By James Morefield
On Thursday at the United States District Court in Boston, U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel sentenced Matthew Palacios, a/k/a “King Nene,” 26, to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
In September 2020, Palacios pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.
The Latin Kings are a well known violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Palacios acted as an “Enforcer” for the Devon Street Kings or D5K Chapter of the Latin Kings in the area of Devon Street in Boston.
As Enforcer, Palacios was responsible for ensuring discipline, meting out punishment to members for violating the rules of the gang and organizing violence against rival gang members and those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement.
The Devon Street Kings, in turn, reported to the Massachusetts State Leadership of the Latin Kings, providing information, structure, funds and other resources to further the Latin Kings goals and directives in the Commonwealth.
During an active and ongoing investigation of the Devon Street Kings, various meetings were covertly recorded in which Palacios and members of the Devon Street Kings discussed the business of the racketeering enterprise.
Palacios was also present during meetings where members were beaten and violence against rival gangs was discussed and decided upon.
In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings.
Palacios is the 11th defendant to be sentenced in this case.