A convicted New Bedford gang member who shot at rivals has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison as part of a federal law enforcement effort.

Luis Santiago, also known as “King Tiny,” 22, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In September, Santiago pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.

Santiago is a former member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, and admitted to his role in the shooting, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.

Santiago admitted that on May 28, 2019, he was one of multiple members of the Latin Kings who traveled to Dartmouth Street in New Bedford to confront and assault rival gang members. Santiago was provided with a firearm by another member of the gang. The confrontation began as a fight, but at some point Santiago pulled out the firearm and began to chase the rival gang members. Santiago fired one shot at the fleeing rival gang members, missing and striking a parked vehicle, Lelling’s office said.

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. Santiago is the 13th defendant to be sentenced in the case, known as Operation Throne Down.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Commissioner Carol Miciof the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro made the announcement today, according to the news release. 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 and Lauren Graber of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

The operation was conducted by a multi-agency task force through the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

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