A former member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation pleaded guilty Tuesday to racketeering and drug charges.

Natanael Velazquez, also known as “King Nael,” 21, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for June 22, 2021.

The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.

In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy, and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members, and associates of the Latin Kings. Natanael Velazquez is the 41st defendant to plead guilty in the case.

Information from the U.S. Attorney's Office