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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Former Enforcer of New Bedford Latin Kings Chapter Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

BOSTON – A former member and Enforcer of the New Bedford Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) pleaded guilty today to racketeering charges.

Orlando Santiago-Torres, a/k/a “King Landy,” 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy, and conspiracy to manufacture and distribute controlled substances. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Oct. 13, 2022.

According to court documents, 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.

As Enforcer, Santiago-Torres was an officer in the New Bedford Chapter of the Latin Kings and was responsible for organizing violence against rival gang members and instilling discipline among Latin Kings members in the commission of violence. Santiago-Torres also organized security for the Latin Kings’ apartment buildings, or “trap houses,” from which the gang members distributed cocaine and cocaine base.

At today’s hearing, Santiago-Torres admitted to participating in a series of violent acts and shootings that were committed in New Bedford in furtherance of the Latin Kings enterprise.  In February 2019, Santiago-Torres assaulted a rival gang member and was captured on video chasing the rival gang member down, pushing him to the ground and kicking him. In May 2019, Santiago-Torres participated in the assault and shooting of a rival gang member and was captured on video surveillance with other Latin King members, one of whom engaged in a fight with the rival member and fired a handgun at him. In July 2019, Santiago-Torres fired multiple rounds of ammunition on a New Bedford street at rival gang members as they fled a fight with the Latin Kings. Later, in September 2019, Santiago-Torres participated in a shooting with other Latin Kings members in which a victim was struck with gunfire and casings from the scene were linked to a firearm recovered from Santiago-Torres’ apartment. Lastly, in November 2019, Santiago-Torres and other Latin Kings members assaulted a rival gang member, in which Santiago-Torres dragged the victim out of a vehicle to beat and kick him on the street.

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. Santiago-Torres is the 59th 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. The charge of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute controlled substances provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira 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. Attorney Philip A. Mallard of Rollins’ Organized Crime and Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

This effort 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.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated June 28, 2022