Latin King Leader Sentenced


January 26, 2012

The highest-ranking leader of the Latin Kings street gang is behind bars.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: The highest-ranking leader, or corona, of the Latin Kings street gang is behind bars. 51-year-old Augustin Zambrano was the leader of the gang—which has 10,000 members in Chicago alone.

James G. McDonald: The Latin Kings from Texas, Florida, New Jersey, and so on…they all reported to Zambrano as well.

Halpern: I’m Mollie Halpern of the FBI, and this is Gotcha. An informant penetrated the hierarchy of the gang. The informant’s van was used by gang leaders to discuss their drug dealings, gun purchases, and savage code of violence. The van was wired with concealed audio and video recording devices. Case Agent James McDonald…

McDonald: We were able to build the RICO case because of all of the violence that they ended up talking about to our informant.

Halpern: Zambrano enforced the gang’s chain of command and adherence to its manifesto—which outlined how the gang governed itself.

McDonald: Even within an organization as structured as the Latin Kings, no one is untouchable.

Halpern: Not even Zambrano, who was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison. This is the FBI’s closed case of the week.

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