRISTIAN SANCHEZ Newburgh, New York
PEDRO HERRERA Newburgh, New York
ARMANDO SANCHEZ Newburgh, New York
LUIS TAMBITO Newburgh, New York
JASON CARABALLO Newburgh, New York
OSMAN NUNEZ Newburgh, New York
JOSE LAGOS Newburgh, New York
CARLOS ROMERO Newburgh, New York
CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR Newburgh, New York
WILLIAM OVERTON Highland Falls, New York
THOMAS JIMENEZ Newburgh, New York
STEVEN LEWIS Newburgh, New York
HUMBERTO MORALES Newburgh, New York
WILFREDO SANCHEZ Newburgh, New York
FELIX LAGARES Newburgh, New York
KELVIN LAGARES Newburgh, New York
JUAN RIOS Newburgh, New York
ANDREW SANCHEZ Newburgh, New York
WILFREDO NIEVES Newburgh, New York
NOEL VELEZ Newburgh, New York
NELSON CALDERON Schenectady, New York
RICARDO RAMOS Newburgh, New York
NICHOLAS COLON Highland Mills, New York
CARLOS ORTIZ Newburgh, New York
DAMON SINCLAIR Newburgh, New York
ANGELO DELEON Newburgh, New York
DEVON SMITH Newburgh, New York
EDNA REYES Newburgh, New York
RANDY ANGULO Plattekill, New York
LEO AUSTIN Newburgh, New York