Latin Kings Captain Gets 18 Years in Prison
Jorge Rodriguez, a former Cacique of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, this week was sentenced to 18 years in prison and three years of supervised release.
Rodriguez, 32, was one of 62 reputed Latin Kings members and associates taken down in the December 2019 investigation and raid known as "Operation Throne Down." In June, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. He appeared this week for sentencing before Judge Rya W. Zobel at the John Joseph Moakley federal courthouse in Boston.
At the time of his arrest, Rodriguez, known as "King G,” was second-in-command of Massachusetts for the Latin Kings, and had held leadership positions in the New Bedford Chapter, according to a media release from the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
In New Bedford, Rodriguez ran a cocaine base distribution network that used multi-unit apartment buildings known as “trap houses." Members of the Latin Kings dealt drugs in the trap houses, obtaining their supply of cocaine base from Rodriguez, Lelling's office said. Video recordings entered into evidence showed Rodriguez cooking cocaine base, directing violence against rival gang members, meting out discipline and handling firearms used to protect the drug network.
Regional Latin Kings leaders, who report to Chicago, select state teams comprised of an "Inca," "Cacique," "Enforcer," "Treasurer," and "Secretary." The state team is charged with resolving conflicts and ensuring that local chapters follow national directive, according to federal prosecutors.
The DOJ describes the Latin Kings as a violent gang comprised of thousands of members across the United States. They adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary, and use a sophisticated system of communication. The gang distributes drugs to generate revenue, and seeks to further its influence and protect its turf from rival gangs.
Rodriguez is the fourth defendant sentenced in the case.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro made the announcement. Valuable assistance was also provided by the FBI North Shore Gang Task Force and the Bristol County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip A. Mallard, Mark Grady and Lauren Graber of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case, Lelling's office said.