WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (WCBS 880/AP) – Federal prosecutors have added murder charges to an indictment against reputed Latin King gang members and associates who allegedly terrorized Newburgh.
Defendants are accused of three killings since 2008 — including the death of a 15-year-old innocent bystander.
The updated indictment, unsealed Thursday in White Plains, also adds 15 new defendants for a total of 31. U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said 14 had been arrested and one was a fugitive.
WCBS 880′s Catherine Cioffi reports Bharara works to eliminate the Latin Kings gang.
In addition to murder, the defendants face various charges of racketeering, attempted murder, robbery and assault. All 31 are charged with a drug distribution conspiracy.
“They peddled virtually every type of narcotic in Newburgh they could get their hands on; you name it, they sold it,” Bharara said.
Bharara said the Latin Kings show no mercy. “They used brutal violence to protect their drug territory, to sell intimidation and fear including in rival gang members and to enforce discipline,” he said.
Bharara said the original charges filed in May against gang members had helped clean up Newburgh. He said the new charges show the crackdown is continuing.
“Violence and drug dealing on the streets of Newburgh remain intolerable we need to and we must put an end to discourage the cause itself — the Latin Kings,” Bharara said.
“Nothing we do in this office is more important than our efforts to ensure that mothers do not have to live in daily terror, that one of their boys will be the next gang casualty cut down either by an errant or intended bullet,” Bharara added.
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