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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Member of New Bedford Latin Kings Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charges

BOSTON – A member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) pleaded guilty today to drug conspiracy charges.

Ines Lugo, a/k/a “Queen China,” 42, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Feb. 24, 2021.  Lugo was charged in December 2019, at which time she was identified as a member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Latin Kings.

During the plea proceedings, 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 20th 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, at least 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 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 November 17, 2020