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Last of Holland Latin Kings sentenced to prison

WZZM-TV • Jul 22, 2015 at 10:58 AM

Antonio Rios and David Casillas were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. Casillas received a 30-year sentence and Rios was hit with a 25-year sentence. The pair were the only defendants to go to trial; the others entered guilty pleas.

Eric Ruibal, the kingpin of the notorious Holland Latin Kings, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for racketeering and running a narcotics conspiracy that plagued the Holland area for more than a decade.

Sentences ranged from 2-30 years for the defendants, many of whom joined the gang as teens, enamored with the allure of profits and criminal fellowship from the Almighty Latin King Nation, a national organization with chapters in several states, including Michigan.

Federal prosecutors say the Holland Latin Kings promoted their trafficking of drugs and firearms through the use of intimidation, threats, assault and murder. After a 20-year run, the organization was brought down in the summer of 2013. About 100 officers from local, state and federal agencies made arrests throughout the city in a coordinated effort.

The Holland chapter was started in 1993 and became the dominant among four rival gangs in the Holland area, federal authorities said. It has since grown substantially in southwest Michigan and in numerous Michigan prisons.

Members of the Holland chapter indicated their affiliation through the use of hand gestures, clothing and tattoos – with black and gold being the gang's colors.

 

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