BOSTON – A former member of the New Bedford branch of the all-powerful Latin King and Queen nation of Massachusetts (Latin Kings) pleaded guilty today to drug charges.
Tanairy Ruiz, aka “Queen Tanairy”, 34, pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and basic cocaine. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Rya W. Zobel has set the sentence for January 5, 2022.
The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise made up of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judicial system, and use a sophisticated communication system to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As court documents claim, the gang uses drug distribution to generate income and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to strengthen its influence and protect its territory.
Ruiz admitted to conspiring with other members of the Latin Kings to manufacture and distribute base cocaine throughout New Bedford. Ruiz resided in one of the many “trap houses” or multi-unit apartment buildings in New Bedford that were controlled by the Latin Kings. Ruiz’s apartment served as a place where cocaine was “cooked” or turned into cocaine base.
In December 2019, a federal grand jury rendered an indictment alleging racketeering, drug conspiracy and gun conspiracy charges against dozens of leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Ruiz is the 51st defendant to plead guilty in this case.
The charge of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and basic cocaine provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to life on probation and a fine of $ 1 million. Sentences are imposed by a judge in a federal district court based on US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting US Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston division; Commissioner Carol Mici of the Massachusetts Department of Correction; and New Bedford Police Chief Joseph C. Cordeiro made the announcement. Great help was also provided by the FBI North Shore Gang Task Force and the Bristol County and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Offices. Assistant U.S. prosecutors Philip A. Mallard and Lauren Graber of Mendell’s Criminal Division are continuing the case.
This effort is part of an operation of the Working Groups on Combating Drugs Against Organized Crime (OCDETF). The OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a multi-agency, prosecutor-led, intelligence-led approach. Additional information on the OCDETF program is available at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
Details contained in the indictment documents are allegations. Other defendants are presumed innocent unless and until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.