Feds and numerousTexas law enforcement agencies executed warrants and arrested a vast majority of the Latin Kings gang members in Austin, San Antonio and Uvalde.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
October 18, 2015
Austin, Texas – On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas in a press release announced that on Wednesday federal, state and local law enforcement agencies executed warrants and arrested a vast number of the Almighty Latin King Nation gang members and associates on federal indictments for racketeering and drug distribution in Austin, San Antonio and Uvalde. The suspects taken into custody according to the press release were identified as Pete Perez, 36, the Texas-Central Region “Inca,” or leader, of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings), and 60 of his fellow members and associates are in custody facing federal and/or state charges for their roles in a racketeering and drug distribution scheme in the Austin, San Antonio and Uvalde areas.
As a result of this investigation, federal grand juries sitting in Del Rio and San Antonio have indicted 37 individuals. A state grand jury sitting in Uvalde County has indicted 28 individuals. Of those charged, 46 were arrested on Wednesday, 15 were arrested prior to Wednesday and four individuals, Deanna Martinez, Andrew Hernandez, 32, Ian Jon Gernandt, 41, and Matthew James Eldred, 35, remain as fugitives and are being sought by feds.
That announcement on Thursday was made by United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.; Uvalde County/38th Judicial District Attorney Daniel J. Kindred; Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson, Homeland Security Investigations in San Antonio; Christopher Combs, Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Antonio; Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Drug Enforcement Administration in Houston; Director Steven McCraw, Texas Department of Public Safety; and, Uvalde Police Chief Eric Herrera during a press conference.
According to the federal grand jury indictments, the defendants have operated a criminal enterprise in Central Texas since 2005. Under the leadership of Texas-Central Region “Inca” Pete Perez in Austin, San Antonio Chapter “Inca” Joe Pierce, 32, and Uvalde Chapter “Incas” James Long, 40, and Jacob Mariscal, 31, they have conspired to carry out unlawful acts including attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, robbery, various firearms offenses and drug distribution involving marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. The Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) indictment alleges that ten attempted murders, approximately ten assaults and various other acts of violence were committed as a result of a prospect initiation, leaking of sensitive information to a non-Latin King member, breaking an organizational rule, retaliation against rival gang members, and for unpaid drug distribution debts.
Upon conviction of charges, the defendants are facing up to life in a federal prison.
This case resulted from an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Uvalde Police Department. Agencies assisting with today’s arrests include the United States Marshals Service, Lonestar Fugitive Task Force, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air & Marine Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, Sabinal Police Department, Austin Police Department and San Antonio Police Department, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Texas.