Nearly 3 dozen gang members indicted in Chicago area

CHICAGO — Two federal indictments unsealed in Chicago today charged 34 members of the Latin Kings street gang with participating in a criminal organization that assaults and attempts to murder its rivals and violently protects its territories in the city and suburbs.

Authorities uncovered the alleged gang activity through dual investigations conducted under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). During the course of the multi-year probes, law enforcement agents confiscated more than 40 firearms, including two AR-15 assault rifles.

The indictments allege that members of the Latin Kings violently enforced discipline within its ranks and retaliated against rivals and former members to prevent cooperation with law enforcement. Its members and associates engaged in various acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault with dangerous weapons, arson, and extortion, according to the indictments. The charges include the attempted murders of rival gang members and a Melrose Park Police officer.

Thirty four alleged Latin Kings are charged with racketeering conspiracy. A 35th alleged Latin King is charged in the indictment with selling a firearm without a license. The 36th and final defendant is an alleged Latin King charged in a criminal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Several of the defendants were arrested this week and have begun making initial appearances in federal court in Chicago.