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Latin Kings Street Gang Members Sentenced to 16 Years’ Imprisonment for Their Participation in Shootings

This news story was published on December 23, 2012.
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Earlier today, Angel Cordero, the leader of the Huntington, New York division of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) street gang was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Cordero previously pleaded guilty to gang-related conspiracy to commit assaults with dangerous weapons, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon, and illegal possession of a firearm in connection with a crime of violence. Co-defendant Edwin Morejon, a member of the Huntington Latin Kings, was also sentenced today by Judge Feuerstein to 16 years’ imprisonment, pursuant to his guilty plea, for his participation in similar offenses.

The sentences were announced today by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Edward Webber, Suffolk County Police Department Commissioner.

According to his plea allocution and other court filings by the government, Cordero directed his fellow Latin Kings to use violence against anyone who disrespected the Latin Kings and encouraged members to instill fear of the Latin Kings in others. The two-year investigation by the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force revealed that, in 2009 and early 2010, while under the leadership of Cordero, members of the Huntington division of the Latin Kings shot four individuals they believed to be rival gang members and participated in multiple attempted shootings in the Huntington Station area of Long Island. One shooting, on September 1, 2009, took place near the Jack Abrams Intermediate School in Huntington Station, which subsequently closed due to the violence in the area.

On October 18, 2009, Morejon and a co-defendant fired several shots at two individuals whom they believed were members of the Southside Posse street gang, on Tenth Street in Huntington Station. One of the intended targets retrieved a shotgun and returned fire. During the exchange of fire, he was shot in the leg by Morejon’s co-defendant and hospitalized. On March 11, 2010, Cordero shot at a group of individuals he believed to be members of the Crips street gang, who were standing in front of a strip mall in Huntington Station. No one was injured in the gunfire attack. Two weeks later, on March 25, 2010, Cordero and nine other members and associates of the Latin Kings were arrested by the FBI Gang Task Force in the first wave of arrests in this case. In October 2010, nine additional members and associates of the Latin Kings were arrested in this case. (Two additional defendants were arrested at later dates.)

In total, 21 defendants pleaded guilty in this case for their participation in violent, gang-related crimes on Long Island, including shootings, attempted shootings, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, and firearms offenses. To date, 16 defendants have been sentenced and, of those, 10 defendants have received sentences of 10 or more years in prison.

“In his bid to own the streets of Huntington Station, Cordero turned those streets into a shooting gallery, unleashing gunfire throughout the community, including near a school. The sentences in this case make clear that gang members will not be permitted to turn neighborhoods on Long Island into battlefields, where residents fear for their safety,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “This office and the Justice Department are committed to eliminating gang violence.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force and the Suffolk County Police Department, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Boeckmann and Carrie N. Capwell.

Sentenced Defendants:

Angel Cordero, Jr.
Sentence: 192 months
Date of sentencing: December 19, 2012
Age: 29

Edwin Morejon
Sentence: 192 months
Date of sentencing: December 19, 2012
Age: 22

Jose Sosa
Sentence: 192 months
Date of sentencing: October 23, 2012
Age: 24

Albino Rodriguez
Sentence: 144 months
Date of sentencing: December 17, 2012
Age: 20

Luis G. Hernandez
Sentence: 156 months
Date of sentencing: September 12, 2012
Age: 28

Luis Lemus
Sentence: 156 months
Date of sentencing: October 24, 2012
Age: 23

William Rodriguez
Sentence: 156 months
Date of sentencing: December 12, 2012
Age: 25

Luis J. Hernandez, Jr.
Sentence: 151 months
Date of sentencing: January 26, 2012
Age: 31

Jose Candelario
Sentence: 120 months
Date of sentencing: October 17, 2012
Age: 25

Brian Gonzalez
Sentence: 120 months
Date of sentencing: November 15, 2012
Age: 21

Scal Mazara
Sentence: 117 months
Date of sentencing: December 13, 2011
Age: 28

Edwin Rivera, Jr.
Sentence: 117 months
Date of sentencing: April 18, 2012
Age: 26

Robert Williams
Sentence: 60 months
Date of sentencing: September 12, 2012
Age: 32

Ruddy Vasquez
Sentence: 36 months
Date of sentencing: July 18, 2012
Age: 25

Jonathan Diaz (Latin King Associate)
Sentence: 21 months
Date of sentencing: February 9, 2012
Age: 25

Jennifer Sabatino
Sentence: 12 months and one day
Date of sentencing: April 6, 2011
Age: 35

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