Former Latin King lieutenant sentenced to 17 years in prison

Latin Kings Gang

Latin Kings Gang

By Jason Meisner Tribune reporter
1:40 p.m. CDT, June 23, 2014

A former lieutenant in the Latin Kings street gang whose cooperation with authorities helped bring down numerous top leaders in the gang’s West Side hierarchy was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison today.

The sentence was a significant break for Nedal Issa, a former Latin King “Inca” who has been in witness protection since his arrest eight years ago.

Issa, who at one time headed the gang’s Cicero faction, pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy and assault with a dangerous weapon. He later testified against four alleged Latin Kings — Augustin Zambrano, Vicente Garcia, Alphonso Chavez and Jose Guzman — who were eventually convicted of using violence to control a vast drug distribution network headquartered in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood on the West Side.

Dressed in a pinstripe shirt and wearing glasses, Issa’s voice broke today as he told U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle how his gang lifestyle has robbed his teenage sons of their father and that his cooperation with authorities has left his entire family in danger.

“I put my whole family at risk. The organization I was involved in, they go after witnesses,” Issa said. “Any one of us could get hurt.”

Issa’s plea agreement with prosecutors called for 214 months in prison — a significant drop from the 405 months he could have faced under federal sentencing guidelines. Norgle decided to drop the sentence even further to 200 months, citing the extent of Issa’s cooperation and his efforts to rehabilitate himself while in witness protection.

“This was a major accomplishment in terms of dealing with an organization that used violence and other unlawful means to control the activities in an area they regarded as their turf,” Norgle said.

Read more here:,0,1597975.story

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