For Immediate Release
Latin Dragon Nation Associate Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison Following Conviction for Racketeering
HAMMOND- Angelina Vilella, 21, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment following her guilty plea to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity as an associate of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. According to documents in the case, the Latin Dragons Nation is a criminal street gang that originated in Chicago and spread to other areas, including the Northern District of Indiana. Members and associates of the Latin Dragons Nation allegedly engage in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, witness tampering, and assault, to protect the gang’s territory. The Latin Dragon Nation members have been charged with crimes involving in excess of 50 victims, including 15 murder victims.
As part of her involvement in the Latin Dragons Nation, Vilella participated with gang members and associates in acts of violence and other criminal activity. In May 2017, Vilella caused stolen checks to be deposited into her account and the accounts of others. In June 2017, at the direction of a Latin Dragon Nation member, Vilella and another Latin Dragon associate provided a firearm previously used to commit a murder to another Latin Dragon Nation member, with the intention that he would dispose of the murder weapon. In this case, a total of 19 members and associates have been charged with racketeering conspiracy for their participation in Latin Dragon Nation activity. Of those, 14 defendants have pled guilty and 9 are awaiting sentencing.
This case is the result of the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Chicago Police Department Criminal Enterprise Unit; the Cook County Sheriff’s Office; the Bartlett Police Department; the Hammond Police Department; the East Chicago Police Department; the Merrillville Police Department; the Hobart Police Department; the Lake County Sheriff’s Department; and the Calumet City Police Department, with assistance from the Lake County, Indiana Prosecutor’s Office, the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, the Indiana Department of Corrections, and the Illinois Department of Corrections. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph A. Cooley, Kevin F. Wolff, Maria N. Lerner, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Toth.