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Latino Daily News

Sunday December 2, 2012

Member of Latin Kings, 2 Associates Sentenced for Racketeering Conspiracy in Indiana

Member of Latin Kings, 2 Associates Sentenced for Racketeering Conspiracy in Indiana

Photo: David Lira, aka "Flaco"

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A member of the Latin Kings street gang and two associates were sentenced to prison this week in Hammond, Indiana federal court for racketeering conspiracy and other crimes in support of the gang, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David Capp of the Northern District of Indiana.

David Lira, aka “Flaco,” 39, of Chicago, was sentenced today to 180 months in prison after pleading guilty on July 13, 2012, to racketeering conspiracy. Gang associates Bianca Fernandez, 23, and Serina Arambula, 23, both of Chicago, were sentenced on November 26, 2012, to 36 months and 21 months in prison, respectively. U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano imposed the sentences.

Fernandez pleaded guilty on August 8, 2012, to conspiring to murder in aid of racketeering. Arambula pleaded guilty on August 7, 2012, to withholding information on a murder.

According to the third superseding indictment filed in this case, the Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States. The Latin Kings is a well-organized street gang that has specific leadership and is composed of regions that include multiple chapters. The third superseding indictment charges that the Latin Kings were responsible for more than 20 murders.

During his guilty plea proceeding, Lira admitted to being a Latin Kings member at an early age. He also acknowledged he was aware that the Latin Kings, specifically some of his co-defendants, distributed more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana over the course of the racketeering conspiracy.

Lira also acknowledged that on February 24, 2007, Jose Zambrano, a regional enforcer for the gang, and other Latin Kings members dropped two firearms off at Lira’s residence in Lansing, Illinois. The next evening, Zambrano and the others returned to retrieve the weapons from Lira before riding to the Soprano’s Bar in Griffith, Indiana, where they gunned down and killed two rival gang members.

Twenty-three Latin Kings members and associates have been indicted in this case. Twenty have pleaded guilty; one was found guilty following a jury trial, one awaits trial, and one remains a fugitive.