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Press Release

Hartford Gang Member Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Federal Prison for Kidnapping and Firearm Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JONATHAN OTERO, also known as “Jax,” 26, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 154 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for a kidnapping and violent assault he committed with four other members of the Almighty Latin Kings Nation (“Latin Kings”).

According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 26, 2018, Josue Franco and Anthony Carillo lured an individual (“the victim”) to a residence on Benton Street in Hartford.  When the victim entered the residence, Otero and Luis Pitt were waiting.  Otero, Pitt, Franco and Carillo then threatened, assaulted and tortured the victim, prevented him from leaving the residence, and demanded a ransom.  After the victim was restrained, Pedro Carillo arrived at the residence and participated in the ongoing assault and torture of the victim, which included burning him with cigarettes, pistol-whipping him and throwing a dart into his foot. 

The defendants forced the victim to call someone to deliver money in exchange for his release.  The victim then called his father.  Franco grabbed the phone and told the victim’s father if he did not deliver $500 they were going to kill his son.  After the call, Otero put a bullet in the victim’s hand and told him he would use that bullet to shoot him in the head if the victim could not get the ransom money.

Otero and others then drove the victim to different locations in Hartford in an effort to collect ransom.

The victim was eventually released.  He was subsequently treated at a hospital for a fractured cheekbone, a facial laceration, a concussion and other injuries.

Otero has been detained in state custody on an unrelated firearm offense since April 19, 2018.  On September 13, 2019, he pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and one count of carrying and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The other four defendants have pleaded guilty to related charges and are detained while awaiting sentencing.

Otero’s criminal history includes convictions for assault, firearm, threatening and narcotics offenses.

This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and the Hartford Police Department.  The Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The Hartford Police Department’s Major Crimes Division has provided critical assistance to the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

Updated December 10, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime