Former Member of Springfield Latin Kings Chapter Pleads Guilty to Drug Offenses
BOSTON – A former member of the Springfield Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) has pleaded guilty to drug charges.
Jonathan Casiano, a/k/a “King Legend,” 36, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, to two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Aug. 17, 2022.
Casiano was identified as a member of the Latin Kings and a drug trafficker operating out of an apartment in Springfield. In July 2019, Casiano was arrested following a traffic stop in Springfield, during which he was found in possession of a privately made 9mm ghost gun with 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition, $9,880 in cash, 486 oxytocin pills and 810 plastic bags containing a total of 87 grams of fentanyl and 66 grams of cocaine.
Casiano was released from custody in December 2019 after posting cash bail.
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. Casiano was later arrested in February 2020. A subsequent search of Casiano’s person and residence recovered over 2,400 plastic bags bearing the “blue magic” and “chuckie” labels that contained a total of 68 grams of fentanyl, 140 grams of cocaine and other controlled substances. Casiano is the 58th defendant to plead guilty in the case.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime 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.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts; 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 Joseph C. Cordeiro 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 the Organized Crime & 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.