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Press Release

Hammond Man Sentenced To 28 Years In Prison For Latin King Racketeering Conspiracy Including Murder Of Innocent Victim

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

HAMMOND- Anton James, Jr., 22, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Simon to 28 years imprisonment following his guilty plea to conspiracy to commit racketeering activity for his role and participation in the Latin Kings street gang, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. 

U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “Mr. James, through his gang activities, terrorized the streets of Northwest Indiana.  The 28 year sentence reflects the seriousness of these crimes.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the community to investigate and prosecute gangs.”

At sentencing, James was found to have committed the October 28, 2014, murder of Martin Hurtado, Sr., of Hammond, Indiana, in furtherance of the Latin Kings.  Hurtado, an innocent victim who was not a gang member, was outside his residence working on his car when he was gunned down by James in an effort to further James’ standing and prestige in the Latin King street gang.  According to documents in this case, James was involved with the Latin Kings from approximately 2011 - 2015.  During his involvement with the Latin Kings, he conspired to distribute between 5 and 15 kilograms of cocaine.  He patrolled Latin King controlled territory in Hammond, Indiana, in furtherance of the gang while armed with a firearm with an extended magazine.  On another occasion, he shot an entire magazine worth of bullets at a residence of a rival Latin Counts member.  On another occasion, James shot at rival Spanish Gangster Disciples members outside of a convenience store in Hammond. 

Enforcement actions and partnerships related to violent gangs are part of our Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.  The program brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime. Learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods.   

This case is the result of the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the East Chicago Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Gary Police Department, the Hammond Police Department, the Lake County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Department and Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area officers and agents.  The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, has also provided assistance.  The Latin King case is being prosecuted by Northern District of Indiana Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. Nozick, Dean R. Lanter, and Joseph A. Cooley, formerly of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.

Updated November 20, 2018

Violent Crime