Indiana members of Latin Kings gang convicted on charges related to teen’s fatal shooting
WASHINGTON– Two Indiana members of the Latin Kings gang were convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, including the murder of a 15-year-old boy.
Darrick Vallodolid aka Deuce, 28, of Hobart, Indiana and Robert Nieto aka Cowboy, 44, of Gary, Indiana were convicted after an 11-day jury trial. Charges also included conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, marijuana and alprazolam (Xanax).
On April 12, 2009, 15-year-old Victor Lusinski of Lansing, Illinois was riding his bike near a school in Hammond, Indiana when Vallododlid fatally shot him. Vallododlid thought he was a rival gang member, officials say.
On Dec. 2, 2013, Rolando Correa, 22, of Gary, Indiana was killed when trying to help his neighbors. The neighbors were victims of a home invasion robbery Nieto helped set up. Prosecutors say he listened to police radio traffic to help the robbers escape.
The jury found Vallodolid and Nieto planned to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana as part of the conspiracy.
“The defendants participated in unspeakable violence on behalf of their vicious Latin Kings gang, including the senseless murder of a 15-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle near an elementary school in Hammond,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. “These convictions further demonstrate the Department of Justice’s ongoing and unwavering commitment to attacking the scourge of gang violence on the streets of Chicago, Hammond, Gary, and throughout our country.”
Court documents in the case show more than 40 defendants have been charged in the case. Investigators say the criminal conspiracy ran from 2003 to Nov. 2017. Gang members allegedly participated in murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, sex trafficking and drug distribution.