A former Chicago police officer and two members of the Latin Kings street gang were sentenced to prison today in Hammond, Ind., federal court for racketeering conspiracy and related crimes.
Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana made the announcement following the sentencing hearings before U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano in the Northern District of Indiana.
A former officer with the Chicago Police Department, Antonio C. Martinez, Jr., 40, of Chicago, was sentenced today to 144 months in prison after pleading guilty on Nov. 18, 2011, to racketeering, drug, and robbery conspiracies and other related charges. According to court records, Martinez and another officer committed armed robberies on behalf of a Latin Kings gang member – in some instances while in uniform and driving police-issued vehicles. They stole drugs, weapons and cash, and in some instances they were given a portion of the funds they stole as payment for committing the armed robberies.
Hiluterio Chavez, aka “Tails,” 37, of Chicago, was sentenced today to 240 months in prison after pleading guilty on Jan. 24, 2012, to racketeering and drug conspiracies. Chavez, who became a Latin Kings member at an earlier age, admitted in court that he traveled with other Latin Kings leadership from the Chicago area to Texas to facilitate the organization of the Latin Kings in Texas and to ensure their allegiance to the Chicago Latin Kings. Among other crimes, Chavez participated in a robbery with Martinez and presented himself as a law enforcement officer.
Jermaine Ellis, aka “J-Dub,” 21, of Chicago, was sentenced today to 205 months in prison after pleading guilty on July 30, 2010, to racketeering conspiracy. Ellis, who also became a Latin Kings member at an early age, admitted that while a juvenile he participated in the shooting deaths of James Walsh and Gonzalo Diaz in Griffith, Ind., on Feb. 25, 2007.
Court records allege that the Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States. The Latin Kings is a well-organized street gang that has specific leadership and is composed of regions that include multiple chapters.
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.”
Twenty-three Latin Kings members and associates have been indicted in this case. Aside from Martinez, Ellis and Chavez, 19 of the other defendants pleaded guilty and one remains a fugitive.
This case was investigated by the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; ICE Homeland Security Investigations; the National Gang Intelligence Center; the Chicago Police Department; the Houston Police Department; the Griffith Police Department; the Highland Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; and the East Chicago Police Department.
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.