Three Alleged Latin Kings Members Charged in Superseding Indictment with Murder, Attempted Murder, and Other Charges Related to Racketeering Conspiracy
Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury today returned a superseding indictment charging alleged Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) members Remy Heath, a/k/a “ Remy,” “King Remy” and “King Mello,” age 25; Chinua Shepperdson, a/k/a “Nu,” “NuNu” and “King Nu,” age 27; and Brandon Smith, a/k/a “Little One” and “King Little One,” age 25, with arson, murder, attempted murder and firearms charges related to their alleged gang activities. The three were previously charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise.
The superseding indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; Chief Roberto L. Hylton of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey and his Office; Chief Mark P. Sroka of the Gaithersburg 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.
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 charges that from a date unknown through November 2009, the Latin Kings members conspired to commit murders, attempted murders, robberies, witness tampering and arson to further their racketeering scheme.
For example, the superseding indictment alleges that as part of the racketeering conspiracy on July 24, 2007, Chinua Shepperdson firebombed an occupied residence at the Marylander Condominiums in Langley Park, Maryland and that on December 14, 2007, Shepperdson and other Latin King members participated in the armed robbery of a prostitute at a motel in Laurel, Maryland. Latin Kings members also allegedly hunted for rival MS-13 members to shoot and on January 17, 2009, Brandon Smith allegedly fired shots at MS-13 members at a night club in Queens, New York. According to the superseding indictment, on February 3, 2009, Latin Kings members, including Remy Heath and Brandon Smith allegedly created a “hit list” containing names of Maryland Latin Kings members.
The superseding indictment charges Chinua Shepperdson with arson and using and carrying a destructive device in connection with the July 24, 2007, firebombing of a condominium in Langley Park; with armed robbery, and using and carrying a firearm in connection with armed robberies on December 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 Brandon Smith with two counts of using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, in connection with a shooting on January 17, 2009 and an attempted murder on January 31, 2009; and with two counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering related to events on January 31 and July 8, 2009.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison. No court appearance has yet been scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer thanked the ATF led RAGE Task Force and its members, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Maryland National Capital Park Police - Prince George’s County Division, as well as the Maryland State Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Maryland National Capital Park Police- Montgomery County Division and the New York City Police Department for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Emily Glatfelter and David Salem, and Lara M. Peirce, a Trial Attorney with the Gang Unit, who are prosecuting the case.