The upper echelon of the notorious Latin King gang has taken a hard hit.
About 30 members have pleaded guilty to a slew of state and federal crimes, and a bulk of those arrested are from our area.
Friday, the Houston Police Department's Gang Division announced that most of the 27 members and associates of "The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation" arrested during a massive sweep, have pleaded guilty to a slew of federal and state crimes.
Over 15 of those arrested are from Brazos County and have been charged with state crimes.
About 13 locals have been arrested for federal offenses.
Friday's announcement follows an investigation that lasted nearly three years.
Many suspects were arrested during law enforcement raids last summer.
With the cooperation of the U.S. Attorney and the Harris County District Attorney's Office, nearly every suspect has pleaded guilty to committing crimes that include murder, engaging in organized crime, federal drug conspiracy, possession and sale of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs, to the sale and use of prohibited weapons.
Houston Police and other law enforcement officers from numerous agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the College Station Police Department, the Brazos County District Attorney's Office, the Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff's Office, the Brazos County Precinct 2 Constable's Office, and the Robertson County Sheriff's Office, seized 33 kilograms of cocaine, 32 weapons and $200,000 in cash and assets during the lengthy investigation dubbed "Operation Corona."
"We were contacted by the ATF and the DEA," Rhonda Seaton with the College Station Police Department said. "They were also working with the Houston Police Department on this operation. They asked our help in locating people involved in their investigations that they believed were in the local area."
Sergeant James Woodward of the College Station Police Department's Special Investigation Unit stated that as a result of the investigation CSPD was able to serve over five search warrants, make over 15 arrests, seize more than one kilo of cocaine, over five pounds of marijuana, over 30 grams of crack cocaine, recover multiple firearms, and numerous items of stolen property including stolen firearms.
The Bryan Police Department says two local suspects of note are Aldo Hernandez and Roger Juarez.
The two face federal charges of murder and engaging in organized criminal activity.
The pair was arrested for the fatal gang shooting of 24-year-old Antonio Rodriguez, who was found dead on the porch at a home in Bryan in February.
The highest ranking state leader of the Latin King gang is also among those charged on federal narcotic and weapons offenses.
He is identified as Victor Manuel Rivera.