A former member of the Boston-based Devon Street Kings Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) was sentenced yesterday on racketeering and drug charges.
Steven Familia-Valdez, a/k/a “King Haze,” 27, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to one year in prison and three years of supervised release. The government recommended a sentence of two years in prison. On June 23, 2021, Familia-Valdez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base and to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
Named for its origin on Devon Street in Boston, the Devon Street Kings or D5K Chapter of the Latin Kings, included approximately a dozen members. The Devon Street Kings reported to the Massachusetts State Leadership of the Latin Kings, providing information, structure, funds and other resources to further the Latin Kings’ goals and directives in the state. Familia-Valdez admitted to conspiring with other gang members to further the operations of the Latin Kings, attending meetings of the Latin Kings and discussing crimes of violence and witness retaliation with his fellow gang members.
The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.
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. Familia-Valdez is the 39th 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. 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 of Mendell’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit 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.