Two members of the Latin Kings street gang were sentenced today in Hammond, Ind., federal court for racketeering conspiracy, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana.
Martin Anaya, aka “Lefty,” 42, of Chicago, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano to 360 months in prison after a jury returned a guilty verdict on Sept. 26, 2012, to racketeering and drug conspiracies.
Jason Ortiz, aka “Creeper” 29, of Chicago, was sentenced today to serve 300 months in prison after pleading guilty on July 30, 2010, to racketeering conspiracy by U.S. District Judge Lozano.
According to the third superseding indictment filed in this case, 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 third superseding indictment charges that the Latin Kings were responsible for more than 20 murders.
Also according to 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.”
During Anaya’s trial, the government presented evidence of several murders committed by the members of the Latin Kings. In addition, cooperating defendants testified that the Latin Kings were responsible for more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana over the course of the racketeering conspiracy.
Evidence of one the murders presented at trial involved the shooting death of Christina Campos that occurred at 107th block of Hoxie Avenue, Chicago, on April 22, 2009. Witnesses testified that Anaya, Ortiz, Brandon Clay, a defendant previously sentenced to 360 months in this case, and a fourth Latin King member drove across the south side of Chicago to a Latin Counts’ neighborhood. The Latin Kings confronted Campos and two other Latin Count members as they were walking to their car. Ultimately, gun shots were fired resulting in Campos being fatally shot. At the trial, the jury acquitted Anaya on the charges related to Campos’ murder. Nevertheless, during the sentencing hearing, Judge Lozano found Anaya responsible for Campos’ death.
During his guilty plea proceeding, Ortiz acknowledged that on Feb. 25, 2007, he, along with four other defendants, rode on a “mission” from Illinois to Griffith, Ind. While armed with three firearms, they were ordered to ambush – that is shoot to kill – rival gang members who were attending a party. Once two Latin Dragon members James Walsh, aka “Jim Boy” and Gonzalo Diaz, aka “Chalo,” left the party, the Latin Kings, including Ortiz, rode up in a vehicle and two of Ortiz’s co-defendants got of the vehicle and shot and killed Walsh and Diaz.
Twenty-three Latin Kings members and associates have been indicted in this case. Aside from Anaya and Ortiz, 20 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.
An indictment is not evidence of guilt. Those charged in the indictment are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.