York Men Affiliated With Latin Kings Street Gang Enter Guilty Pleas To Puerto Rico-York Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses
The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District Pennsylvania announced that three men have entered guilty pleas to drug trafficking and firearms offenses for their roles in the importation from Puerto Rico and distribution of kilograms of heroin and cocaine into York, Pennsylvania.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, on January 29, 2015, Angel Mendez-Castro, age 27, of Puerto Rico and York, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to import and distribute over five kilograms of cocaine and heroin from 2010 to 2013. Mendez-Castro also admitted to using threats of violence against witnesses and firearms to protect the trafficking between Puerto Rico and York. The maximum penalty for the offense is a ten-year mandatory sentence and a maximum punishment of life in prison.
The Mendez-Castro guilty plea is the culmination of multi-year investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police and the York County Drug Task Force, conducted with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The investigation involved hundreds of purchases of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine made from over one hundred individuals in York. Many of the individuals involved in the conspiracy were arrested in a sweep that began on February 6, 2013, in York County. Thereafter, 15 individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg for leadership roles in the heroin and cocaine trafficking.
On January 29, 2015, Angel Mendez-Castro’s brother and cousin entered guilty pleas. Christian Mendez-Castro, a/k/a “King Rampage,” age 22, of Puerto Rico and York, entered a guilty plea to drug trafficking conspiracy. Hector Castro-Padro, a/k/a “Fernando,” age 29, of York, entered a plea to drug trafficking and firearms offenses. A sentencing date for these three defendants has not been set by the U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane.
As part of the overall investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office charged others affiliated with the distribution of heroin and cocaine in York. The status of the other cases is as follows:
William Ortiz, age 53, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On August 21, 2014, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Luis Angel Ortiz, a/k/a “C Lo,” age 31, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On April 15, 2014, he was sentenced to twelve (12) years and six (6) months in prison.
Jose Cartegena, Jr., a/k/a “Warrior,” age 35, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On April 28, 2014, he was sentence to 60 months in prison.
Marcus Garcia, a/k/a “King Paradise,” age 28, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On September 5, 2014, he was sentenced to six (6) years and five (5) months in prison.
David Ramsey, a/k/a “King Knuckles,” age 32, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On December 9, 2014, he was sentenced to five (5) years in prison.
Carlos Villalongo-Martinez, age 38, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On July 29, 2014, he was sentenced to two (2) years in prison.
Brandon Jones, age 27, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On June 3, 2014, he was sentenced to six (6) years in prison.
Antonio Navarro-Garcia, a/k/a “King Trigger,” age 22, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On November 25, 2014, he was sentenced to five (5) years in prison.
Michael Enriquez, a/k/a “King Rage,” age 30, of Camden, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. On January 27, 2015, he was sentenced to ten (10) years in prison.
Hector Rengifo, age 40, of York, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking on August 4, 2014. He is awaiting sentencing.
August Ranalli, age 31, and Daniel Pacheco-Morels, age 41, both of York, are scheduled for trial on March 31, 2015.
Prosecution of the cases is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Consiglio.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
In these particular cases, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is life imprisonment for the defendants and a term of supervised release following imprisonment and a fine. Each defendant also faces a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of ten years. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.