BOSTON – A former member of the New Bedford Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) pleaded guilty today to drug charges.
Tanairy Ruiz, a/k/a “Queen Tanairy,” 34, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Jan. 5, 2022.
The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.
Ruiz admitted to conspiring with other Latin Kings members to manufacture and distribute cocaine base throughout the City of 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 was used as a location where cocaine was “cooked” or manufactured into cocaine base.
In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against dozens of leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Ruiz is the 51st defendant to plead guilty in the case.
The charge of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of three years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States 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. Valuable assistance 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. Attorneys Philip A. Mallard and Lauren Graber of Mendell’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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