WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury today returned a superseding indictment charging alleged Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) members Remy Heath, aka " Remy," "King Remy" and "King Mello," 25; Chinua Shepperdson, aka "Nu," "NuNu" and "King Nu," 27; and Brandon Smith, aka "Little One" and "King Little One," 25, with arson, murder, attempted murder and firearms charges related to their alleged gang activities. The three defendants were previously charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
The superseding indictment was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer for the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein for the District of Maryland, along with law enforcement partners.
According to the superseding indictment, the defendants were members of the Latin Kings, a violent street gang with members operating in Maryland since at least 2007. 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 on the street. At the local level, groups of Latin Kings are organized into "tribes," including the Royal Lion Tribe, MOG, Sun Tribe and UTL.
The superseding indictment alleges that from a date unknown through November 2009, the Latin Kings members conspired to commit murder, attempted murders, robberies, witness tampering and arson to promote their racketeering scheme.
For example, the superseding indictment alleges that on July 24, 2007, Shepperdson firebombed an occupied residence at a condo complex in Langley Park, Md., and that on Dec. 14, 2007, Shepperdson and other Latin King members and associates participated in the armed robbery of a prostitute at a motel in Laurel, Md. Latin Kings members also allegedly hunted for rival MS-13 members to shoot and in Jan. 17, 2009, Smith allegedly fired shots at MS-13 members at a night club in Queens, N.Y. According to the superseding indictment, on Feb. 3, 2009, Latin Kings members, including Heath and Smith, allegedly created a "hit list" containing names of Maryland Latin Kings members.
The superseding indictment charges Shepperdson with arson, and using and carrying a destructive device in connection with the July 24, 2007, firebombing in Langley Park; with armed robbery, and using and carrying a firearm in connection with armed robberies on Dec. 14, 2007, and April 25, 2008; and with murder in aid of racketeering and murder resulting from the use of a firearm during a crime of violence, in connection with the death of the victim in the April 25, 2008, robbery.
The superseding indictment also charges Smith with two counts of using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, in connection with a shooting on Jan. 17, 2009, and an attempted murder on Jan. 31, 2009; and with two counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering related to events on Jan. 31, 2009, and July 8, 2009.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Court appearances have not yet been scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Assistant Attorney General Breuer and U.S. Attorney Rosenstein were joined in announcing the superseding indictment by Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County, Md., Police Department; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; Chief Roberto L. Hylton of the Prince George’s County, Md., Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey; Chief Mark P. Sroka of the Gaithersburg, Md., Police Department; Montgomery County Sheriff Raymond M. Kight; Chief Larry Brownlee of the Maryland National Capital Park Police - Prince George’s County Division; Chief Darien L. Manley of the Maryland National Capital Park Police - Montgomery County Division; Superintendent Terrence Sheridan of the Maryland State Police; Special Agents in Charge Barbara Golden and Jeffrey Irvine of the U.S. Secret Service, Baltimore and Washington Divisions, respectively; and Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C., Field Office; and the New York City Police Department. Officials also thanked the ATF’s RAGE (Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement) Task Force and its members for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Glatfelter and David Salem for the District of Maryland, and Trial Attorney Lara M. Peirce of the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit.