BOSTON - Following one of the biggest gang busts in the history of the FBI's Boston Division, several Latin King members have been released with New Bedford Police voicing their disappointment.
Roughly 60 individuals associated with the notorious gang were charged in a large sting that took place earlier this month. The FBI, along with the help of the state police, arrested gang members located throughout the state, taking down low-level associates all the way up to the leader, Michael Cecchetelli, of the East region, a resident of Springfield.
Now several of those arrested have been released on bail, per Boston.com. Two of the members released are New Bedford residents, Kevin Guadalupe and Taliyah Barboza.
“We are aware of the release of Latin King members and it is disappointing,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “We remain vigilant in our efforts to always ensure the safety of our city and its residents.”
Eighteen-year-old Guadalupe was released on $5,000 bail and has been ordered to reside with his mother and to have no contact with gang members or be around drugs. He was arrested on charges of assault in two separate gang-related incidents as well as shooting a rival gang member in the shoulder this past June.
“The Court states the Government has established Defendant is a danger to the community and poses a risk of flight, but does not find he poses a serious risk of obstruction of justice,” Chief Magistrate Judge David Hennessy shared in a court filing when addressing the case of Guadalupe.
Barboza was also released on bail after her involvement in the beating of an individual back in February.
Duxbury resident Robert Avitabile, who is the landlord of three New Bedford houses, was also released after allowing Latin King members to use his properties for illegal gang activities, per WBSM. Federal prosecutors are looking into the forfeiture of three properties and an additional property owned by Avitabile.
New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro today confirmed what many in some New Bedford neighborhoods have known for a long time. The Latin Kings are causing fear in a growing number of neighborhoods https://t.co/0R1dYkCt3d pic.twitter.com/uD97RysVOm— SouthCoastToday (@southcoasttoday) December 5, 2019
In recent years, New Bedford has seen a rise in crime with residents concerned for their safety due to the increasing presence of gang members.
The US Department of Justice focused its mass take-down on New Bedford, pointing out a "palpable climate of fear" in the city.
Image via Wikimedia Commons