Ex-Latin Kings leader gets 20 months for heroin distribution

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SPRINGFIELD, MASS. >> The reported former head of the Springfield chapter of the Latin Kings street gang has been sentenced to serve a little over a year and a half in prison for heroin distribution.

Thirty-eight-year-old Jose "King Black" Cartagena was sentenced to serve 20 months in prison Tuesday in Springfield federal court.

Cartagena pleaded guilty in May after he was granted a new trial following the state crime lab's drug evidence tampering scandal.

Federal prosecutors say investigators launched an initiative two years ago to "disrupt and dismantle" the Latin Kings' drug empire in Springfield in Holyoke. As a result of the investigation, Cartagena and 11 fellow Latin Kings were arrested in November 2015.

Cartagena's attorneys say their client wasn't an active member of the gang at the time of the heroin sale.


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