Haverhill Man, Former Leader—or ‘Inca’—of ‘Latin Kings’ Gang, Among 60 Arrested in Fed Sweep

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

A Haverhill man was arrested by a federally led statewide sweep Thursday that netted 60 gang members involved with the “Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation”—or “Latin Kings,” for short.

The group included Juan Liberato, known as “King Prodigy,” of Haverhill. He was identified as a former leader—or “Inca”—of the Massachusetts region. Liberato is among those facing federal charges after more than 500 local, state and federal officers arrested dozens of Latin Kings leaders, members and associates and executed 31 search warrants at 24 locations.

A four-year investigation assembled evidence the Latin Kings trafficked drugs, conspired to murder more than 10 victims and committed violent crimes including numerous incidents of robbery, shootings, stabbings and witness intimidation.

The gang allegedly uses drug distribution to generate revenue and aims, in the words of officials, to “protect its turf from rival gangs. This has fostered a culture of institutional violence and secrecy. Those arrested face charges of drug dealing—including cocaine and fentanyl, racketeering and felons in possession of firearms and ammunition.

According to court documents, the Eastern Region of the Latin Kings encompasses local chapters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and various other states along the eastern seaboard from Maryland to Florida. There are 11 active Latin Kings chapters in Massachusetts, named D5K and Morton Street Bricks, both of Boston; New Bedford; Springfield; Lynn/Salem; Chelsea; Lowell; Lawrence; Worcester; Fitchburg and within the Department of Corrections.

Criminal activity in the Eastern Region is led by Michael Cecchetelli, also known as, “King Merlin,” 40, of Springfield, who holds the title of supreme east coast regional overseer. Cecchetelli is alleged to be the conduit between each of the Eastern Region states and the Latin Kings national leadership in Chicago. He developed a leadership approach to the gang which has become a model for other Latin Kings regions of the country.

Those arrested are:

Defendant Role
1 Michael Cecchetelli, King Merlin


East Coast Team,

East Coast Overseer

2 Esther Ortiz, Queen India

Meriden, CT

East Coast Team,

East Coast Crown Council Chairwoman

3 Hector Manuel Vega, King Demon

Britian, CT

East Coast Team,

Crown Council Member, CT

4 Jorge Rodriguez, King G State Team, Cacique

Enforcer (Former)

5 Michael Marrero, King Clumsy State Team, Enforcer

Regional Officer (Former)

6 Francisco Lopez, King Cisco

Chelsea, Mass.

State Team, Treasurer/Secretary
7 Gregory Peguero-Colon, King Trece

Springfield, Mass.

State Team,

Crown Council Chairman

8 Juan Liberato, King Prodigy

Haverhill, Mass.

State Team, Inca (Former)
9 Angel Roldan, King Big-A and Nelty

Lowell, Mass.

State Team, Cacique (Former)

Enforcer (Former)

10 Frutuoso Barros, King Fruity DOC, Supreme Regional Officer
11 Sandra Correa, Queen Dream

Peabody, Mass.

DOC, Secretary (Former)
12 Shaun Harrison Rev DOC, Member
13 Vincent Dzierwinski, King Vice DOC, Member
14 Wilson Peguero, King Dubb

Dorchester, Mass.

D5K, Inca
15 Alexis Peguero, King Lexi/Looney

Dorchester, Mass.

D5K, Cacique
16 Matthew Palacios, King Nene D5K, Enforcer
17 Steven Familia-Valdez, King Haze

Mattapan, Mass.

D5K, Member
18 Dante Lara, King Nasty

Providence, RI

D5K, Member
19 Robert Lara,  King Rizz

Chelsea, Mass.

D5K, Member
20 Angel Abymael Ortiz, King Abby

Randolph, Mass.

D5K, Member
21 Angel Rodriguez, King Ace

Dorchester, Mass.

D5K, Member

Crown Council Chairman for Boston

22 Alexis Velasquez, King Booboo

Dorchester, Mass.

MSB, Inca
23 Angel Calderon, King Bam MSB,

(Former) State Team Head of Security

24 Oscar Pena, King O-Block D5K, Member
25 Jose Rodriguez, King Stutter

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Inca
26 Orlando Santiago-Torres, King Landi New Bedford, Cacique
27 Robert Avitabile a/k/a Bobby New Bedford, Associate
28 Taliyah Barboza, Queen Taliyah

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Member
29 Josue Carrasquillo, King Playboy

Springfield, Mass.

New Bedford, Member
30 Michael Cotto, King Gordo

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, (Former) Regional Officer
31 Juan Figueroa, King Pun

Dorchester, Mass.

New Bedford, Member
32 Issac Felix-Rivera, King Izzy New Bedford, Member
33 Kevin Guadalupe, King Milly

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Member
34 Shelton Johnson, King Shells

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Member
35 Tyson Jorge, King Music New Bedford, Member
36 Emanuel Lopez-Velez, King Manny New Bedford, Probationary Member
37 Luis Mendez, King Primo New Bedford, Member, Incarcerated
38 Raekwan Paris, King D-Bo New Bedford, Member
39 Jayco Reyes-Smith, King Javy Former New Bedford Member, now in North Carolina
40 Luis Santiago, King Tiny New Bedford, Member, Incarcerated
41 Roberto Vargas, King Royalty New Bedford, Member
42 Jose Vasquez, King Fearless New Bedford, Member
43 Natanel Velazquez, King Nael

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Member
44 Israel Rodriguez, King Imperial

Lynn, Mass.

North Shore, Inca
45 Alfred Nieves, King Alfy

Lowell, Mass.

Lowell, Inca
46 Marlon Rivera, King Pluto Fitchburg, Member

D5K, Founder

47 Ines Lugo, Queen China

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Secretary
48 Jeremia Medina, King Sweepy

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Enforcer
49 Bienvenido Nunez, King Apache

Enfield, CT

State Team, Inca
50 Tanairy Ruiz, Queen Tanairy

New Bedford, Mass.

New Bedford, Member
51 Xavier Valentin-Soto, King X New Bedford, Member

(Former) Cascique, Incarcerated

52 Joel Francisco, King Casper Rhode Island, Member
53 Eric Thomas, King E Rhode Island, Inca


54 Alvin Mojica, King Humble Worcester, Inca
55 Sophia Velasquez, Queen Sophia Fitchburg, Member


Dairon Rivera, King Mafia Fitchburg, Member
57 Hector Adorno, King Gordo Springfield, Member
58 Jesus Diaz, King Kiko N. Shore, Member
59 Henry Caribe, King 40cal N. Shore, Member
60 Jonathan Cassiano, King Legend Springfield, Member
61 Antoine Goodson Associate, gun supplier to gang
62 Derek Southworth Associate, gun supplier to gang


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