Criminal Justice

Highland Man Gets 22-year Jail Term in Gang Case

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November 8, 2013 — The United States Attorney’s Office in Hammond says another court conviction in a large gang activity enforcement action is sending a Highland man to federal prison.

U.S. Attorney David Capp’s office says 36-year-old Alexander Vargas has a 276-months jail term (22 years, 8 months) and 5 years of supervised release for several federal criminal charges.

Its records show that Vargas pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in aid of racketeering and two counts of murder resulting from the use of a firearm in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking, along with conspiracy to commit racketeering activity and to narcotics conspiracy.

The federal government’s indictment in the case involves criminal gang activity and describes the Latin Kings as a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States, including to Texas. It says, “The Latin Kings is a well-organized street gang that has specific leadership and is comprised of regions that include multiple chapters.  The indictments filed in these cases allege that the Latin Kings gang was responsible for at least 19 murders in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area and Big Spring, Texas.”

Capp’s office says this case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center; the National Gang Intelligence Center; the Chicago Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Griffith Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the Highland Police Department; and the Houston Police Department, with the investigation of the Chicago Police Department officers was conducted by Chicago City Public Corruption Task Force, a Chicago Police Department- Internal Affairs and FBI – Chicago law enforcement initiative.


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