MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A total of 29 people have been charged, including 23 known members and associates of the gang Latin Kings, after a multi-agency law enforcement operation, set out to tackle violent crime, drug trafficking, firearm offenses, and gang activity in Broward.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced the filing of federal charges against 29 defendants in five separate cases for their alleged participation in criminal misconduct.
The charges include violent racketeering conspiracy, armed Hobbs Act robberies, a narcotics conspiracy, drug trafficking and firearms violations by convicted felons.
The members of the Violence Reduction Partnership and participating agencies, including the United States Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Broward Sheriff’s Office, and several other law enforcement agencies contributed.
The indictment charges 23 members and associates of the Latin Kings, which is an organized street gang.
Charged in the 20 count indictment are, Juan Alvarez “King Juanma” 30 from Miami, Arturo Andrade “King Tu” 25 of Miami, Sean Buendia “King Chill” 32 of Davie, Lazaro Castellon “King Speedy” 36 of Hialeah, Domenic Enrique “King Bolo” 28 of Pembroke Pines, Tony Estevez “King Kilo” 29 of Miami, Samuel German “King Traffic” 31 of Hollywood, Alberto Hernandez Jr. “King Gordo” 20 of Miami, Christopher Isabel “King Nano” 33 of Plantation, Barbara Lee “Queen Flaka” 49 of Fort Lauderdale, Andres Lugo “King Ghost” 33 of Plantation, Danielle Lucatorto “Cookie” 29 of Margate, John Martins “King Slowdown” 28 of Lake Worth, Alain Medero “King C-Low” 31 of Miami, Fernando Moreno “King Boom” 32 of West Palm Beach, Jorge Perez-Hernandez 44 of Tampa, Luis Rivera “King Tato” 32 of Miami Beach, Giovanny Rocha-Collado “King Joker” 35 of Miami, Bobbie Tejada “King Riko” 32 of Fort Lauderdale, Jerry Vazquez 35 of West Palm Beach, Giovanny Viera “King Hollywood” 35 of Miami and Juan Marcos Vega 22 of Homestead.
At various times, according to the US Department of Justice, several of the defendants, Isabel, Tejada, Rivera, Alvarez, Castellon, Viera, Estevez, German, Medero, Lugo, Rocha-Collado, and Moreno, held leadership positions within the state and/or local chapters of the Latin Kings. In their positions the defendants conducted meetings, collected dues, and maintained discipline among fellow gang members.
The indictment alleges that the Latin Kings are one of the largest and most well-organized gangs in the United States. Different chapters of the Latin Kings operate in at least 39 states, including Florida.
Members of the gang commit criminal acts, like distribution of narcotics, assault, robbery, identity theft and more, with the intent to benefit, promote, and further the interest of their organization and to increase their position within the Latin Kings organization.
The Latin Kings adhere to a local, regional, state, and a national hierarchical system. Members are required to pay dues, usually generated through criminal activity, attend regular meetings and adhere to the gang’s established policies. Failure to comply can result in disciplinary action. Latin Kings colors are Black and Gold. Gang markings consist of a five or three-point “sacred crown,” the letters LK (Latin Kings, ALK (Almighty Latin Kings), ALKN (Almighty Latin King Nation), ALKQN (Almighty Latin King Queen Nation), and drawings of the Lion. Once accepted into the organization, members choose a “King” name by which they become known.
In addition to the racketeering conspiracy charge, many of the defendants were also indicted for their alleged participation in other criminal activity.
Everyone charged faces lengthy prison terms if convicted.