Martin & Kent, L.L.C. Martin & Kent, L.L.C.

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Indictment of alleged Latin Kings gang members

Sixteen men were indicted in Illinois on 96 felony charges after a three-year investigation into alleged drug dealing. The indictment was unsealed on Aug. 12 after seven of the men were taken into custody in Aurora on Aug. 11. Seven of the men were already in custody before the search warrants were executed, and authorities are still seeking two of the men who were indicted for the felonies.

The U.S. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force conducted the investigation with assistance from confidential informants. All of the accused men are suspected of being members of the Latin Kings gang, and the confidential informants that worked on the investigation were all members of the Latin Kings gang. The operation was nicknamed Operation Tri-Lambs.

During the investigation, confidential informants were involved in controlled drugs and weapons purchases that were all documented with video and audio recordings. On Aug. 11, 90 officers that included special agents with the FBI and members of the Aurora Police Department spread out all over the city to execute arrest warrants. The whereabouts of a 29-year-old man and a 22-year-old man eluded the officers.

When prosecutors have evidence that links a defendant's drug activities to organized crime, the felony charges may be more severe. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help a defendant to argue that the alleged drug activities are not connected to any criminal organization. If successful, it could then become advisable to negotiate an agreement with the prosecutor that would include entering a plea of guilty to a lesser offense with a subsequent reduction in penalties.

Source: Kane County Chronicle, "North Aurora man, others charged in three-year gang investigation," Aug. 12, 2016

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