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Press Release | Brooklyn Latin Kings Dismantled

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010



New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Kings joined with Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and New York City Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano to announce the indictment of 18 members of the Latin Kings street gang’s “Borough Park Homicide Squad” gang, or “set” – including its entire leadership – on charges that they set fire to two Borough Park apartments, in an attempt to kill a former gang member.

            “These so-called ‘Latin Kings’ do not rule the streets of Brooklyn, but they may each find themselves reigning over a small prison cell for the rest of their lives,” said District Attorney Hynes. “I will not tolerate violent street gangs like this bunch trying to overrun our neighborhoods. I would like to thank Commissioner Kelly and the NYPD, as well as Commissioner Cassano and the FDNY for their work on this investigation.”

            “Cowards, not kings, more aptly describe those who firebomb apartments and run away, putting innocent lives at risk. I want to commend the detectives, arson investigators, and prosecutors who worked together to bring these gang members to justice,” said Police Commissioner Kelly, praising the work of Police Officer Derrick Golden, who led the NYPD investigation under Captain William Tobin, Lieutenant Peter Carretta and Sergeant Craig Bier of the NYPD Brooklyn South Gang Squad.      

            “I’m very proud of the work done by FDNY’s Bureau of Fire Investigation, led by Chief Fire Marshal Robert Byrnes, in cooperation with the District Attorney and the Police Department, to bring those responsible for these dangerous fires to justice,” Fire Commissioner Cassano said. “Make no mistake: Fire is a deadly weapon and the methods these gang members used, particularly on a home where young children and an elderly woman lived, demonstrate how important it was to get them off our city's streets.”

The target of the arsons, Juan Kuang, 19, had been “stripped” of his Latin King status, over disagreements with the Borough Park Homicide Squad’s leaders. In retaliation, Kuang stabbed gang member Norman Vado, 21, the brother of the gang’s leader, or “First Crown”, Roger Vado, 25, according to a separate indictment. In that case, Kuang is charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree.

Roger Vado and the Borough Park Homicide Squad members are charged with setting the fires in retaliation for Norman Vado’s stabbing.

The indictment charges the defendants with making Molotov cocktails by filling glass iced-tea bottles with gasoline. On two separate occasions, the gang members threw these Molotov cocktails at two different Borough Park homes, where they believed Kuang was living at the time. One building, which was a multi-family unit where young children and an elderly woman lived, was completely destroyed. The other targeted building was an apartment complex, of which the exterior, rear wall was scorched and damaged.

 No one was injured in either fire.

Five gang members are charged with actually setting the fires, and the five “Crowns” are charged with ordering the fires set. Those 10 are charged with Arson in the First Degree, a Class A-1 Felony, with a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. All 18 defendants named in the indictment are charged with Conspiracy in the Second Degree, a Class-B Felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the NYPD Gang Division’s Brooklyn South Gang Squad and the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation’s Citywide South/Special Investigations Unit.


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