The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago Latin King Leader Convicted

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 22, 2008 7:45PM

2008_07_22_latinkingslogo.jpgToday, a federal jury convicted Fernando King, the "chief operating officer" of the Chicago Latin Kings street gang, of drug conspiracy and attempted cocaine distribution. King, also referred to as the "supreme Inca," is the reputed number two in the Latin King chain of command. King has been in custody since December 2006 and is scheduled to be sentenced December 3. He faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. The jury caused a bit of stir because the note they handed the judge with their verdict also expressed concern for their own "security and safety," causing the defense to motion for a mistrial which was denied by the judge.

After court, King's lawyer, Joseph Lopez, said the note raised concerns that the jury may have been influenced by evidence that wasn't part of the trial.

The jury apparently was worried "without anyone ever threatening them or giving them a mean look," Lopez said after the verdict. "Apparently they thought more about their safety than they did about the case."

Prosecutors declined to comment on the jury's note.

King was convicted largely on testimony by informant Jesse Guajardo, who recorded much of the gang's drug activities.

Photo by Pam Morgan