According to federal prosecutors, Wilson Pagan founded the Newburgh chapter of the Latin Kings. The Feds alleged that the gang's membership increased from "roughly a dozen" in 2008 to "more than 50" in 2010. Over that time, investigators linked multiple murders, drug deals, and assaults to the criminal organization, which competed for territory with the local Bloods. In 2011, New York magazine called the small city 60 miles north, "Murder Capital of New York," in large part because of the violence incited by the two gangs.
Since then, a federal crackdown has swept much of the Newburgh Latin Kings' leadership behind bars. Thirty-five members have been charged and convicted. And last week, in federal court in White Plains, Pagan became the 28th member of his gang to be sentenced. U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel handed down a punishment of life plus 85 years in prison for crimes including murder, assault, racketeering, and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
"Mr. Pagan was a gang leader, and what he led his followers to was a gang member's life filled with death, blood, guns, drugs, and jail -- and for him the gangster life in the street has become the inmate's life in prison, forever," Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York, said in a statement.More »