HAMMOND – A former Chicago police officer who admitted he stole money and drugs from drug dealers and turned the spoils over to a violent national gang called the Latin Kings has been sentenced to 19 years in federal prison.
Alex Guerrero wept and apologized to his family as he was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Hammond, the Times of Munster reported.
I apologize to all my children, to my wife and both my parents , Guerrero said, sobbing.
Guerrero pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of racketeering, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, interfering with commerce by threats or violence and carrying a gun during crimes of violence and drug trafficking. He resigned from the Chicago Police Department following his plea hearing.
The former officer acknowledged that he had robbed drug dealers while wearing his Chicago police uniform. The victims were made to think the thefts were official investigations, according to the indictment.
He could have faced life in prison, but federal prosecutors sought a lesser penalty, saying he was a follower, not a leader.
Was it all worth it? U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano asked Guerrero during Fridays hearing.
Guerrero was one of 23 Latin Kings members and associates indicted in the case. The U.S. attorneys office for northern Indiana said 20 have pleaded guilty, one was convicted, one is awaiting trial, and one is a fugitive.
Another former Chicago police officer, Antonio Martinez, also pleaded guilty in the case.
Prosecutors said the Latin Kings is a nationwide gang that originated in Chicago. One of the indictments alleges that the gang has been responsible for at least 19 murders.