Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nation Business-Operation Pesadilla

Some 400 agents and officers fanned out early Wednesday into Little Village to arrest many of the 40 Latin Kings hit with federal or state charges. Among those charged in the operation were the "Supreme Regional Officer" as well as 32 "Incas" and "Casiques," top leaders in the gang's block-by-block organization. "We essentially eliminated their entire command and control structure," said Rob Grant, the FBI's leader in Chicago. Grant also noted that nicknames for some of those charged included "Lil' Psycho" and "Baby Trigger, these are not safe people."

Among those charged in the drug conspiracy case was Vicente Garcia, 30, of Bolingbrook, identified by authorities as the gang's No. 2 leader. Garcia, who succeeded Fernando "Ace" King as the gang's "Supreme Inca"after King was convicted in July in another federal prosecution Investigators methodically built a case as the wired informant made the rounds handing out drugs and collecting money from gang supervisors month after month. Investigators dubbed their work Operation Pesadilla, Spanish for nightmare.

The undercover recordings captured Garcia issuing a decree that each Inca in the 24 Latin Kings sections controlled by the Little Village region of the gang sell a quarter-ounce of cocaine twice a month to generate revenue for the "Nation Box," a kitty the gang used to pay for guns, drugs, funerals and legal fees, authorities said. The cooperating witness, identified only as "CW1," was among Garcia's closest confidants, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday. A member of the Latin Kings section at 30th Street and Sawyer Avenue since 1993, he was one of the gang's enforcers and was entrusted to hand out "Little Village Laws" to the gang's section leaders, or Incas.

"The gang's corporatelike structure is usually one of its strengths, today, it became a weakness" U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald told reporters.
source chicago tribune

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