Alleged Latin King member sentenced to 20 years

2013-05-02T20:00:00Z 2013-05-02T23:29:04Z Alleged Latin King member sentenced to 20 yearsElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | An alleged Latin King gang member was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Thursday in a sweeping racketeering case. 

Jose "Speedy" Zambrano, 33, of Sauk Village, was sentenced on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering activity, narcotics conspiracy and one count of Hobbs Act Robbery conspiracy. He will be placed on five years of supervised release after serving prison time, according to court records.

He is among 23 people charged in the Latin Kings racketeering case.

Zambrano's lawyer had asked the court for a 15-year sentence because of his cooperation with the government in the case, according to a sentencing memorandum.

He testified in the September trial of alleged gang member Martin "Lefty" Anaya. During the trial, Zambrano testified that he was a high-ranking member of the gang who helped plan and carry out two homicides, including the murder of Gonzalo Diaz, 28, of Hammond.

Zambrano was arrested June 28, 2010, and accepted a plea deal in October 2010. According to the plea agreement, Zambrano was responsible for 150 kilograms of cocaine and other controlled substances.

According to the sentencing memorandum filed by Zambrano's attorneys, Zambrano joined the gang when he was 12 and rose up the ranks. The memorandum compares Zambrano's teenage years to the novel "Tarzan of the Apes."

"Likewise, Zambrano has not been in school since age 11 and thus, like Tarzan, he had to learn to survive in the jungles of the southeast side of Chicago," the memorandum stated.

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