FL Hits Latin Kings Prison Gang, Many Living Outside Walls


Michael Lugo, the boss of bosses of Florida’s biggest prison gang worked out with a barbell and a punching bag every day on the back porch of his home, where butterfly wind chimes rang in the breeze, says the Orlando Sentinel. His arrest in May enabled law enforcement to conduct a sweep of the Latin Kings’ hierarchy Sunday, arresting 39 of the gang’s top members at a Tampa nightclub. Lugo’s nearly anonymous existence did not surprise investigators. Most gang leaders led quiet public lives with day jobs that had nothing to do with the violence and heroin dealing associated with the gang, investigators said. One of them worked as a bus driver.

“Older gang members realize that attracting attention to themselves is going to do nothing but attract law enforcement,” said Sgt. Ken Parker of the Orange County sheriff’s gang unit. “They get smarter as they get older.” Founded in the 1940s in Chicago, the Latin Kings are one of the oldest and best-disciplined criminal street gangs in the nation, the FBI says. It has 232 identified members in Orange County, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The Florida prison system estimated that it houses nearly 600 Latin King members. Said a spokeswoman: “Some of them don’t even know we know who they are.”

Link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orange/orl-mlatinkings2406aug24,0,4215327.story?coll=orl

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