Criminal Justice

Ex-Latin Kings Leader Gets 23-Year Prison Sentence

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November 8, 2013 — A federal judge in Hammond sentenced a 35-year-old Highland resident and former Latin Kings street gang leader to 23 years in prison yesterday, after he pleaded guilty to murder, racketeering and cocaine distribution charges.

Alexander Vargas testified in court about how he trafficked thousands of pounds of drugs and, as a leader of the local Latin Kings, ordered the killings of several people, including two rival gang leaders outside a Griffith restaurant in 2007. Vargas testified against fellow gang member Martin Anaya one year ago.  He talked about his time with the Latin Kings, including almost beating someone to death when he was 13.

Vargas said he worked his way up the ranks of the Latin Kings until he became a regional “inca,” or leader, over the south suburbs of Chicago and northwest Indiana.  He eventually moved to Indiana hoping to escape police attention but he admitted he was still involved in gang activities, including ordering the deaths of rival gang members as retaliation whenever one of his Latin Kings members was killed.

Vargas’ 23-year sentence is one year less than the one given to co-defendant Sisto Bernal, another top Latin Kings local leader, who did not plead guilty to murder.


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