Former Enforcer of Boston Latin Kings Chapter Sentenced for Racketeering Conspiracy Charges
BOSTON – The former Enforcer of the Boston-based Devon Street Kings Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) was sentenced yesterday on racketeering charges.
Matthew Palacios, a/k/a “King Nene,” 26, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In September 2020, Palacios pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
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.
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. As Enforcer, Palacios was responsible for ensuring discipline, meting out punishment to members for violating the rules of the gang and organizing violence against rival gang members and those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement. 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 in which Palacios and members of the Devon Street Kings discussed the business of the racketeering enterprise. Palacios was present during meetings where members were beaten and violence against rival gangs was discussed and decided upon.
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. Palacios is the 11th defendant to be sentenced in the case.
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. 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.
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.
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.