BOSTON - The FBI Boston Division managed to take down more than 60 members of the notorious gang, the Latin Kings, in a massive sting that has been in the works for 4 years.

Named “Operation Throne Down,” federal agents arrested associates, members and leaders of the gang operating throughout the state in Boston, New Bedford, Chelsea, Lowell, Springfield, Fitchburg and Worcester, per

In a press conference, Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling shared that almost all of the east coast leaders of the Latin Kings were arrested and taken into custody helping to avoid eight planned murders.

Lelling also shared that arresting leaders is a difficult and dangerous task that required the team to infiltrate the gang as well as use reliable sources. The FBI Boston division also utilized wiretapping and surveillance to build their case against one of the largest gangs in the state that is reported to have had 11 active chapters in Massachusetts.

“To get at gang leadership, you almost always need a highly placed cooperating source,” he said. “If you don’t have that, it’s very difficult to get the leaders.”

Of those leaders, the FBI managed to arrest Michael Cecchetelli, aka King Merlin. The 40-year-old Springfield resident was head of all the criminal activity throughout the east coast, carrying out countless orders for violent crimes.

“Including ordering the murder of those who questioned his authority and authorizing various levels of violence against anyone cooperating with law enforcement,” according to Lelling.

Charges for the more than 60 members range from federal racketeering to drug and firearms charges. Drugs, money, houses, jet skis, cars, motorcycles and more were seized in the raids that took place as early as 4 a.m. with roughly 650 agents involved in the takedown, as shared by WGBH.

"Operation Throne Down" is one the largest busts in history carried out by the FBI Boston Division.

“It’s a big hit precisely because we are able to take out all of the leadership,” Lelling shared. “It will be extremely difficult for the gang to regroup in the region.”

Image Via Wikimedia Commons