Latin Kings’ member acquitted of murder, found guilty of racketeering
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org September 27, 2012 1:55AM
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:45AM
A federal jury convicted a Chicago man conspiring to deal large amounts of drugs as part of the Latin Kings street gang in Northwest Indiana and Illinois.
But Martin Anaya, who also was convicted of conspiring to racketeer, was acquitted of murder.
The jury returned the verdict Tuesday evening, the same day the Anaya’s trial wrapped up.
During the six days of testimony at the U.S. District Court in Hammond, numerous co-defendants testified about Anaya’s involvement in the Latin Kings, including how he helped to initiate Highland resident Alexander Vargas, who went on to become one of the top-ranking leaders of the gang in Chicago.
Anaya, however, could never keep a leadership role, they said, because he had a drinking problem and could not stay sober while carrying out gang business.
Other witnesses testified about seeing Anaya at the scene of the shooting death of Christina Campos in April 2009 in Chicago. Federal attorneys argued that Anaya and other Latin Kings drove into the territory of a rival gang and started a fight. One resident of the neighborhood testified she saw Anaya get out of a minivan and shoot at the area where Campos was found.
However, Adam Tavitas, Anaya’s attorney, poked holes in her testimony, and the jury sided with him on the two murder counts related to Campos’ death.
Anaya was still found to have taken part in several other homicides, however, including the double shootings of Latin Dragons outside a Griffith restaurant in February 2007, because they are part of the conspiracy to racketeer count. Anaya’s sentencing is set for Jan. 17.