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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois
John R. Lausch, Jr, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, May 20, 2022

Chicago Gang Member Sentenced to 35 Years in Federal Prison for Racketeering Offenses Including Murder

CHICAGO — A member of a violent Chicago street gang has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity that included the murder of a rival gang member.

LUIS CONTRERAS, 42, of Chicago, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering activity.  U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly imposed the prison sentence Thursday after a hearing in federal court in Chicago.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen De Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Angie Salazar, Special Agent-in-Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kavitha Babu.

Contreras admitted in a plea agreement that he was a member of the Latin Saints street gang, a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in drug dealing and violence, including murder and assault, to acquire and preserve the gang’s territory in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.  Contreras further admitted that on Feb. 18, 2018, he and other members of the Latin Saints fired multiple shots at rival gang members who were sitting in a vehicle in the 7700 block of South Kilbourn Avenue in Chicago’s Scottsdale neighborhood.  The shots killed Andre Franzell, 23, and wounded another individual.  Contreras admitted that the murder of Franzell was committed to further the purposes of the Latin Saints.

When Contreras was arrested at his home by federal law enforcement in October 2018, he was found in possession of two rifles and a handgun.


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