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RICO Sentence Sticks in Gangland Appeal

Judges in the 7th Circuit Appellate Court upheld the prison sentence given a gang leader in a conspiracy conviction despite the man’s claim that he wasn’t directly responsible for crimes committed on his watch. Ruben Porraz admitted in a plea agreement that his job as head of the 89th Street chapter of the Latin Kings included sanctioning both members and rivals, threatening and engaging in violence that ran to attempted murder. A judge in Cook County Circuit Court took his criminal history into account when levying a longer-than-expected jail term after Porraz was indicted along with 33 others in a federal racketeering sting in 2016.

Despite his turning over information on drug and weapons offenses by fellow members, the 188-month sentence Porraz received was nearly a decade longer than for most of those copping pleas. He said the court erred in calculating the jail term because he’d never actually engaged in the act of trying to kill someone. This despite admitting to pre-sentence investigators that he’d fired on rivals on several occassions when climbing the ranks. In staying the sentence, judges cited that testimony along with case law from 2014 involving a similarly charged Latin Kings leader whose actions lent credence to the contention that engaging in conspiracy to commit murder is a duty of the postion.