Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

36 S. Charles Street
Fourth Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2692

(410) 209-4800

TTY/TDD: (410) 962-4462

For Immediate Release

June 9, 2010

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contacts: AUSA Vickie E. LeDuc

Marcia Murphy

(410) 209-4885

(410) 962-3091 (fax)

Latin Kings Leader Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

Greenbelt, Maryland — Andres Echevarria, a/k/a B-Boy and King B-Boy, age 23, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, in connection with his gang activities as a member of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings).

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A Breuer, of the Department of Justice Criminal Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge Joseph Riehl of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy; Chief Roberto L. Hylton of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey; and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

This disturbing case demonstrates that gang membership leads to both organized criminal schemes and senseless acts of violence, said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. The ATF-led RAGE task force has proven its value in pursuing violent gangs.

According to Echevarria’s plea agreement, the Latin Kings, is a violent street gang with thousands of members across the country and overseas. The Latin Kings have a detailed and uniform organizational structure, which is outlined — along with various prayers, codes of behavior, and rituals — in a written manifesto widely distributed to members throughout the country. Members of the Latin Kings are also traditionally given King Names or Queen Names, which are names other than their legal names, by which they are known to members of the gang and to others on the street. At the local level, groups of Latin Kings are organized into tribes, including, but not limited to, the Royal Lion Tribe, MOG, Sun Tribe and UTL.

According to the plea agreement, in the spring of 2008, Echevarria became a member of the Tiger tribe in Brooklyn, New York, and later became a member of the Murda Maya tribe also in Brooklyn, the MOG tribe in Maryland, and the TBF tribe in Brooklyn. Echevarria attended Latin King meetings in New York and Maryland, where dues were collected from members and gang business was discussed. According to the statement of facts in the plea agreement, Echevarria also communicated with Latin King members about the gang’s activities over the internet and by telephone. Echevarria admitted that he held leadership positions in the Latin Kings, including the Third Crown/enforcer position for the MOG tribe in the fall of 2008, and for the Murda Maya tribe at the end of the summer of 2009.

Echevarria admitted that as part of his gang activities, he attempted to murder an individual in Wheaton, Maryland on November 1, 2008, after the individual made a disparaging remark about the Latin Kings while attending a party at which many Latin King members and associates were present. According to the plea agreement, Echevarria, along with other Latin King members, threatened to kill the individual, chased and beat the individual, and Echevarria stabbed the individual with a two-pronged tool. In addition, on May 23, 2009, Echevarria and other Latin King members got into an argument with members of a rival gang in Brooklyn, New York. According to the statement of facts, Echevarria fired a gun at one of the rival gang members. The bullet missed the rival gang member, traveled some distance and hit another person, penetrating the person’s clothes and causing an abrasion on the person’s back.

According to the statement of facts, during the summer of 2009, Echevarria and other gang members planned to rob a federal firearms licensee (FFL) in Frederick, Maryland, after learning that the FFL was receiving a large quantity of firearms. Echevarria and the other gang members planned to steal the guns and sell them for a profit. According to the statement of facts, as they were preparing to rob the FFL, they saw a significant number of military personnel near the FFL and abandoned the mission. Also according to the statement of facts, in the summer of 2009, Echevarria and other Latin King members carried out the armed robbery of a drug dealer in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, during which Echevarria pointed a gun at the drug dealer’s head.

Echevarria faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for September 2, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. Echevarria remains detained.

Co-defendant Miguel Cruz, a/k/a Skibee and King Skibee, age 45, of Bronx, New York, one of the founders of the Maryland tribe of the Latin Kings, pleaded guilty on June 3, 2010 to the racketeering conspiracy in connection with his gang activities and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 16, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. Cruz remains in federal custody.

Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Breuer thanked the Gaithersburg Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland National Capital Park Police – Prince George’s County Division, the Maryland State Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Emily Glatfelter and David Salem, and Lara M. Peirce, a Trial Attorney with the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit, who are prosecuting the case.