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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Former Member of New Bedford Latin Kings Sentenced for Drug Conspiracy Charges

BOSTON – A former member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) was sentenced today on drug conspiracy charges.

Ines Lugo, a/k/a “Queen China,” 42, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to time served (approximately 47 days in prison) and three years of supervised release. The government recommended a sentence of 18 months incarceration. In November 2020, Lugo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.

Lugo admitted that she conspired with other Latin Kings members and leaders to possess cocaine base (also known as “crack cocaine”) with the intent to distribute it. Specifically, in August 2019, she conspired with others to obtain cocaine base from members of the Latin Kings in New Bedford for resale. On Aug. 24, 2019, Lugo was captured on video delivering cocaine base to another Latin Kings member in a trap house.

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. Ines Lugo is the 16th 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 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 Graber of Lelling’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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated February 24, 2021