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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 4, 2021

Leader of Rhode Island Latin Kings Chapter Sentenced for Narcotics Conspiracy Charges

BOSTON – A leader of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) was sentenced yesterday on conspiracy charges.

Joel Francisco, a/k/a “King Casper,” 42, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to two years in prison and three years of supervised release. In November 2020, Francisco pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Francisco admitted that in August 2019, he conspired with others to purchase cocaine from members of the Latin Kings in New Bedford for resale. On Sept. 4, 2019, Francisco was captured in a video recording purchasing approximately 186 grams of cocaine from members of the New Bedford Chapter in a deal facilitated by a co-conspirator.

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. Francisco is the 19th defendant to be sentenced in the case.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction 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 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.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated March 4, 2021