District Attorney Kenneth Thompson
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that 14 members of a Brooklyn “tribe” of the street gang the Latin Kings have been indicted on conspiracy and other charges for taking part in vicious attacks that left four victims maimed for life.
Four other defendants, including a Latin King, are charged with kidnapping and other charges in a separate, unrelated indictment.
District Attorney Thompson said, “We must protect the community from these senseless acts of bloodshed – which were committed supposedly to enforce the Latin Kings manifesto. The streets of Brooklyn do not belong to the Latin Kings but to the people of Brooklyn, and our streets are now safer as a result of these arrests.”
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said, “These individuals collectively engaged in violent crimes and other illegal behavior throughout the city, particularly in Brooklyn, while compromising the safety of those who live and work in those communities. Thankfully, the partnership between our investigators assigned to the Brooklyn North Gang Squad and the prosecutors from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office prevailed and brought these gang members to justice.”
DA Thompson said that, in the first indictment, 14 members of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation’s Outlaws tribe were variously charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit assault, gang assault, assault, weapons charges, intimidating a witness, tampering with a witness and other charges in connection with attacks on seven members of rival Latin Kings tribes.
Ten of the defendants were arrested Wednesday and four had already been incarcerated. They were arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter yesterday afternoon. The lead defendant, Luis Blanco, alleged “First Crown” of the Outlaws tribe, was ordered held without bail. All of the defendants were ordered to return to court on January 19, 2015. If convicted, each defendant faces up to 25 years in prison on the top count.
From September 2013 to the present, members of the Outlaws tribe, based in Bushwick and East New York, allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to murder two other rival members who were deemed to be disrespectful to the Latin Kings, and the organization’s manifesto allegedly permits Latin Kings to use violence on such members, according to the investigation.
Specifically, it is alleged that on September 27, 2013 one member of the Hardbody tribe in Park Slope, Brooklyn was nearly scalped, and was stabbed in his back and chest, while three other members who were present were also assaulted. All of the victims survived the attacks.
Based on the investigation, it is also alleged that on October 20, 2013, two members of the Jamaica Maya tribe in Queens were stabbed in Jamaica, Queens, and that five months later on March 25, 2014, a member of the Woodhaven Maya tribe in Queens was lured to Bushwick, where he was stabbed in the head and body and shot multiple times causing life threatening injuries and to be placed in a medical coma for several weeks.
According to the investigation, the “First Crown” or alleged leader of the Outlaws tribe, Luis Blanco, aka “King Humble,” allegedly sent text messages about the violence and made videos of members displaying weapons as they hunted for targets.
The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s Brooklyn North Gang Unit, along with other NYPD detectives.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lisa Berk of the District Attorney’s newly formed Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau (“VCE”), under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of Investigations.
Defendants charged are:
Louis Blanco, also known as “King Humble,” also known as “Humble Willcutyou,” age 26.
Andres Cruz, also known as “King Scrap,” age 24.
Richard Castillo, also known as “King Savage,” also known as “Savage the Nightmare,” age 25.
Jonathan Cintron, also known as “King Happy,” age 27.
Enrique Maldanaldo, also known as “King Popoff,” age 33.
Eddie Cintron, also known as “King Get It,” age 22.
Michelle Weng, also known as “Queen Life,” age 18.
Jonathan Corona, also known as “King Prince,” age 27.
Luis Martinez, also known as “King Lucifer,” age 21.
Demetrio Velez, also known as “King Reckless,” age 26.
Juan Santos, also known as “King Gucci,” age 22.
Cory Vella, also known as “Niggler Diggler,” age 37.
Arnaldo Trinidad, also known as “King Naldo,” age 20.
Elizabeth Torres, age 18.
District Attorney Thompson said that, according to the investigation in connection with the second indictment, on October 21, 2014, the victim, whose identity is known to the District Attorney’s office, received a call from an acquaintance, Victor Vargas, telling the victim to go to Jamaica Avenue and Linwood Street in East New York to help out with Vargas’ disabled vehicle.
Shortly after the victim arrived two men came down the street and allegedly began pistol-whipping the victim, and forced him into another car that had pulled up. He was taken to a house in Brooklyn where Latin Kings member Lawrence Jimenez resides.
According to the investigation, a witness called 911 and responding police found the victim exiting the car, with wrists bound, screaming for help. He had allegedly suffered a broken nose, fractured eye socket, a stab wound to his leg and other injuries. He was allegedly robbed of $750. The police officers arrested one defendant at the scene and three others were apprehended within a week.
The defendants are charged in an indictment with second-degree kidnapping, first- and second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, first-degree attempted assault, first- and second-degree unlawful imprisonment and criminal use and criminal possession of a firearm. They will be arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court at a later date.
Defendants charged are: Victor Vargas, age 33; Lawrence Jimenez, age 28 (Latin King); John Nunez, age 36; and, Jose Gago, age 24.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini of VCE, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of Investigations.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.