Former leader of Latin Kings Department of Correction Chapter sentenced for racketeering conspiracy charges
BOSTON (USDOJ) – A former Leader of the Massachusetts Department of Correction Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) was sentenced on racketeering charges.
Frutuoso Barros, a/k/a “King Fruity,” 40, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 126 months in prison and three years of supervised release. On Feb. 17, 2021, Barros pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
In February 2020, Barros and other gang members conspired to murder two members of the Latin Kings active in the area of Lynn, Mass., who were believed to be “renegade” and not following directives issued by the gang’s national leadership in Chicago. In 2015, Barros was convicted in Essex County Superior Court for these crimes and sentenced to state prison. While he was substantively convicted in state court for those offenses, Barros committed these crimes in furtherance of the Latin Kings racketeering enterprise.
As detailed in court filings, the Latin Kings bring disputes and related gang violence into jails and prisons where members are incarcerated. Once in state prison, Barros’s membership in the Latin Kings continued and he took the position as Inca, or Leader, of the Latin Kings within the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MA DOC) system. In this role, Barros coordinated the operations of the Latin Kings inside MA DOC, including issuing directives of violence against individuals serving sentences and coordinating the violence that the gang committed inside of the MA DOC facilities. As part of his leadership role, Barros received information concerning the identities of those targeted for violence in the jails and prisons, locations of the targets and of incarcerated Latin Kings members, the standing of certain individuals with the gang and the status of disputes and alliances with other gangs both inside and outside of the prison system.
In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Barros is the 35th defendant to be sentenced in the case.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was also provided by the FBI North Shore Gang Task Force and the Bristol County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip A. Mallard and Lauren Graber of Mendell’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.