Former Member of New Bedford Latin Kings Chapter Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy
BOSTON – A former member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) pleaded guilty yesterday to racketeering and drug charges.
Michael Marrero, a/k/a “King Clumsy,” 40, 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 July 1, 2021.
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.
According to court documents, Marrero served as the Inca, or leader, of the Springfield Chapter of the Latin Kings until 2019, when he was appointed as Enforcer for the State of Massachusetts. In these leadership roles, Marrero attended meetings of the gang and state leadership where the business of the gang was discussed and decisions concerning members and operation of the gang were decided. In August 2019, Marrero was captured on a recording in the basement of a Latin Kings controlled trap house in New Bedford bagging and preparing 62 grams of cocaine base for distribution.
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. Marrero is the 42nd 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.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; 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 New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro 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 A. Graber of Mendell’s Criminal Division are 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.