Former Chairman of Massachusetts Latin Kings Crown Council Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy Charges
BOSTON – A former member of the Boston-based Devon Street Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) pleaded guilty today to racketeering charges.
Angel Rodriguez, a/k/a “King Ace,” 29, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for April 15, 2021.
Named for its origin on Devon Street in Boston, the Devon Street Kings or D5K Chapter of the Latin Kings, included approximately a dozen members. The Devon Street Kings, in turn, reported to the Massachusetts State Leadership of the Latin Kings, providing information, structure, funds and other resources to further the Latin Kings goals and directives in the state. During the investigation, various meetings were covertly recorded where members of the Devon Street Kings discussed the business of the racketeering enterprise.
Evidence developed during the investigation proved that Rodriguez conspired with other members and leaders of the Latin Kings to distribute controlled substances, including a video depicting Rodriguez bagging up crack cocaine for distribution. In December 2019, Rodriguez served as Chairman of the Crown Council for the D5K Chapter. The Crown Council is a body that sits independently of the leadership and provides guidance to the leadership team and resolves disputes that arise.
The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.
In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Angel Rodriguez is the 28th defendant to plead guilty in the case.
The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was also provided by the FBI North Shore Gang Task Force and the Bristol County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip A. Mallard and Lauren Graber of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.