Latin King sentenced to 10 years for racketeering

A 42-year-old Latin King gang member was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison after pleading guilty for racketeering.

U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon sentenced Chicago resident William Salazar to 121 months in prison and then 2 years of supervised released. U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II, whose office is prosecuting the case, announced the sentence Friday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the East Chicago Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Gary Police Department, the Hammond Police Department, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area have been pursuing a case for years against dozens of Latin King members accused of using violence to control territory, deal drugs, enforce discipline within their ranks and kill rival gang members in Northwest Indiana and across the Chicago area. 

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The multiple law enforcement agencies have been collaborating on a bi-state effort to disrupt the Latin Kings' operations, linking the street gang to a fatal shooting at Estrella's Bar in Hammond in 2014 and other violent crimes in Northwest Indiana, such as attempted murder and witness retaliation.

Salazar was arrested in August 2016 after a round of indictments and has remained in custody since. He pleaded to guilty to a racketeering charge for his participation in the Latin Kings street gang.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.