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Transnational Gangs
10/15/2015

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ICE, other agencies arrest 61 gang members, gang associates during ‘Operation Check Mate’

Many of the defendants face federal RICO charges

SAN ANTONIO — The Texas-Central Region “Inca,” or leader, of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings), and 60 of his fellow members and associates are in custody Thursday facing federal and/or state charges for their roles in a racketeering and drug distribution scheme.  

These charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin, Western District of Texas.  This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), along the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Uvalde County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, Uvalde Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public (DPS).

As a result of this investigation, 46 individuals were arrested Wednesday, 15 were arrested Tuesday and four remain fugitives.

According to court documents, the defendants operated a criminal enterprise in Central Texas since 2005. Under the leadership of Texas-Central Region “Inca” Pete Perez in Austin, San Antonio Chapter “Inca” Joe Pierce and Uvalde Chapter “Incas” James Long and Jacob Mariscal, they conspired to carry out unlawful acts including attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, robbery, various firearms offenses and drug distribution involving marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.

The Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) indictment alleges that there were 10 attempted murders, about 10 assaults, and various other acts of violence as part of the initiation. It also included, leaking sensitive information to a non-Latin King member which broke their organizational rule and created retaliation against rival gang members.

Upon conviction, the defendants face up to life in prison.  

This operation was part of HSI’s Operation Community Shield, a global initiative, where HSI collaborates with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to combat the growth and proliferation of transnational criminal street gangs, prison gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs in the United States and abroad. Through its domestic and international Operation Community Shield task forces, HSI leverages its worldwide presence and expansive statutory and civil enforcement authorities to mitigate the threats posted by these global networks, often through the tracing and seizing of cash, weapons and other illicit proceeds.

Since the inception of Operation Community Shield in February 2005, HSI special agents working in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 36,000 street gang members and associates linked to more than 2,600 different gangs. At least 46 percent of those arrested had a violent criminal history. More than 490 of those arrested were gang leaders, and more than 4,700 were MS-13 gang members or associates. Through this initiative, HSI has seized more than 6,600 firearms nationally.

The National Gang Unit oversees HSI’s expansive transnational gang portfolio and enables special agents to bring the fight to these criminal enterprises through the development of uniform enforcement and intelligence-sharing strategies.

To report suspicious activity, call ICE's 24-hour toll-free hotline at: 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or visit www.ice.gov.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/19/2015