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Friday, 26 September 2008

Armando Munoz, suspected Latin Kings gang member..

All four are at the Floyd County Jail. Munoz, Cruz-Aranda and Delgado-Ayala are accused of dealing cocaine. Funes-Maderas is accused of trafficking cocaine.
“It’s a significant arrest. They are significant traffickers,” Allen said. “But they’re one of many out there, unfortunately.”


One of the four men arrested in New Albany Tuesday, accused of dealing cocaine, is involved in the notorious gang Latin Kings, according to Michael Allen, resident agent in charge at Louisville’s DEA office.He said the other three are at least affiliated with the gang and possibly members too.Armando Munoz, 19, who lives in Columbus, Ind., is the suspected gang member. He is the only legal resident of the United States out of the four.Two of the illegal residents — Jose L. Cruz-Aranda, 23, and Julio C. Funes-Maderas, 27 — live in Clarksville, in the Hamlet Apartments. Funes-Maderas also has a home in Louisville, off Preston Highway, according to Allen.
The third, Jorge Delgado-Ayala, 30, lives in Columbus. He is of Mexican descent and the other two illegal residents are of Honduran descent, according to Allen.
Allen said Delgado-Ayala allegedly ran an autoshop business in Columbus as a front to sell drugs and has already served prison time for a prior felony conviction of trafficking marijuana.The four were arrested Tuesday afternoon on Spring Street when more than a dozen officers swarmed the area, to stop their cars.Allen said Funes-Maderas tried to flee on foot, only making it a few feet before being caught. The others were arrested without incident.He said 4.5 ounces of cocaine was found in the vehicles, which is worth about $15,000. Allen said this is a small amount compared to what he said he knows the group was dealing.“We’d rather get them in custody with what we have than wait and get them with more dope,” he said.Allen said this arrest shows the Latin Kings is starting to filter down to this area.Tod Burke, a criminal justice professor at Radford University, Va., is a former police officer and has done extensive research into gangs. He said the Latin Kings is one of the longest running, most organized crime groups around.He said the group started in some of the major cities back in the 1930s, but has been seen recently moving to the suburbs and more rural areas.Burke said all gangs can be dangerous, but the difference with the Latin Kings is that they have strict rules.“They have rules, regulations and codes that they follow,” he said. “We may not understand it, but they do. They don’t kill at random. A lot of times, they do it because they have been disrespected.
“If you disrespect them, whatever that means, they get revenge and a lot of times that’s not pretty.”Burke said they are also powerful in the correctional system.
“The gangs don’t disband because they’ve been arrested,” he said. “They form tighter groups and they also recruit in the prison setting because they have the extra time to do that.”Allen said this arrest is part of a bigger problem of people from Columbia and Peru getting cocaine into the United States through people in other countries, such as Mexico, who enter America illegally.He said this investigation was completed by the Louisville DEA, Indianapolis DEA, Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Department of Homeland Security/ICE.

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