Jose Cartagena, a leader of the Springfield Latin Kings, was sentenced today to 20 months in prison and three years of supervised release for distributing heroin. The 38-year-old gang boss had pleaded guilty to the charges in May 2016.
Cartagena held the position of “Inca,” or chief, of the Springfield chapter of the Latin Kings gang at the time of his arrest on November 9, 2015. He admitted to distributing 300 bags of heroin in Springfield on July 31, 2015.
His conviction puts a successful exclamation point on an investigation that began in October of 2014 and was aimed at disrupting and dismantling the Latin Kings’ criminal activity in Springfield and Holyoke.
According to court documents, members and associates of the Latin Kings were engaged in the distribution of narcotics, particularly heroin. Furthermore, disputes with rival gangs over criminal activity and drug turf were on the rise and resulted in serious crimes of violence, including armed assaults with firearms and murder.
In all, twelve alleged Latin Kings members were arrested in connection with drug and firearms offenses in November 2015.
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