CHICAGO — A federal indictment unsealed this week charges 34 alleged members of the Latin Kings street gang, including three from Hammond, with participating in a criminal organization that murdered its rivals and violently protected its drug-dealing territories in Chicago and the suburbs.
Authorities uncovered the criminal activity through an investigation conducted under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. During the course of the probe, law enforcement agents confiscated 18 firearms.
Original charges in the case were filed in 2016 against 20 alleged members of the Latin Kings. The superseding indictment unsealed this week adds 14 more defendants and charges numerous acts of violence, including six murders, three attempted murders and three arsons. Thirty three of the defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy, while the 34th defendant faces a firearm charge.
The superseding indictment alleges that members of the Latin Kings violently enforced discipline within their ranks and retaliated against rivals and former members to prevent cooperation with law enforcement. The charges accuse nine defendants of committing six murders in furtherance of the gang’s activities:
Alonzo Horta, 20, of Hammond and Geovanni Lopez, 28, of Oak Forest, allegedly murdered Alfonso Calderon on April 9, 2017, in Chicago.
Dean Trevino, 25, of Chicago, and Emanuel Mendez, 29, of Hammond, allegedly murdered Ismael Perez on Nov. 3, 2012, in Chicago.
Geronia Ford, 23, of Chicago, and William Hayslette, 24, of Chicago, allegedly murdered Sergio Hernandez on May 15, 2012, in Chicago.
Juan Jimenez, 35, of Blue Island, allegedly murdered Isiah Cintron on Jan. 18, 2007, in Hammond.
Thomas Luczak, 44, of Chicago, allegedly murdered Juan Serratos on June 11, 2000, in Chicago.
Jose Jaramillo, 35, of Hammond, allegedly murdered Jeremy Ward on Nov. 15, 1999, in Chicago.
Mendez and two other defendants — Orlando Marin, 29, of Chicago, and Roy Vega, 35, of Chicago — are also charged with committing attempted murders.
The indictment charges defendants who serve in various high-ranking positions of the Latin Kings. These positions include “Regional Enforcers,” who violently instill discipline within the ranks; “Incas,” who serve as chapter leaders; “Caciques,” who are second in command behind the Incas; “Soldiers,” who often carry dangerous weapons to carry out the gang’s activities; and “Regional Treasurer,” who collects dues from Latin King chapters to finance the gang’s activities.
Several firearm offenses are also charged in the indictment, including unlawful possession of guns, assault with a dangerous weapon, illegal dealing of guns and multiple counts of witness intimidation.
Racketeering conspiracy generally carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but a life sentence is possible for certain underlying racketeering activities, including certain murders charged in the indictment. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.