California Man Sentenced for Smuggling Fraudulent Cognitive Enhancement Drug Into the United States from China
BOSTON – A former member of the Springfield Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) has been sentenced for drug offenses.
Jonathan Casiano, a/k/a “King Legend,” 36, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel on Sept. 7, 2022 to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. On May 11, 2022, Casiano pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and fentanyl.
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 on the drug and firearm case in December 2019 after posting cash bail. Casiano was later indicted federally for the drug and firearm case and remained in warrant status until he was later arrested in February 2020 as part of an investigation into his ongoing drug trafficking. Following his arrest, a search of Casiano’s person and residence recovered over 2,400 individual plastic bags that contained a total of 68 grams of fentanyl, 140 grams of cocaine and other controlled substances. Each of the plastic bags were branded with a logo for retail sale ready 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. 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 defendants have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing. Casiano is the 54th defendant to be sentenced.
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 & Gang 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.