Leader of Latin Kings in Massachusetts Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charges
BOSTON – A leader of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) pleaded guilty today to drug conspiracy charges.
Bienvenido Nunez, a/k/a “King Apache,” 33, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Feb. 11, 2021. Nunez was charged in December 2019, at which time he was identified as the Inca, or leader, of the Massachusetts Latin Kings.
Nunez admitted that he conspired with other Latin Kings members and leaders to possess cocaine base (also known as crack cocaine) with the intent to distribute it. In September 2019, Nunez conspired with others to obtain cocaine base from members of the Latin Kings in New Bedford for resale. On Sept. 29, 2019, Nunez was captured in a video recording in the basement of a Latin Kings trap house in New Bedford bagging about an amount of cocaine base for street-level distribution.
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 in Boston returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Bienvenido Nunez is the sixteenth defendant to plead guilty in the case.
The charge of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to life 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 other statutory factors.
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 Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent 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. Attorney Philip A. Mallard and Mark Grady of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.
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.
The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.