Photo Courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of NY
“Acts such as this endanger the public and wreak havoc on the neighborhoods where gangs have entrenched themselves,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Strauss said.
A reputed member of the Latin Kings has been indicted for his role in a May 2017 murder, federal prosecutors recently announced.
Borough resident Jonathan Garcia, 27, is charged with (1) conspiracy to commit racketeering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1962(d) and 1963, which carries a maximum term of life in prison; (2) murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1959(a)(1) and 2, which carries a mandatory term of life in prison or death; (3) murder through the use of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(j)(1) and 2, which carries a maximum term of life in prison or death; (4) narcotics conspiracy, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and 841 (b)(1)(A), which carries a maximum term of life in prison and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison; and (5) use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A) and 2, which carries a maximum term of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other term of in prison.
As alleged in the five-count superseding indictment unsealed earlier this month, Garcia is a member of a racketeering enterprise known as the Latin Kings, and specifically, the set or “tribe” of the Latin Kings known as the Black Mob, which operates in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. In order to enrich the enterprise, protect and expand its criminal operations, enforce discipline among its members, and retaliate against members of rival gangs, members and associates of the Black Mob committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and crack; committed robberies; and obtained, possessed, and used firearms. In December 2019 and April 2021, several members and associates of the Black Mob, including its senior-most leaders, were charged with racketeering offenses, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses.
Since at least in or around 2012, Garcia has been a member of the Latin Kings. On or about May 18, 2017, Garcia shot and killed Joshua Flores. The murder elevated Garcia’s status within the Latin Kings, including the Black Mob.
“Latin Kings, like other gangs, solve disputes with intimidation and violence, as Jonathan Garcia allegedly did when he shot and killed Joshua Flores in 2017,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. “Acts such as this endanger the public and wreak havoc on the neighborhoods where gangs have entrenched themselves.”
FBI New York Assistant Director Michael Driscoll added, “Violent street gang like the Latin Kings use brutal tactics in their pursuit of illegal drugs and firearms, terrorizing all those who stand in their way. Basing status within the gang on a member’s violent acts is a stark illustration of their utter lack of respect for human life. For his alleged acts of violence, Mr. Garcia now faces a possible lifetime in federal prison.”