State, federal authorities arrest 19 Latin Kings in Joliet

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State and federal authorities arrested 19 Latin Kings gang members Wednesday in southwest suburban Joliet, including a man accused of a 2010 murder.

In a multi-jurisdictional investigation, the U.S. attorney’s office, the Will County state’s attorney’s office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Joliet police and the Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad arrested and filed charges against 19 gang members, according to a statement from the Will County state’s attorney’s office.

The sweep allowed Joliet police to charge 25-year-old Aaron M. Bowers of Joliet with first-degree murder for the 2010 shooting death of Nichole Rodriguez, the state’s attorney’s office said. She was shot twice while sitting in her car on Feb. 23, 2010, while her 8-year-old daughter was sitting in the backseat.

Bowers’ bond was set for $2.5 million, and he faces six more counts of weapons violations, the state’s attorney’s office said.

The following people were also charged with state weapons and narcotics violations:

  • Jordan Rent, 25, of Joliet, was charged with eight weapons violations;
  • Salvador De Los Angeles, 33, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violation;
  • David De Los Angeles, 29, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violation;
  • Miguel Antonino, 24, of Joliet, was charged with three weapons violations;
  • Miguel Holloway-Valadez, 21, of Joliet, was charged with one weapons violation;
  • Kimberly Ledwell, 31, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violations;
  • Samuel Williams, 27, of Joliet, was charged with two narcotics violations and five weapons violations;
  • Mario Quintero, 36, of Joliet, was charged with three narcotics violations and one weapons violations;
  • Richard Groth, 24, of Glendale Heights, was charged with two narcotics violations;
  • Salvador Lopez, 26, of Joliet, was charged with seven weapons violations;
  • Gabriel Travis, 26, of Lockport, was charged with one narcotics violation;
  • Juan Martinez, 37, of Joliet, was charged with one narcotics violation;
  • and Abiel Razo, 30, of Plainfield, was charged with one narcotics violation.

Five other gang members — 31-year-old Clemente Lopez, 30-year-old Carlos Lopez, 56-year-old Ralph Garcia, 32-year-old Collin Coon and 39-year-old Gabriel Rosas — were charged with federal weapons and narcotics violations, the state’s attorney’s office said.

“The Latin Kings are a very organized gang with an extensive history of violence and drug dealing within our community,” Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton said in the statement. “This joint operation will have a lasting impact on the gang’s organizational hierarchy and overall effectiveness and will undoubtedly improve the safety and quality of life in the City of Joliet.”

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