HAMMOND, Ind. – Six members of the Latin Kings street gang were sentenced this week for racketeering conspiracy before Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano in the Northern District of Indiana.
This case was investigated by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the National Gang Intelligence Center; the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center; Chicago Police Department; and the Indiana police departments of East Chicago, Griffith, Highland, Hammond and Houston. The investigation of the Chicago Police Department officers was conducted by the Chicago City Public Corruption Task Force, a law enforcement initiative between the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division and FBI’s Chicago office.
The following sentences were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana:
- Oscar Gonzalez, 23, of Hammond, Ind., was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty June 26, 2012 to racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to possess cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute, and conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana.
- Martin Anaya, 42, of Chicago, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after a jury returned a guilty verdict Sept. 25, 2012 for racketeering and drug conspiracies.
- Jason Ortiz, 29, of Chicago, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison after pleading guilty July 30, 2010 to racketeering conspiracy. During his guilty plea, Ortiz acknowledged that on Feb. 25, 2007, he and four other defendants rode on a "mission" from Illinois to Griffith, Ind. While armed with three firearms, they were ordered to ambush rival gang members who were attending a party. Once Latin Dragon members James Walsh, aka "Jim Boy" and Gonzalo Diaz left the party, the Latin Kings, including Ortiz, drove up in a vehicle and two of Ortiz’s co-defendants got out of the vehicle and shot and killed Walsh and Diaz.
- Jermaine Ellis, 23, of Chicago, was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison (205 months) after pleading guilty Oct. 21, 2010 to racketeering conspiracy. Ellis, who became a Latin Kings member at an early age, admitted that as a juvenile he participated in the shooting deaths of James Walsh and Gonzalo Diaz in Griffith, Ind.
- Antonio Martinez Jr., 42, of Chicago, a former Chicago police officer, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Dec. 2, 2011 to racketeering conspiracy. According to court records, Martinez and another officer committed armed robberies on behalf of a Latin Kings gang member, at times while in uniform and driving police-issued vehicles. They stole drugs, weapons and cash, and in some instances were given a portion of the funds they stole as payment for committing the armed robberies.
- Hiluterio Chavez, 37, of Chicago, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Jan. 24, 2012 to racketeering conspiracy. Among other crimes, Chavez participated in a robbery with Martinez and presented himself as a law enforcement officer.
According to the indictments filed in this case, Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States. It is a well-organized street gang that has specific leadership and is composed of regions that include multiple chapters. The Latin Kings enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, assault and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the Latin Kings. Members are required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members, including taking on assignments often referred to as "missions." The indictments charge that the Latin Kings were responsible for more than 20 murders.
A total of 23 Latin Kings members and associates have been indicted in this case; 14 have been sentenced. Of the nine remaining defendants, seven have pleaded guilty, one case was dismissed and one is a fugitive.
Joseph A. Cooley of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, and David J. Nozick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana, are prosecuting this case.