Former Enforcer of New Bedford Latin Kings Chapter Sentenced to More Than Twelve Years in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
BOSTON – A former member and Enforcer of the New Bedford Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) was sentenced yesterday on racketeering charges.
Orlando Santiago-Torres, a/k/a “King Landy,” 27, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 151 months in prison and three years of supervised release. On June 28, 2022, Santiago-Torres 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.
“The amount of teamwork required to indict and prosecute 62 individuals under racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges is hard to fathom. I commend my predecessor U.S. Attorney Lelling for spearheading this effort and I am proud to finish the job he started. Keeping the people of Massachusetts safe is my highest priority and the rampant violence and drug dealing spearheaded by criminal enterprises is a clear and present danger to our communities. Mr. Santiago Torres was the enforcer of this particular criminal enterprise. He actively led and promoted violence in order to instill fear among his adversaries and further the illicit influence of the New Bedford Chapter of the Latin Kings,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Mr. Santiago Torres not only engaged in multiple racketeering incidents, including shootings and gang beatings, he then proudly boasted about his actions online while threatening future violence. This has become commonplace and we are watching. Today’s sentence marks a critical step toward ensuring peace throughout our Commonwealth.”
“Guns and drugs take far too many lives in our communities, and Orlando Santiago Torres was contributing to the devastating impact of both. As a leader of the New Bedford Chapter of the Latin Kings, Santiago-Torres engaged in at least three shootings, two brutal gang beatings, and dealt drugs, destroying any sense of safety on this city’s streets,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Turf war gang violence is a serious threat to our communities, and the FBI is leveraging our law enforcement partnerships to thwart that threat. The lengthy prison sentence Mr. Santiago Torres received today sends a strong message that we will not tolerate criminal enterprises using violence to further their insidious needs.”
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. 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.
Santiago-Torres participated 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. In total, 60 defendants in the case have pleaded guilty. Of the 62 charged defendants in the indictment, two remain in warrant status. All of the remaining 60 defendants have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing. Santiago-Torres is the 58th defendant to be sentenced.
U.S. Attorney Rollins; FBI SAC Bonavolonta; 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 & Gang Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol Head, Chief of Rollins’ Asset Forfeiture Unit, prosecuted 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 two remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law
Updated May 1, 2023