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Transnational Gangs
09/18/2013

Texas Latin Kings leaders sentenced in Indiana to nearly 22 years in prison

HAMMOND, Ind. — A Texas leader of the Latin Kings street gang was sentenced Wednesday in Hammond, Ind. to 262 months in federal prison for racketeering conspiracy, announced 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.

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; Chicago Police Department; Houston Police Department; and the Indiana police departments of East Chicago, Griffith, Hammond, and Highland.

Dante Reyes, aka "DK," 41, of Alton, Texas, was sentenced Sept. 18 by U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano in the Northern District of Indiana. In addition to his prison term, Reyes was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after completing his prison sentence. Reyes pleaded guilty March 14 to one count of racketeering conspiracy.

According to the third superseding indictment filed in this case, the Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States, including the state of Texas. It is a well-organized street gang that has specific leadership and is composed of regions that include multiple chapters. The third superseding indictment charges that the Latin Kings were responsible for more than 20 murders in southeast Chicago, northwest Indiana and Big Spring, Texas.

During a co-defendant's trial, the government presented evidence of several murders committed by members of the Latin Kings. In addition, cooperating defendants testified that the Latin Kings were responsible for distributing more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana over the course of the racketeering conspiracy.

During his guilty plea proceeding, Reyes acknowledged that he became a member of the Latin Kings at an early age and ultimately rose to the level of South Texas Regional Inca. He admitted to attending at least two meetings in Texas with other members of the Latin Kings leadership in order to solidify the relationship between the Latin Kings in Texas and Chicago. Reyes further admitted that on at least one occasion he traveled to the Chicago area with other Latin Kings members to meet with local Latin Kings leadership.

According to court documents, Reyes distributed cocaine and marijuana to Latin Kings members in Texas. He also distributed cocaine in Michigan through the use of couriers. These couriers traveled from Texas by bus or other vehicles and passed through the Northern District of Indiana while en route.

A total of 23 Latin Kings members and associates have been indicted in this case. Including Reyes, 21 defendants have pleaded guilty, one was convicted by jury and one remains 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. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Porter of the Northern District of Illinois and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Haag of the Northern District of Texas, Lubbock Division, provided significant assistance.

The third superseding indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant who has not been convicted is innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.