Congressman directed $290k for convicted drug dealers’ ‘King of Kings’ anti-gang nonprofit

BY Benjamin Lesser and Greg B. Smith (NY Daily News)
Tuesday, February 16th 2010, 4:00 AM

A controversial Queens congressman has steered $290,000 in taxpayer money to two convicted drug dealers for their nonprofit group – which has virtually no assets.

Rep. Gregory Meeks has sponsored – and Congress has appropriated – the money to brothers Lance and Todd Feurtado for their King of Kings Foundation to warn kids of the dangers of drugs.

The brothers also have the support of Meeks’ mentor, the Rev. Floyd Flake, and another Flake protege, state Senate President Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), who steered them an additional $25,000.

Lance Feurtado says the money would pay for 150, 45-minute anti-drug, anti-gang presentations the brothers give at libraries and community centers. That’s about $2,000 a talk.

The brothers have not gotten the congressional money yet because the Justice Department would have to approve it as part of an anti-gang initiative. Ironically, the brothers made a video that criticizes the department, claiming the feds used illegal tactics to bring them down.

Flake and Smith appear in the trailer praising the transformation of the Feurtados and touting a self-made DVD about their life, also called “King of Kings.”

On the DVD trailer, Smith says of the Feurtados: “So many people’s lives have been impacted by them, some in negative ways but now in very positive ways.”

Smith sponsored the $25,000 state taxpayer grant for King of Kings in fiscal 2008. That money also is pending.

Flake has praised the brothers and urged viewers to buy the DVD. Flake is an investor in a group picked to run slot machines at Aqueduct. The feds have subpoenaed records related to the group in an active probe. Meeks and Smith have ties to another nonprofit under investigation.

The DVD is given out at the Feurtado brothers’ talks in the community.

“We tour through libraries, recreation centers,” Lance Feurtado said in an interview. “We reach out to the youth to educate them about the dangers of becoming involved in drugs and guns. We do 45 minutes, one hour … [and] address a lot of history.”

That history dates to the 1980s, when drugs destroyed thousands of lives in southeast Queens. At the time, the Feurtados ran a drug ring which, they say, supplied or “influenced” hoods like Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff, Lorenzo (Fat Cat) Nichols and Pappy Mason, who ordered the murder of NYPD cop Edward Byrne. The brothers were not accused in the hit.

The drug gang trafficked in pot, speed and cocaine in 23 states before it was busted in 1995.

Lance and Todd Feurtado and their brother Anthony were convicted on federal drug charges. Their terms ranged from seven to 15 years.

Todd was released in 2002, and Lance in 2004. Within a year, Lance formed a for-profit entertainment company called Executive Star Productions and produced the documentary.

The DVD has a hip-hop soundtrack that includes 50 Cent and R. Kelly, and interviews with superstar rapper Jay-Z and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. The brothers’ promotional material describes them as “legendary drug kingpins” and promises “real-life drama on the street.”

In September 2006, the brothers went nonprofit, incorporating the King of Kings Foundation “to combat gangs, drugs and gun activity” in Queens.

In 2006 and 2007, King of Kings reported no assets on taxforms. In 2008, it claimed assets of $8,800. The group operates out of Lance Feurtado’s 161st St., South Jamaica, apartment.

Despite meager assets, the group claimed in 2007 tax forms to have taken its anti-gang message “to over 1,000 youth and young adults” in Queens.

In an interview, Meeks said he sponsored the money because he was impressed with the Feurtado brothers, whom he met in 2007.

“The money’s going for recidivism prevention, going into schools, handling workshops,” Meeks said. “It’s about meeting with young boys, dealing primarily in schools and workshops with individuals who may have been in trouble with the law or those who are headed in that direction.”

Lance Feurtado said Smith contacted the brothers about funding the group. “Our name was kind of circulating a lot because of the things we’ve been doing for free – visiting the schoolyards to the prison yards,” he said. “He heard what we were doing and came to us.”

Order ‘King of Kings’ from

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1 Comment for “Congressman directed $290k for convicted drug dealers’ ‘King of Kings’ anti-gang nonprofit”

  1. […] Congressman directed $290k for convicted drug dealers’ ‘King of Kings’ anti-gang n… BY Benjamin Lesser and Greg B. Smith (NY Daily News)… […]

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