The Chicago Syndicate: Augstin Zambrano
Showing posts with label Augstin Zambrano. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Augstin Zambrano. Show all posts

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Vicente Garcia Jr., Latin Kings’ Second-in-Command, Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy and Related Gang Crimes


The second highest-ranking leader nationwide of the Latin Kings street gang was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison after being convicted at trial in 2011 of racketeering conspiracy (RICO) and related charges involving narcotics trafficking and violence that plagued numerous neighborhoods on the city’s north, south, and west sides. The defendant, Vicente Garcia, Jr., 35, the “Supreme Regional Inca” of the Almighty Latin King Nation, who oversaw the day-to-day illegal activities of all factions of the gang with some 10,000 members in Illinois alone, has been in federal custody since late 2008 and must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

The sentence was imposed last week by U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle, who also ordered five years of supervised release after Garcia’s prison term ends.

Garcia, also known as “DK” or “Disciple Killer,” together with Augustin Zambrano, the leader, or “Corona,” of the Latin Kings, and two additional defendants were found guilty in April 2011 of running a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves and others through drug trafficking and preserving and protecting their power, territory, and revenue through acts of murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, and other acts of violence.

“This sentence holds Garcia accountable for the barbaric enterprise known as the Latin Kings and his role in murder, attempted murder, shootings, beatings, drug trafficking, and other crimes,” said Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Zambrano, 52, was sentenced to 60 years in prison in January 2012. Two other co-defendants convicted at the same trial also received substantial prison terms. Jose Guzman, a former “Nation Enforcer” in the 26th Street, or Little Village, faction, was sentenced to 35 years in prison, and Alphonso Chavez, the “Inca,” or leader of the gang’s 31st and Drake faction, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Another co-defendant, Fernando “Ace” King, who preceded Garcia as Supreme Regional Inca and pleaded guilty, was sentenced in October 2011 to 40 years in prison.

Trial evidence included audio and video recordings of three beatings inflicted upon gang members for violating the rules and testimony documenting three murders and 20 shootings in the Little Village area. In addition to RICO conspiracy, Garcia was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and using a firearm during a violent crime.

Garcia was among a total of 31 co-defendants who were indicted in September 2008 or charged in a superseding indictment in October 2009. Of those 31 defendants, 24 pleaded guilty, four were convicted at trial, and three remain fugitives. From its origin and base in the west side Little Village community, the Latin Kings spread throughout Chicago and Illinois and established branches in other states, where local leaders acted with some autonomy but adhered to the rules and hierarchy of the Chicago gang, according to the evidence in the five-week federal trial.

The sentence was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, together with Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Larry Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police also had significant roles in the investigation, which was conducted through the federal High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).

In late 2006, ATF agents led an investigation that resulted in federal drug trafficking and firearms charges against 38 Latin Kings members and associates. In 2008, the FBI led an investigation that resulted in state and federal charges against 40 Latin Kings members and associates, including a dozen of the Zambrano co-defendants. In total, more than 80 Latin Kings members and associates have faced state or federal charges since 2006. The convictions result from a sustained, coordinated effort by federal law enforcement agencies, working together with the Chicago Police Department and other state and local partners, to dismantle the hierarchy of the Latin Kings and other highly organized, often violent Chicago street gangs.

Garcia and Zambrano were the highest-ranking Latin Kings to be convicted and sentenced since Gustavo “Gino” Colon, who also holds the title of “Corona,” was sentenced to life in prison in 2000.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Porter, Nancy DePodesta, and Tinos Diamantatos.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Augustin Zambrano, Nationwide Latin Kings Leader, Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy and Related Gang Crimes

The highest-ranking leader nationwide of the Latin Kings street gang was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in federal prison, the statutory maximum, after being convicted at trial last April of racketeering conspiracy (RICO) and related charges involving narcotics trafficking and violence that plagued numerous neighborhoods on the city’s north, south and west sides.. The defendant, Augustin Zambrano, 51, a “Corona” of the Almighty Latin King Nation, who was responsible for overseeing the illegal activities of all factions of the powerful street gang with some 10,000 members in Illinois alone, has been in federal custody since 2009 and must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

In imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle cited Zambrano’s extensive criminal record of violent offenses and his lack whatsoever of any acceptance of responsibility or remorse for victims.

Zambrano, also known as “Big Tino,” “Tino,” “Old Man,” and “Viejo,” and three co-defendants were found guilty of running a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves and others through drug-trafficking and preserving and protecting their power, territory and revenue through acts of murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, and other acts of violence.

“This investigation has held to hold the leaders of the Latin Kings like Zambrano responsible for their iron-fisted leadership of a criminal enterprise responsible for murders and attempted murders. As the CEO of this gang, Zambrano bears responsibility for its criminal acts,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

In urging the maximum sentence, prosecutors wrote in a court filing:

“Zambrano chose violence at every turn. The message he sent out through his words and actions was that violence was the only path that mattered. He did so personally and through his appointment of trusted lieutenants such as Fernando King and Vicente Garcia, who were responsible through their stewardship for murder, attempted murder, shootings, beatings, and other acts of violence. Zambrano did not carry out any of this violence by himself. He was insulated. He was behind the scenes. He entrusted others to do it. He put leaders in place who shared his vision . . . to see to it that that Latin Kings acted barbarically. The result was an organization with its own rules, its own laws, and a savage code of violence. In many cases, the soldiers for whom defendant and the other leaders of the Latin Kings are responsible were simply boys who killed or were killed.”

Three co-defendants were convicted with Zambrano at trial of RICO conspiracy and other crimes. Jose Guzman, a former “Nation Enforcer” in the 26th Street, or Little Village, faction, was sentenced last month to 35 years in prison. Awaiting sentencing are Vicente Garcia, the “Supreme Regional Inca,” who was in charge of all Latin Kings in Illinois, and Alphonso Chavez, the “Inca,” or leader of the gang’s 31st and Drake faction. Fernando “Ace” King, who preceded Garcia as Supreme Regional Inca and pleaded guilty, was sentenced last October to 40 years in prison.

Evidence at trial included audio and video recordings of three beatings inflicted upon gang members for violating the rules and testimony documenting 20 shootings in the Little Village area, including at least one in which the victim died. Zambrano and Garcia were both convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon.

The four trial defendants were among a total of 31 co-defendants who were indicted in September 2008 or charged in a superseding indictment in October 2009. Of those 31 defendants, 24 pleaded guilty, four were convicted at trial, and three remain fugitives. From its origin and base in the west side Little Village community, the Latin Kings spread throughout Chicago and Illinois and established branches in other states, where local leaders acted with some autonomy but adhered to the rules and hierarchy of the Chicago gang, according to the evidence in the five-week federal trial.

The RICO conspiracy count included evidence that Zambrano and several co-defendants conspired to demand and receive payment from an organization illegally selling fraudulent immigration documents in Little Village by threatening, and actually engaging in, the use of force and violence against members of that organization unless the defendants received regular cash payments. Trial evidence proved federal charges that Latin Kings leaders extorted “street tax” from non-gang members, referred to as “miqueros,” who sold false identification documents.

As part of the RICO conspiracy, evidence also showed that defendants kept victims in fear of the gang and its leaders by enforcing what it referred to as an “SOS”—shoot on sight or smash on sight—order against Latin King members who cooperated with law enforcement in order to enforce the gang’s grip on the community and control over its members and associates.

Mr. Fitzgerald announced the sentence with Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Andrew L. Traver, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Police also had significant roles in the investigation, which was conducted through the federal High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).

The convictions resulted from sustained, coordinated investigations by multiple federal law enforcement agencies, working together with the Chicago Police Department and other state and local partners, to dismantle the hierarchy of the Latin Kings and other highly-organized, often violent, drug-trafficking Chicago street gangs. In late 2006, ATF agents led an investigation that resulted in federal drug trafficking and firearms charges against 38 Latin Kings members and associates. In 2008, the FBI led an investigation that resulted in state and federal charges against 40 Latin Kings members and associates, including a dozen of the Zambrano co-defendants. In total, more than 80 Latin Kings members and associates have faced state or federal charges since 2006 and, of those, approximately 65 have been convicted federally, with only a few fugitives still facing federal charges.

Zambrano is the highest-ranking leader of the Latin Kings to be convicted since Gustavo “Gino” Colon, who also holds the title of “Corona” and is serving a life sentence that was imposed in 2000 for running a continuing criminal enterprise

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Porter, Nancy DePodesta and Tinos Diamantatos.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Latin King Leader, Augustin Zambrano, Convicted on RICO Charges

A federal jury on April 6th convicted the highest-ranking leader nationwide and three other high-ranking leaders of the Latin Kings street gang of racketeering conspiracy (RICO) and all other charges against them involving narcotics trafficking and related violence that plagued numerous neighborhoods on the city's north, south and west sides. From its origin and base in the west side Little Village community, the Latin Kings spread throughout Chicago and Illinois and established branches in other states, where local leaders acted with some autonomy but adhered to the rules and hierarchy of the Chicago gang, according to the evidence in the six-week federal trial. Among the defendants convicted was Augustin Zambrano, 51, identified at trial as the "Corona," making him the highest-ranking leader nationwide of the Almighty Latin King Nation and responsible for overseeing the illegal activities of all factions of the powerful street gang, which evidence showed has approximately 10,000 members in Illinois alone. Zambrano, also known as "Big Tino," "Tino," "Old Man," and "Viejo," and three co-defendants were found guilty of running a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves and others through drug-trafficking and preserving and protecting their power, territory and revenue through acts of murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, and other acts of violence.

Zambrano is the highest-ranking leader of the Latin Kings to be convicted since Gustavo "Gino" Colon, who also holds the title of "Corona" and is serving a life sentence that was imposed in 2000 for running a continuing criminal enterprise.

All four trial defendants remain in federal custody and face potentially lengthy prison terms without parole. U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle scheduled sentencing for Zambrano on Aug. 23, and set sentencing for the other three defendants Aug. 24-26.

Also convicted of RICO conspiracy and other crimes were: Vicente Garcia, 33, identified at trial as the "Supreme Regional Inca," who was in charge of all Latin Kings in Illinois; Jose Guzman, 34, identified at trial as a former "Nation Enforcer" in the 26th Street, or Little Village, faction; and Alphonso Chavez, 26, identified at trial as the "Inca," or leader of the gang's 31st and Drake faction.

"This verdict inflicts a serious blow to the to leaders of the Latin Kings," said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. "It demonstrates that the combined and coordinated efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement can assemble cases looking at disparate crimes—such as selling false identification documents in Little Village—and tie them all the way back to the gang leaders responsible for a broad array of criminal conduct.

Evidence at trial included audio and video recordings of three beatings inflicted upon gang members for violating the rules and testimony documenting 20 shootings in the Little Village area, including at least one in which the victim died. Zambrano and Garcia were both convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon.

The four trial defendants were among a total of 31 co-defendants who were indicted in September 2008 or charged in a superseding indictment in October 2009. Of those 31 defendants, 24 pleaded guilty, four were convicted at trial, and three remain fugitives. Three of the defendants who pleaded guilty testified as government witness at the trial.

The RICO conspiracy count included evidence that Zambrano and several co-defendants conspired to demand and receive payment from an organization illegally selling fraudulent immigration documents in Little Village by threatening, and actually engaging in, the use of force and violence against members of that organization unless the defendants received regular cash payments. Trial evidence proved federal charges that Latin Kings leaders extorted "street tax" from non-gang members, referred to as "miqueros," who sold false identification documents.

As part of the RICO conspiracy, evidence also showed that defendants kept victims in fear of the gang and its leaders by enforcing what it referred to as an "SOS"—shoot on sight or smash on sight—order against Latin King members who cooperated with law enforcement in order to enforce the gang's grip on the community and control over its members and associates.

Mr. Fitzgerald announced the verdict with Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Andrew L. Traver, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Chicago Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago, also had significant roles in the investigation, which was conducted through the federal High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).

The trial and earlier guilty pleas showed that many of the defendants were leaders of the 24 sections that comprised the 26th Street Region in Little Village, who conspired in late 2007 to sell powder cocaine twice a month to fund the "Nation Box," a kitty that the regional hierarchy used to purchase weapons and ammunition, and pay for funeral and attorney fees for fellow gang members. Located along 26th Street, a main east-west thoroughfare, the region is bounded roughly by Fairfield Avenue (east) to Millard Avenue (west), and 21st Street (north) to 33rd Street (south). The region's 24 sections are typically named after a street or intersection, with each section having its own leadership and "soldiers," ranging between approximately 20 and 100 gang members.

The RICO conspiracy count encompassed a pattern of illegal activity since 2000, including drug trafficking, extortion, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, murder, attempted murder, and solicitation to commit murder, and intimidation. Evidence of the RICO conspiracy also included proof that the defendants and their associates:

  • conducted the gang's affairs through a series of laws and policies, some of which were codified in a "constitution," as well as a "manifesto," and the "26th Street rules." The laws included a three-page list of 25 rules establishing procedures for homicides, "security," and the sale of counterfeit identification documents;
  • attended regular meetings, known as "demos"—or, when held by Nation officers, "Nation demos"—at which they discussed, planned, and otherwise engaged in criminal activity, including violent crimes, narcotics distribution, and obstruction of justice;
  • initiated members by causing them to endure physical assaults conducted by other members at various gang-related gatherings; and
  • managed the procurement, transfer, use, concealment, and disposal of firearms and dangerous weapons to protect gang-related territory, personnel, and operations, and to deter, eliminate, and retaliate against competitors and other rival gangs and individuals.

The convictions resulted from sustained, coordinated investigations by multiple federal law enforcement agencies, working together with the Chicago Police Department and other state and local partners, to dismantle the hierarchy of the Latin Kings and other highly-organized, often violent, drug-trafficking Chicago street gangs. In late 2006, ATF agents led an investigation that resulted in federal drug trafficking and firearms charges against 38 Latin Kings members and associates. In 2008, the FBI led an investigation that resulted in state and federal charges against 40 Latin Kings members and associates, including a dozen of the Zambrano co-defendants. In total, more than 80 Latin Kings members and associates have faced state or federal charges since 2006 and, of those, approximately 65 have been convicted federally, with only a few fugitives still facing federal charges.

The RICO conspiracy, extortion conspiracy, and assault with a dangerous weapon counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Garcia was convicted of using a firearm during a violent crime, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison to a maximum of life. The various narcotics counts carry sentences ranging from a mandatory minimum five years to a maximum of life and a fine up to $4 million. The Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Porter, Nancy DePodesta and Tinos Diamantatos.

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