In 2008, Juan Amaya, aka “Crow” played his part as gang leader or “Regional Inca” of the Almighty Latin King Nations 26th Street Region, in an area known as Little Village in Chicago, Illinois. From his perch, he ruled over as many as 1,000 so-called soldiers who he sent out to kill or be killed. Amaya,now 38, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to 35 years in federal prison after his long-awaited conviction by a jury in March, 2014 for RICO conspiracy, drug trafficking and various other violent gang crimes. He must serve at the very least 85 percent of his sentence.
Amaya marks the last conviction and sentencing of a investigation that started in 2006 by the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Office ATF and various other state, federal and county law enforcement officials; which was conducted through the federal High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).
According to court evidence at Amaya's trial, Amaya was promoted to “Regional Inca” or lieutenant a couple years after his release on parole, serving only half of his 24 year sentence for a 1992 murder conviction. And that during his reign of countless number of murder, beatings, drug trafficking, shootings and other crimes took place in and around the Little Village neighborhood. Amaya reported only to Augustin Zambrano, the highest ranking Latin Kings’ leader or “Corona;” and Vicente Garcia, the gang’s “Supreme Regional Inca.” Zambrano was sentenced to 60 years in 2012 and Garica was sentenced to 40 years in 2013, with five years supervised release after his prison term ends.
Nearly 100 Latin Kings members and associates have faced state or federal charges since 2006. The Latin Kings originated and set up base in the west side Little Village neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, the gang was to formed to inspire the advancement of the Hispanic community and has since spread throughout Chicago and Illinois and have established branches in other states, recruiting thousands to spread their drug trafficking and other gang violence crimes.