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Saturday, 4 April 2009

Fernando King, 38, "Supreme Inca," the No. 2 leader of the Latin Kings street gang, sentenced to the minimum 20 years in prison for drug conspiracy.

Fernando King, 38, "Supreme Inca," the No. 2 leader of the Latin Kings street gang, to the minimum 20 years in prison for drug conspiracy.While acknowledging Fernando King, 38, was the leader of a gang responsible for narcotics trafficking and murder, U.S. District Judge David Coar said King could be sentenced only for the crimes for which he was convicted and not the broader destruction caused by the gang.Prosecutors sought 45 years in prison for King for offering to protect the drug trafficking operation of Jesse Guajardo, another high-ranking Latin King. King didn't realize Guajardo was secretly working with the government and recording face-to-face meetings.The audio recordings also captured King ordering gang members to beat a fellow member for violating gang rules, bragging about the Latin Kings' influence nationwide and exhorting members to use violence to protect their turf."The Latin Kings are precisely what's wrong with this city," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Andrew Porter. "It hurts people. It kills people. It makes law-abiding people afraid to go out of their homes."Porter said King was directly responsible for the "mayhem" wrought by the Latin Kings and asked Coar to give King the maximum sentence to "send a message loud and clear that this has to stop."But King's lawyer, Joseph Lopez, said gangs have been a part of Chicago for more than a century and locking up his client for longer than 20 years would do nothing to change that."Whatever you do today is not going to stop gang life in Chicago," Lopez said. King gave a rambling statement, telling the judge that he was not a "monster" and would give up the gang life and work for community peace if given the chance. "I am a very positive person," King said.
King alleged that prosecutors offered him a sentence of about 9 years in prison if he helped nab Augustin Zambrano, the Latin Kings' reputed No. 1 leader. King said he refused the deal. After announcing the sentence, Coar said he would recommend to federal prison authorities that King be sent to a prison closer to Chicago so his ailing mother could visit him."I appreciate that," responded King before standing up and blowing a kiss to his mother and other relatives as he was led from the courtroom.


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