Twenty-three members of the Latin Kings street gang were dethroned today. United States Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer announced that the gang members were swept up in five separate indictments, and that all were dangerous or violent offenders. Many were high ranking members of the criminal group. Five other non- members were also part of the indictments. Though, it's still unclear how many of those people named in the indictments have been arrested.
Among those taken down were Christopher Isabel, better known is the gang as "King Nano." According to The Sun-Sentinel, he's believed to be second in command of the gangs operations in Florida. Bobbie Tejada, AKA "King Riko" was a regional officer for the gang in South Florida. Luis Rivera, AKA King Tato, was allegedly the leader of the group's North Miami operations. Juan Alvarez (King Juanmo) and Lazaro Castellon (King Speedy or King Laz) were the first and second in command respectively of the group's South Miami operations, the feds say. Leaders of the gang in Broward and Palm Beach counties were also indicted.
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Among the charges listed in the indictments are robbery, drug dealing, conspiracy and firearm offenses. Many members may face life in prison.
"Today’s charges demonstrate that we are dedicated to improving public safety and the quality of life for law-abiding residents by protecting neighborhoods, adopting proactive law enforcement initiatives, and prosecuting repeat offenders, firearms violators and criminal networks. We will continue to prosecute individuals whose violent criminal conduct infects our communities," Ferrer says in a statement.
The Latin Kings are one of the largest gang associations in the country. Originally started in 1940 by Puerto Rican members, the gang has spread across the country in mainly Hispanic neighborhoods. The gang first appeared in Florida back in the 1990s, and is now believed to be the single largest gang in Florida. Of the estimated 8,289 gang members in Florida's prison system, about 1,000 are believed to be Kings as of October 2014.