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Indict 18 Suspects for Gang Violence

Kidnapped, Maimed Victims In Brooklyn

Fourteen members of a Brooklyntribe” of the street gang the Latin Kings were indicted last week on conspiracy and other charges for taking part in vicious attacks that left four victims maimed for life.

Four other defendants, including a Latin King, are charged with kidnapping and other charges in a separate, unrelated indictment, it was announced by Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

“We must protect the community from these senseless acts of bloodshed-which were committed supposedly to enforce the Latin Kings manifesto,” Thompson said. “The streets of Brooklyn do not belong to the Latin Kings but to the people of Brooklyn, and our streets are now safer as a result of these arrests.”

“These individuals collectively engaged in violent crimes and other illegal behavior throughout the city, particularly in Brooklyn, while compromising the safety of those who live and work in those communities,” added Bratton. “Thankfully, the partnership between our investigators assigned to the Brooklyn North Gang Squad and the prosecutors from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office prevailed and brought these gang members to justice.”

In the first indictment, 14 members of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation’s Outlaws tribe were variously charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit assault, gang assault, assault, weapons charges, intimidating a witness, tampering with a witness and other charges in connection with attacks on seven members of rival Latin Kings tribes.

Ten of the defendants were arrested last Wednesday, Nov. 5, and four had already been incarcerated. They were arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter that afternoon.

The lead defendant-26-year-old Luis Blanco (a.k.a. King Humble and Humble Willcutyou), alleged “First Crown” of the Outlaws tribe-was ordered held without bail. The other were ordered to return to court on Jan. 19, 2015. If convicted, each defendant faces up to 25 years in prison on the top count.

The other defendants were identified as 24-year-old Andres Cruz (a.k.a. King Scrap); 25-year-old Richard Castillo (a.k.a. King Savage and Savage the Nightmare); 27-yearold Jonathan Cintron (a.k.a. King Happy); 33-year-old Enrique Maldonado (a.k.a. King Popoff); 22- year-old Eddie Cintron (a.k.a. King Get It); 18-year-old Michelle Weng (a.k.a. Queen Life); 27-year-old Jonathan Corona (a.k.a. King Prince); 21-year-old Luis Martinez (a.k.a. King Lucifer); 26-year-old Demetrio Velez (a.k.a. King Reckless); 22-year-old Juan Santos (a.k.a. King Gucci); 37-year-old Cory Vella (a.k.a. Niggler Diggler); 20-year-old Arnaldo Trinidad (a.k.a. King Naldo); and 18-year-old Elizabeth Torres.

From September 2013 to the present, members of the Outlaws tribe, based in Bushwick and East New York, allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to murder two other rival members who were deemed to be disrespectful to the Latin Kings, and the organization’s manifesto allegedly permits Latin Kings to use violence on such members, according to the investigation.

Specifically, it is alleged that on Sept. 27, 2013 one member of the Hardbody tribe in Park Slope, Brooklyn was nearly scalped, and was stabbed in his back and chest, while three other members who were present were also assaulted. All of the victims survived the attacks.

Based on the investigation, it is also alleged that on Oct. 20, 2013, two members of the Jamaica Maya tribe in Queens were stabbed in Jamaica, and that five months later- on Mar. 25 of this year-a member of the Woodhaven Maya tribe in Queens was lured to Bushwick, where he was stabbed in the head and body and shot multiple times causing life threatening injuries and to be placed in a medical coma for several weeks.

According to the investigation, the “First Crown” or alleged leader of the Outlaws tribe, Blanco, allegedly sent text messages about the violence and made videos of members displaying weapons as they hunted for targets.

The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s Brooklyn North Gang Unit, along with other NYPD detectives.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lisa Berk of the District Attorney’s newly formed Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau (VCE), under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, bureau chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, chief of investigations.

Kidnapped & beat victim

The suspects in the second indictment were identified as 33- year-old Victor Vargas; 28-year-old Lawrence Jimenez, an alleged Latin King; 36-year-old John Nunez; and 24-year-old Jose Gago.

According to the investigation in connection with the second indictment, on Oct. 21, the victim, whose identity is known to the District Attorney’s office, received a call from an acquaintance, Vargas, telling the victim to go to Jamaica Avenue and Linwood Street in East New York to help out with Vargas’ disabled vehicle.

Shortly after the victim arrived two men came down the street and allegedly began pistol-whipping the victim, and forced him into another car that had pulled up. He was taken to a house in Brooklyn where Jimenez resides.

According to the investigation, a witness called 911 and responding police found the victim exiting the car, with wrists bound, screaming for help. He had allegedly suffered a broken nose, fractured eye socket, a stab wound to his leg and other injuries. He was allegedly robbed of $750.

The police officers arrested one defendant at the scene and three others were apprehended within a week.

The defendants are charged in an indictment with second-degree kidnapping, first- and second-degree robbery, second-degree assault, firstdegree attempted assault, first- and second-degree unlawful imprisonment and criminal use and criminal possession of a firearm.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini of VCE, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Chavis and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Schaeffer.

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