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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Gang leader gets 28 years in prison

03:52 |

Latin Kings gang leader from Pennsylvania was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for a series of violent crimes, including a foiled attempt to assassinate rival gang members in Vineland in 2004. Federal law enforcement authorities say Luis Colon, 28, of Allentown was the founding member and “First Crown” of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation Bethlehem Sun Tribe. Colon went by the nickname “King Respect,” authorities said. He was among 24 alleged gang members charged in 2010 as part of a federally funded sweep targeting “the most violent and pervasive gangs in the country,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eastern Pennsylvania. Colon pleaded guilty in July to charges of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activity, distributing crack cocaine and methamphetamine, and using a firearm during a violent crime. He admitted to being part of a group of six “soldiers” from the Allentown/Bethlehem region who traveled to Vineland on St. Patrick’s Day 2004 on orders of the Latin Kings’ Philadelphia chapter. Armed with guns and body armor, they intended to murder several Latin King members from New Jersey at Vineland Garden Apartments on South Sixth Street as part of a drug-dealing turf war. But police learned about the plot, staked out the complex and thwarted what could have been a massacre. Colon was among 24 people arrested. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says violence and intimidation were common tactics Colon’s gang used to “maintain maintain territory, power, and profits. The gang even kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered its own members for violating any of the tribe’s rules.” Colon was sentenced Wednesday in federal court. In addition to the prison time, he was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and complete 10 years of supervised release. His guilty plea included other crimes, including conspiring to possibly murder someone he believed cooperated with authorities on a homicide investigation. And in 2008, Colon paid two couriers $40,000 to pick up meth from his uncle in Las Vegas and bring it to Philadelphia, but authorities intercepted the 1,793 grams of meth.

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