Sentencing for Latin Kings scheduled for August

Jorge Cornell (right) in Greensboro about a month before his arrest.
Sentencing for nine Latin Kings and an associate tried as part of a criminal racketeering enterprise has been scheduled for the mid-August.

Jorge Cornell, inca, or leader, of the North Carolina Latin Kings from 2005 to 2011, along with his brother, Russell Kilfoil, are scheduled to be sentenced at the Hiram H. Ward federal building in downtown Winston-Salem on Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. Russell Kilfoil is also known as Jonathan Hernandez.

Cornell and Kilfoil were found guilty of racketeering by a federal jury in November 2012.

Ernesto Wilson, a Latin Kings associate who was convicted with Cornell and Kilfoil will be sentenced on Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. at the same location, along with Wesley Williams and Steaphan Acencio-Vasquez. Williams and Acencio-Vasquez pleaded guilty before the case went to trial, but did not testify.

Four others, Jason Paul Yates, Marcelo Ysrael Perez, Luis Rosa, Richard Robinson and Charles Moore, will be sentenced on Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. at the federal court building. Yates, a rival of Cornell for leadership of the North Carolina Latin Kings, was to be tried separately because his original lawyer was not prepared to represent him with the other defendants. He subsequently pleaded guilty. Perez, Rosa, Robinson and Moore pleaded guilty and testified for the government.

Three other defendants, Samuel Velasquez, Irvin Vasquez and Randolph Kilfoil, who is also Cornell's younger brother, were acquitted by the jury at the conclusion of the 2012 trial. A racketeering charges against a fourth defendant, Carlos Coleman, was dismissed by US District Court Judge James A. Beaty Jr.

Cornell founded the North Carolina Latin Kings in Greensboro in 2005 after relocating from New York with his family three years earlier. As a member of the New York Latin Kings in the mid- to late 1990s, he was strongly influenced by Antonio Fernandez, a leader known as King Tone. Cornell later recounted that he received authorization from the national leadership of the Latin Kings in Chicago to start the North Carolina organization.

After going public to protest police harassment in 2008, the North Carolina Latin Kings under Cornell's leadership aligned themselves with an interracial group of pastors. Cornell made two unsuccessful bids for Greensboro City Council, and his organization remained a fixture on the city's social justice scene until a federal raid in December 2011 led to the jailing of most of the organization's membership.

No comments: