Additional Alleged Member of the Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation Charged in Hammond, Ind., with Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Multiple Murders
WASHINGTON – An additional alleged member of the Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) has been indicted for his alleged role in a racketeering conspiracy in Hammond, Ind., and elsewhere, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana.
The superseding indictment, returned by the federal grand jury on Oct. 22, 2010, and unsealed yesterday in Hammond charges Martin Anaya, aka "Lefty," 40, of Chicago, with conspiracy to engage in a racketeering activity. Previously charged in the conspiracy are: Alexander Vargas, aka "Pacman," 33, of Highland, Ind.; Sisto Bernal, aka "Cisco," aka "Shug," 44, of Chicago; Jason Ortiz, aka "Creeper," 27, of Chicago; and Brandon Clay, aka "Cheddar," aka "Swiss," aka "Slick," 23, of Chicago.
Anaya is charged also in the superseding indictment with one count of murder and one count of using and carrying a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence. In addition, the superseding indictment alleges new charges against Vargas, Ortiz and Clay for murder in aid of racketeering, and murder resulting from the use of a firearm. Ortiz and Clay were also charged previously in the original indictment with murder in aid of racketeering, murder resulting from the use of a firearm, possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony and possessing stolen firearms.
According to the superseding indictment, the southeast region of the Latin Kings is responsible for at least 15 murders. The superseding indictment specifically alleges that Vargas, Ortiz, Clay and other Latin King members participated in the murder of rival gang members James Walsh and Gonzalo Diaz outside of a bar in Griffith, Ind., in the early morning of Feb. 25, 2007. The superseding indictment also alleges that Ortiz, Clay and Anaya participated in the murder of Christiana Campos on April 22, 2009. In addition, the superseding indictment alleges that Clay participated with other Latin King members in the murder of Edward Delatorre on Nov. 26, 2006. In addition to the violent crimes, the superseding indictment alleges that the Latin Kings also distributed more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
According to the superseding indictment, the Latin Kings is nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branches throughout the United States. The Latin Kings is a well organized street gang that has specific leadership and is comprised 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."
The racketeering conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. The murder-related charges carry maximum penalties of life in prison or the death penalty. The felon in possession of a firearm and possession of stolen firearms charges each carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Anaya made his initial appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich. The remaining defendants will be arraigned before Judge Rodovich on Nov. 2, 2010, at 1 p.m.
This case is being investigated by the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Immigration, Customs and Enforcement; the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center; the National Gang Intelligence Center; the Chicago Police Department, the Griffith Police Department; the Highland, Ind., Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; and the Houston Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Joseph A. Cooley of the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Nozick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.
The indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.