3 Newburgh slayings earn Latin King 40 years in prison
By Leonard Sparks
Published: 2:00 AM - 09/25/13
WHITE PLAINS undefined A City of Newburgh man who admitted being involved in three murders as a member of the Latin Kings received a 40-year prison sentence in federal court on Tuesday.
Jose "King Gordo" Lagos, 23, was one of a trio indicted on charges they were high-ranking Latin Kings who controlled the crack and heroin trade in Newburgh's East End and used violence, including murder, to punish rival gangsters and their own members.
The sentence by U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel came eight months after Lagos pleaded guilty to being involved in the mistaken killing of 15-year-old Jeffrey Zachary in May 2008 and the killings of John "Tarzan" Maldonado and Jerome "Rude Boy" Scarlett in March 2010.
"With this sentencing, and the pending sentencing of Lagos's two key accomplices, the leadership of the gang that deprived the citizens of Newburgh of their well-being has been decapitated," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Gordo, Wilson "King Gunz" Pagan and Christian "King Chi Chi" Sanchez were among more than 100 alleged Latin King and Bloods gang members arrested in a series of raids by the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force beginning in May 2010.
A 42-count indictment named the three as leaders of a Newburgh Latin Kings chapter that controlled drug dealing in the East End from at least 2007 to September 2012.
The gang peddled crack and powder cocaine, heroin and marijuana from drug markets in the areas of Benkard Avenue and William Street; Broadway between South Miller and Lutheran streets; Washington and Clark streets; and Dubois and First streets, prosecutors alleged.
Violence reinforced the gang's power, prosecutors said. Its leadership ordered hits on members of its own gang and rival gangs, attempted to rob a drug dealer in New Windsor and threatened informants, according to the indictment.
Zachary was killed on May 6, 2008, on Dubois Street, mistaken for a rival Bloods member the Latin Kings had allegedly ordered shot.
Scarlett was murdered on March 11, 2010, allegedly by Maldonado as the two were supposed to be carrying out a hit for the Latin Kings in the area of Farrington and Lander streets. Maldonado was killed the next day on the orders of gang leadership, prosecutors said.
In March, a federal grand jury found Pagan and Sanchez guilty of drug, murder and racketeering charges, with Pagan convicted of being involved in Zachary's killing and Sanchez found guilty in the murders of Maldonado and Scarlett.
Both face mandatory life terms when they are sentenced later this year.