16 arrested in 2-year probe of Latin Kings gang

Drug TraffickingJustice SystemCrime, Law and JusticeBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Federal and local officers arrested 16 people this week as part of a two-year investigation into drug-trafficking rings associated with the Latin Kings street gang.

One ring, led by Damian Rivera, 31, of Burbank, distributed or tried to distribute more than 12 pounds of heroin, collecting more than $171,000 in drug proceeds between March and June, prosecutors alleged in court documents this week.

Nine people, including Rivera, were arrested in that investigation this week, two remain fugitives, and one was already in custody, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Rivera's ring was to have received a 3,684-pound shipment of marijuana that U.S. Customs officers seized after it was found hidden in furniture on a tractor-trailer at the Mexican border in Laredo, Texas, prosecutors said.

The second ring, led by Alan “Ghost” Cisneros, 27, of Summit—who prosecutors say was the Midwest leader of the Almight Latin King Nation until his May arrest—distributed pounds of cocaine in the Chicago area, according to court documents. Seven people charged in the Cisneros-led ring were arrested this week, prosecutors and a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said today.

Among those allegedly in the Cisneros ring, three were arrested and charged with conspiring to rob what they thought was a drug stash house, prosecutors said. The supposed stash house was actually part of an undercover sting operation.

Federal and local law enforcement seized cash and 13 firearms in their sweep on Wednesday, prosecutors said. A total of 22 people were charged in federal criminal complaints filed Tuesday, and unsealed after Wednesday’s arrests. Another 17 people face state charges in related cases.

Those charged in the federal cases appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys, and all but one was ordered held pending detention hearings next week, prosecutors said.

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