Defendant admitted to participating in a June 2019 shooting
BOSTON – A former member of the Boston-based Devon Street Kings Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (“Latin Kings”) pleaded guilty today to racketeering charges. The defendant admitted to shooting in the direction of another Latin Kings member in June 2019.
Juan Figueroa, a/k/a “King Pun,” 25, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Dec. 9, 2020. Figueroa was arrested and charged in December 2019, at which time he was a member of the Devon Street Kings, a Boston-based Chapter of the Latin Kings, and had formerly been a member of the New Bedford Chapter.
The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.
Figueroa admitted to participating in a June 2019 shooting in which he shot in the direction of a Latin Kings member who was in bad standing with the gang. Figueroa further admitted to creating numerous songs and accompanying music videos that served as compelling propaganda for the gang. Producing music under the name, “The Almighty King Pun,” Figueroa’s songs and music videos depicted the gang members brandishing firearms, boasting about their proclivity for violence and describing the scope of their successful drug distribution operations. The music videos featured groups of Latin Kings members wearing gang colors, clothing and symbols, and throwing up gang signs. The lyrics of these music videos taunted and threatened rival gang members.
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. Figueroa is the twelfth defendant to plead guilty in the case.
The RICO conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; Boston Police Commissioner William Gross; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro made the announcement today. Valuable 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. Attorney Philip A. Mallard and Mark Grady 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 (OCDETF), 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. More information on the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.