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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

February 15, 2011

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contact:Vickie LeDuc or Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4885

Latin Kings Leader Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for a Racketeering Conspiracy Related to His Gang Activities

Founder of the Royal Lion Tribe in Maryland

Greenbelt, Maryland — U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams sentenced Erick Roman, a/k/a Erick Javier Sierra, Malian-T and King Malian-T, age 34, of Laurel, Maryland, late yesterday to 60 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, in connection with his gang activities as a member and leader of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings).

The sentence 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; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop 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; Interim Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, The strategy of combining the resources and intelligence of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to pursue federal racketeering charges against criminal gangs is proving effective in removing violent offenders from the streets and making our neighborhoods more safe.

As the founder and leader of a Latin Kings tribe in Maryland, Mr. Roman orchestrated a series of violent crimes, including a murder, firebombings and robberies, said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. As this case shows, the Justice Department is committed to working with state and local law enforcement to target the leadership of local gangs and make our communities safer.

ATF did not relent in our pursuit to eradicate the founding leadership of the Maryland Latin Kings, said ATFSpecial Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. Our solid investigation brought down the man who was directing these malignant acts of violence.

According to court documents and statements made at yesterday’s hearing, 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, the Royal Lion Tribe, MOG, Sun Tribe and UTL.

Prosecutors advised the court that Roman brought the Latin Kings to Maryland and founded the Royal Lion Tribe. He served as the Inca of the tribe, and in that capacity sanctioned or ordered numerous violent acts, including a home invasion robbery of a drug dealer at the Marylander Condominiums in Langley Park, Maryland, the robbery of a prostitute at a motel in Laurel, Maryland, the firebombing of an apartment on July 24, 2007, the firebombing of a house on January 8, 2008, and the murder of John Realpe-Montoya on April 25, 2008.

Eight co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy. Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Breuer thanked the ATF–led RAGE Task Force, including the Gaithersburg Police Department; the Montgomery County Police Department; Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office; Prince George’s County Police Department; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office; the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland National Capital Park Police - Prince George’s County Division; and the Maryland State Police; as well as, the New York Police Department; the U.S. Secret Service, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, 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.