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Press Release

Springfield Latin Kings Leader Sentenced for Heroin Distribution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – The former “Inca” of the Springfield Latin Kings gang was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Springfield for distributing heroin.

Jose Cartagena, 38, of Springfield, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to 20 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  In May 2016, Cartagena pleaded guilty to distributing heroin.

In October 2014, an investigation was initiated in an effort to disrupt and dismantle the Latin Kings’ criminal activity in Springfield and Holyoke.  According to court documents, members and associates of the Latin Kings were engaged in the distribution of narcotics, particularly heroin.  Furthermore, disputes with rival gangs over criminal activity and drug turf were on the rise and resulted in serious crimes of violence, including armed assaults with firearms and murder.  The investigation led to the arrest of 12 alleged Latin Kings members in connection with drug and firearms offenses in November 2015.

As alleged in court documents, Cartagena held the position of “Inca,” or chief, of the Springfield chapter of the Latin Kings gang at the time of his arrest on Nov. 9, 2015.  Cartagena admitted to distributing 300 bags of heroin in Springfield on July 31, 2015.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine A. Wagner of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.

Updated August 9, 2016

Drug Trafficking