ELIZABETH – Police raids last week resulted in 20 arrests and disrupted operations a drug and weapons operation run by the notorious Latin Kings of Elizabeth.
For months, members of the gang worked around the clock, tending to lines of customers looking for cocaine and marijuana at retail and wholesale levels. According to authorities, the Latin Kings took in approximately $400,000 per week.
A series of raids, conducted between April 20 and April 22, swept through Elizabeth, Garwood, Newark, Whitehouse Station and Neshanic Station. About 300 officers from local, state and federal levels, and backed by SWAT teams, hit 21 suspected sites in four counties.
Twenty arrests were made, including a mother who allegedly laundered money for her two drug-dealing sons, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said at a press conference last week.
“It was a home run,” Romankow said. “We took out the upper echelon of the Latin Kings in Elizabeth.”
The prosecutor said that the arrests helped to remove about half of the known members of the Latin Kings gang in Elizabeth. Some $86,000 in cash, nine vehicles, five loaded weapons, 1.5 kilos of cocaine and the gang’s manifesto were seized by police during the raids.
According to Romankow, members of the gang’s senior management have been arrested, including Luis “King Blue” Medina, 28. The prosecutor said that Medina presides over the Elizabeth chapter.
Jesus Gomez, 27, and his half-brother Roberto Torres, 26, were in charge of Elizabeth’s cocaine operation, Romankow said. Their mother, Maria Gomez, 48, laundered money from the drug business, Romankow said.
Bail was set at $2.7 million for Jesus Gomez, $2 million for Torres, $1 million for Medina and $1 million for Maria Gomez. The defendants were charged with various drug offenses, from racketeering to conspiracy.