NEW YORK – Members of the Latin Kings gang in Newburgh, N.Y., were found guilty Wednesday of crimes committed during their association with the gang. These events stem from an extensive investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the FBI; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the City of Newburgh Police Department; the Middletown (N.Y) Police Department; the Orange County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office; and the New York State Police.
Nelson Calderon and Angelo Deleon, members of the Newburgh Latin Kings; along with Wilfredo Sanchez and Eva Cardoza, both associates of the Newburgh Latin Kings; are four of 35 members or associates of the Newburgh Latin Kings in connection with the case. Twenty-eight have now been convicted while seven others await trial. According to court documents, beginning in 2007, the Newburgh Latin Kings and their associates sold cocaine, crack heroin and marijuana at drug spots in Newburgh. Gang members and associates protected the gang's drug turf, drugs and drug money using guns and violence. The violence included frequent shootings, stabbings and assaults of rival drug dealers. This included violence against members of another gang in Newburgh known as the Bloods, as well as members of their gang who either were cooperating with law enforcement or who they suspected were cooperating with law enforcement.
Cardoza was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of John Maldonado, an aspiring member of the Newburgh Latin Kings whom the gang's leaders had suspected betrayed them. Cardoza drove the getaway car following the murder of Maldonado. The jury also convicted Cardoza of racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. She faces up to 95 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5, 2012.
Calderon was second-in-command of the Newburgh Latin Kings. He led meetings of the gang and directed others in their drug dealing and violent activities. Subsequent to his arrest in this case, Calderon assaulted an informant who later testified about his role in the gang. Following the trial, the jury convicted Calderon of racketeering conspiracy and of attempting to tamper with a witness. Calderon faces up to 50 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6, 2012.
DeLeon was fifth-in-command of the Newburgh Latin Kings, and also led meetings of the gang during which he and other gang members plotted to shoot, stab and assault enemies of the Newburgh Latin Kings. DeLeon also distributed marijuana with other members of the Newburgh Latin Kings. The jury convicted DeLeon of participating in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. He faces up to 10 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14, 2012.
Sanchez was an associate of the Newburgh Latin Kings, who sold crack with members of the gang. He was convicted of distributing crack and faces up to 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4, 2012.
The trial of Calderon, DeLeon, Sanchez and Cardoza was the second of three trials scheduled in the case. Seven other defendants, who are charged with murder, racketeering, drug, firearms, witness tampering and other crimes are scheduled for trial Jan. 23, 2013. Twenty-four other defendants have pleaded guilty to murder, racketeering, narcotics conspiracy, gun possession charges and other offenses.