WASHINGTON – A Chicago police officer and three members of the Almighty Latin Kings Nation pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy and other related charges in a superseding indictment involving alleged members or associates of the Latin Kings, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana.
Chicago police officer Alex Guerrero, 42, pleaded guilty today before Judge Rudy Lozano of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, in Hammond, Ind. Guerrero pleaded guilty to counts one, two, 14 and 15 of the third superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana; interference with commerce by threats or violence; and use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking. As part of his plea agreement, Guerrero acknowledges that a 19-year prison sentence is appropriate.
The third superseding indictment, which charged 21 defendants, was returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Indiana on Nov. 16, 2011, and was unsealed on Nov. 18, 2011.
According to the third superseding indictment, the Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States, including to Texas. The Latin Kings is a well organized street gang that has specific leadership and is comprised of regions that include multiple chapters.
On July 31, 2012, Brandon Clay, 26, of Chicago, and Antonio Gudino, 30, of East Chicago, each pleaded guilty before Judge Lozano to count one of the third superseding indictment charging them with conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity. As part of their plea agreements, Clay and Gudino have each acknowledged that a prison sentence is appropriate – 30 years for Clay and 10 years for Gudino. On July 30, 2012, Jason Ortiz, 30, of Chicago pleaded guilty before the same judge and to the same count as Clay and Gudino. As part of his plea agreement, Ortiz acknowledges that a 25-year prison sentence is appropriate.
Guerrero admitted in the plea agreement that he is responsible for possession of and distribution of 150 kilograms or more of cocaine as alleged in count two. He also admitted in the plea agreement that he physically restrained the victim in the course of the offense alleged in count 14. Guerrero admitted that he abused a position of public trust in a manner that significantly facilitated the commission or concealment of the offense.
The following defendants were charged in the third superseding indictment:
Jose Zambrano, 32, aka “Speedy,” aka “Bird,” aka “Big Greasy,” of Sauk Village, Ill., and Jermaine Ellis, 23, aka “J-Dub,” “Donnie Brosco,” “Shorty” of Chicago, were both charged in the first indictment returned on June 17, 2010, and unsealed on June 29, 2010.
As alleged in the third superseding indictment, the Latin Kings enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, assault and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the Latin Kings. Members are required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members, including taking on assignments often referred to as “missions.”
A total of 23 members and associates have been indicted in this case. Of these defendants, 17 have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. There are three defendants scheduled for trial on Sept. 10, 2012, before Judge Lozano.
There remains one fugitive in this case, Paulino Salizar, 30, aka “Chino,” from Chicago.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Chicago Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the FBI; the Griffith Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the Highland Police Department; the Houston Police Department; Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Department of Homeland Security; and the National Gang Intelligence Center.
The case is being prosecuted by Joseph A. Cooley of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and David J. Nozick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana. Andrew Porter of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois provided significant assistance.
The third superseding indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.