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Ex-Chicago cop among 3 sentenced in Latin Kings prosecutions

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The continuing federal prosecutions of the Latin Kings street gang that federal authorities have implicated in 19 murders resulted in a 19-year sentence for a former Chicago police officer.

Ex-Chicago officer Alex Guerrero, 41, will serve the sentence after he pleaded guilty in August to charges of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, interference with commerce by threats or violence, and use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking.  

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana David Capp and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer announced the sentence in a statement on Friday. Also sentenced with Guerrero were Brandon Clay, 25, of Chicago; and Antonio Gudino, 31, of Hammond, both of whom pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in July.

U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano in the Northern District of Indiana on Friday sentenced Clay to 30 years in prison and Gudino to 14 years and five months in prison.

According to the third superseding indictment in the case, the Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago and has branched out throughout the United States with specific leadership and multiple chapters in many regions. Authorities say the Latin Kings are responsible for at least 19 murders, including juveniles and one pregnant woman, in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area and in Big Spring, Texas. Twenty-three Latin Kings members and associates have been indicted in this case; 20 have pleaded guilty.

Guerrero, the former Chicago officer, admitted to being associated with the Latin Kings, and Gudino and Clay admitted to being Latin King members from an early age.

In addition to admitting gang and drug activities, Guerrero also admitted he took part in robberies at the direction of Latin Kings leader and co-conspirator Sisto Bernal, the statement said. Guerrero acknowledged that in approximately December 2006, he entered the Hammond residence of rival gang member James Walsh. Guerrero and his police partner and co-defendant Antonio Martinez physically restrained Walsh and others while the home was searched and robbed.  
Bernal and Martinez previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the racketeering and robbery conspiracies.

Clay acknowledged that on Feb. 25, 2007, he and with four co-defendants rode on a “mission” from Illinois to Griffith, Ind.  While armed with three firearms, they were ordered to shoot to kill rival gang members Walsh and Gonzalo Diaz. As the rival gang members left a party, Clay and several Latin Kings members rode up in a vehicle, and Clay and another defendant got out of the vehicle and shot and killed the two, authorities said.

Clay and two other defendants also are accused of driving to a rival gang neighborhood and causing the shooting death of Christiana Campos, a member of a rival gang.

The case is being investigated by the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; ICE Homeland Security investigations; the National Gang Intelligence Center; and police departments in Chicago, Houston, East Chicago, Griffith, Hammond, and Highland. The case is being prosecuted by Joseph A. Cooley of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and David J. Nozick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Porter of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois provided significant assistance.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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