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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 20, 2020

Latin Dragon Nation Member Sentenced to 17 Years In Prison

Following Conviction for Racketeering Conspiracy

HAMMOND- Luis Colunga, 27, of Hobart, Indiana, was sentenced, on July 17, 2020, by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon to 204 months in prison following his guilty plea to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity as a member of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.

“A 17 year sentence should send a strong message that gang activity and associated criminal acts will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.  “Gang members should know that my office will continue to investigate and prosecute criminal gang activity as a cohesive law enforcement partnership.” 

According to documents in the case, the Latin Dragons Nation is a criminal street gang that originated in Chicago and spread to other areas, including the Northern District of Indiana.  Members and associates of the Latin Dragons Nation allegedly engage in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, witness tampering, and assault, to protect the gang’s territory. The Latin Dragon Nation members have been charged with crimes involving in excess of 50 victims, including 15 murder victims. 

Luis Colunga has been a member of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang since approximately 2006.  As a member of the Latin Dragons, Colunga was involved in shootings of suspected rival gang members and participated in trafficking firearms and drugs. In this case, a total of 19 members and associates have been charged with racketeering conspiracy for their participation in Latin Dragon Nation activity. Of those, 13 defendants have pled guilty to the conspiracy with 10 defendants awaiting sentencing.   

This case is the result of the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Chicago Police Department Criminal Enterprise Unit; the Cook County Sheriff’s Office; the Bartlett Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Merrillville Police Department; the Hobart Police Department; the Lake County Sheriff’s Department; and the Calumet City Police Department, with assistance from the Lake County, Indiana Prosecutor’s Office, the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, the Indiana Department of Corrections, and the Illinois Department of Corrections.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph A. Cooley and Kevin F. Wolff and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Toth, with assistance from the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section Trial Attorney Hans Miller.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated July 20, 2020