SPRINGFIELD >> Federal authorities say they have charged a dozen members of the western Massachusetts chapter of a violent gang with gun and drug offenses.

The 12 members of the Latin Kings gang include the local "enforcer" and the "inca" or head of the gang's Springfield chapter.

Prosecutors say the Latin Kings "regularly utilize violence, including homicide and armed assault, in support of drug trafficking activities."

The men facing charges all live in Springfield, Holyoke or Chicopee. The arrests this week were the result of a yearlong investigation.

The Oct. 22 indictments against the men were unsealed in federal court Monday.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Harold Shaw says the arrests "have significantly disrupted one of the most powerful and brutal gangs in western Massachusetts."