Cop among 15 alleged gang members charged with murder

November 18, 2011 8:06:34 PM PST
Federal authorities have indicted 15 alleged gang members for a string of murders and violent crimes that stretched from Illinois and Indiana to Texas and Mexico. One current and one former Chicago police officer are among those indicted.

Authorities say the gang members are responsible for 19 murders.

Retired officer Antonio C. Martinez Jr., and Officer Alex Guerrero, who was on duty when arrested, both of the Far Southeast Side, are alleged to have helped them steal money, drugs and run a criminal enterprise

"It's unspeakable and it's something we cannot tolerate and reminds us that we need to redouble our efforts to ensure the integrity of all of our officers," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

U.S. attorney for northern Indiana David Capp unveiled indictments Friday from a grand jury that allege 15 members or associates of the Latin Kings conspired to run drug and weapons rackets and killed at least 19 people in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area and Big Spring, Texas. The Chicago officers allegedly made fake traffic stops of gang rivals, and stole money and drugs from them. In one incident they pulled over James Walsh of the rival Latin Dragons, who at this bar two months later was killed by the Latin Kings indicted.

"You add the knowledge that there's corrupt police officers also involved, it just compounds it exponentially, in my opinion," said Capp.

Surrounded by regional law enforcement and justice officials, including Washington's top anti-gang bureaucrat, the U.S. attorney promised to reel in gang activity in the region where he says the Latin Kings distribute more than 150 kg of cocaine and 1,000 kg of marijuana annually.

"This, in my opinion, is a significant dent to the Latin Kings' operation in Chicago and northwest Indiana. A number of these arrests are principal leaders and organizers of that organization," said Capp.

"Maintaining the public trust and the legitimacy of police is paramount to the future of policing," said McCarthy.

McCarthy says Chicago Police Internal Affairs has a big investigation going on. But after six months on the job he would not say if he is worried the actions of these two members of the police family indicate corruption is more widespread.


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