Springfield Latin Kings head admits to federal drug charge

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SPRINGFIELD, MASS. >> Officials say the leader of the Latin Kings street gang's Springfield chapter has admitted to federal drug distribution charges in western Massachusetts.

The Springfield Republican reports 38-year-old Jose "King Black" Cartagena pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to heroin distribution charges stemming from his October arrest.

Cartagena was arrested after a former Latin King cooperated with government officials in making controlled purchases of drugs and firearms from high-ranking gang members. He was brought in along with several other suspected gang members following a year-long investigation by the FBI's Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force.

FBI Special Agent Mark Karangekis says Cartagena is the Springfield Latin Kings chapter's "Inca," or chief gangster.

Cartagena will be sentenced on Aug. 3. He faces a sentence of 10 to 16 months in federal prison.

Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/


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