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Latin Kings Busted in Chicago for Major Drug Ring

September 17th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

It was a bust right out of a crime show. In mid-September, federal agents “seized an undetermined amount of cash and 13 firearms, including five long-barreled weapons in the final phase of operation,” from suspected members of the Latin Kings gang, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. More than 40 suspected members of the gang were arrested and face “narcotics charges for their alleged roles in two drug trafficking organizations that supplied and distributed huge quantities of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana in Chicago and the south suburbs.”

It was a two-year investigation that was aided by an undercover agent who infiltrated the gang. Not only were the cash and firearms seized, but also two pounds of heroin and wholesale quantities of cocaine. Damian Rivera, 31, was alleged as the leader of the drug trafficking organization, and Emmanuel Fernandez, 27, who allegedly stored and distributed the heroin.

According to, there were 1,663,582 arrests in 2009. Drug abuse violations led the number of arrests for any other offense that year—13 percent of total arrests were drug-related. Yet gang violence and gang arrests, such as the Latin Kings bust, were not led by drug-related offenses. According to a U.S. Department of Justice publication, only 8 of the 288 gang-motivated homicides in Chicago were related to drugs during the three-year period 1987 to 1990. It’s likely that these statistics have not changed.

In Illinois, it is illegal to have any contact with a streetgang member. According to the National Gang Center, in Illinois, unlawful contact with streetgang members is a Class A misdemeanor. Any person who “engages in a streetgang criminal drug conspiracy, is guilty of a Class X felony,” and can result in a punishment of up to 60 years jail time.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a gang crime or accused of unlawful behavior with a streetgang, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Cook County criminal defense attorney today.

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Written by Staff Writer

September 17th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

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