Almost 30 members of Latin Kings gang behind bars
(1/12/07 - KTRK/HOUSTON) (KTRK) -- Two dozen gang members have pleaded guilty to crimes like murder, organized crime, drugs and use of stolen weapons. It's the result of a three year investigation by the Houston Police Department and a big blow to one of the most dangerous gangs in the country.
It took Houston police nearly three years to arrest the leaders of the Latin Kings here in Texas. It was a painstakingly complicated process for investigators from local, state and federal agencies."We have such a tremendous impact on the leadership, the very high levels of this gang and to a large extent dismantled this entire gang operation," said Executive Assistant Chief Mike Thaler of the Houston Police Department. Police say it was Victor Manuel Rivera's job to build a stronghold for his gang here in Texas. He was in charge of 4000 to 5000 members of the gang here. All were working to establish a covert route to run a steady supply of drugs to Chicago from Mexico. "They considered Texas a goldmine because of its proximity to the border," said Sgt. Glenn Smart of the Houston Police Department. Authorities say Rivera was the number one man in Texas for the Latin Kings. Upon his arrest, he told police he wanted out of the gang and handed over his home computer. On the hard drive police found a hierarchy of the Latin Kings, one which ultimately helped investigators crack this case. Word of the arrests is comforting to some on the southwest side where police say they see the greatest amount of gang activity. Some say more still needs to be done. "I think everyone can be worried about their children because it's dangerous," said resident Rosarba Reed. The 27 suspects faced a variety of charges ranging from murder to drug possession. Many have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
(Copyright © 2007, KTRK-TV)
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