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BOSTON — A former leader of the New Bedford Latin Kings was sentenced Tuesday on racketeering and drug charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said 34-year-old Jose Rodriguez, known as “King Stutter,” will be serving four and a half years in prison and three years of supervised release.

He was taken down as part of Operation Throne Down, a multi-agency operation that indicted 62 gang members in the Northeast on racketeering, drug conspiracy, and firearms offenses in December 2019.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty in June to cocaine distribution conspiracy and racketeering conspiracy charges.

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The Latin Kings are a violent criminal organization with thousands of members who are active nationwide.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the gang has a national manifesto and uses an internal judiciary and a sophisticated communication system to maintain its hierarchy.

Court documents allege the Latin Kings deal drugs to generate revenue.

The gang also allegedly engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and protect its turf.

Rodriguez served as Inca, or leader, of the Latin Kings' New Bedford chapter.

He conspired with other gang members to distribute drugs like cocaine and cocaine base in New Bedford through a series of 'trap houses,' or multi-unit apartment buildings under their control.

While serving as Inca, Rodriguez was recorded during a Latin Kings meeting instructing members to attack rival gang members following the murder of a Latin Kings member in October 2019.

Rodriguez is the 38th defendant to be sentenced as a result of Operation Throne Down.

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