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Press Release

Three Members And One Associate Of Violent North Carolina Latin Kings Gang Sentenced To Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of North Carolina

WASHINGTON – Three members and one associate of the North Carolina Almighty Latin King/Queen Nation (ALKQN) have been sentenced this week in federal court in the Middle District of North Carolina.

The announcement was made today by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand of the Middle District of North Carolina; Special Agent in Charge John A. Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte Division; Chief of the Greensboro, N.C., Police Department Ken Miller; and B.J. Barnes, Sheriff of Guilford County, N.C.

"The leader of this gang cynically masqueraded as a public figure dedicated to positive social change, but make no mistake: his intentions were evil, and he exploited the good intentions of others, including children. Our community is better off because he and the other defendants face lengthy sentences," said United States Attorney Rand. "This case is a compelling example of the power of effective partnership between federal, state, and local authorities, and we thank the many agencies who worked with us to bring these violent offenders to justice. We will continue to work together to promote the safety of the citizens of North Carolina, and to make sure that those who ignore our laws are punished accordingly."

U.S. District Court Judge James A. Beaty, Jr., sentenced the following defendants:

  • Jorge Peter Cornell, 36, of Greensboro, N.C., aka “King Jay,” was sentenced on Aug. 14, 2013, to serve 336 months in prison;
  • Jason Paul Yates, 32, originally of Chicago but recently living in North Carolina, aka “King Squirrel,” was sentenced on Aug. 15, 2013, to serve 206 months in prison;
  • Steaphan Acencio-Vasquez, 22, of Raleigh, N.C., aka “King Leo,” was sentenced on Aug. 13, 2013, to serve 96 months in prison and three years of supervised release; and
Ernesto Wilson, 55, of New York City, aka “Yayo,” was sentenced on Aug. 13, 2013, to serve 204 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Cornell, the leader of the North Carolina ALKQN, was convicted by a federal jury on Nov. 21, 2012, of racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence for an April 2008 assault with a dangerous weapon.

Wilson, an ALKQN associate, was convicted by a federal jury on Nov. 21, 2012, of racketeering conspiracy.

ALKQN members Yates and Acencio-Vasquez previously pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the defendants were members and associates of ALKQN, a violent street gang that originated in Chicago in the 1960s and ultimately migrated to cities throughout the United States, including New York City and ultimately Greensboro in 2002. From approximately 2005 until December 2011, ALKQN gang members met on a regular basis to increase their knowledge base of the gang rules; discuss criminal activity and how to deal with rival gangs, including by attempted murder; purchase firearms; circulate firearms for use in criminal activity by other ALKQN members; and engage in violent crimes such as robberies, bank fraud, arson and carjacking. The proceeds of this criminal activity helped to finance the gang’s illegal activities. ALKQN members also attempted to murder members of the gang when they attempted to terminate their membership.

Evidence presented at trial also showed that Cornell conspired with other ALKQN members to commit racketeering acts, including the April 2008 shooting of a rival gang member; the commissioning of no fewer than five Hobbs Act Robberies of businesses located throughout the Greensboro area; the plotting of firebomb attacks on the residences of former ALKQN members; attacks on former ALKQN members; and the killing of former ALKQN members through drive-by shootings. Cornell also provided firearms to members of ALKQN to commit several of these crimes.

ALKQN member Wesley Anderson Williams, who pleaded guilty on Oct. 1, 2012, to racketeering conspiracy, will be sentenced by Judge Beaty on Aug. 20, 2013. Russell Lloyd Kilfoil, an ALKQN member who was convicted by a federal jury on Nov. 21, 2012, will be sentenced on Aug. 28, 2013.

The investigation was a joint operation conducted by the FBI’s Greensboro Field Office; Greensboro Police Department; and the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Leshia Lee-Dixon of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A.J. Lang of the Middle District of North Carolina.

Updated March 19, 2015