WASHINGTON – A leader of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) in Maryland was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. to 60 years in prison for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise in connection with his gang activities as a member and leader of the Latin Kings.
Erick Roman, aka “Erick Javier Sierra,” “Malian-T” and “King Malian-T,” 34, of Laurel, Md., was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release following his prison term.
The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; Interim Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.
“As the founder and leader of a Latin Kings tribe in Maryland, Mr. Roman orchestrated a series of violent crimes, including a murder, firebombings and robberies,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “As this case shows, the Justice Department is committed to working with state and local law enforcement to target the leadership of local gangs and make our communities safer.”
“The strategy of combining the resources and intelligence of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to pursue federal racketeering charges against criminal gangs is proving effective in removing violent offenders from the streets and making our neighborhoods more safe,” said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein.
“ATF did not relent in our pursuit to eradicate the founding leadership of the Maryland Latin Kings,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Stoop. “Our solid investigation brought down the man who was directing these malignant acts of violence.”
According to court documents and statements made at yesterday’s hearing, the Latin Kings is a violent street gang with thousands of members across the country and overseas. The Latin Kings have a detailed and uniform organizational structure, which is outlined – along with various “prayers,” codes of behavior and rituals – in a written “manifesto” widely distributed to members throughout the country. Members of the Latin Kings are also traditionally given “King Names” or “Queen Names,” which are names other than their legal names, by which they are known to members of the gang and to others. At the local level, groups of Latin Kings are organized into “tribes,” including the Royal Lion Tribe, MOG, Sun Tribe and UTL.
Prosecutors advised the court that Roman brought the Latin Kings to Maryland and founded the Royal Lion Tribe. He served as the Inca of the tribe and, in that capacity, sanctioned or ordered numerous violent acts, including a home invasion robbery of a drug dealer at the Marylander Condominiums in Langley Park, Md.; the robbery of a prostitute at a motel in Laurel; the firebombing of an apartment on July 24, 2007; the firebombing of a house on Jan. 8, 2008; and the murder of John Realpe-Montoya on April 25, 2008.
Eight co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy.
The ATF-led Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement (RAGE) Task Force, which includes the Gaithersburg, Md., Police Department; the Montgomery County Department of Police; the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office; the Prince George’s County Police Department; the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office; the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; the Maryland National Capital Park Police - Prince George’s County Division; and the Maryland State Police; as well as the New York City Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation provided assistance in the investigation and prosecution.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Glatfelter and David Salem, and Trial Attorney Lara M. Peirce with the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit.