LCSO: Operation ‘All The Kings Men’ leads to gang-related arrests
A Cape Coral man is among those arrested in a year-long anti-gang investigation into an organization called the Latin Kings.
Members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division began an in-depth investigation into members of the Latin King criminal street gang in October 2007, officials said in a preapred statement issued Wednesday.
The focus of the investigation targeted individuals alleged to be responsible for the recruitment of new gang members, as well as individuals involved in transferring weapons and narcotics.
Detectives identified several key players known to be involved in numerous street level crimes, officials said.
Furthering the investigation, detectives developed sources that tied members of the Latin Kings into criminal behavior that spread throughout Florida. Acting on this information, detectives began Operation “All The Kings Men.”
According to the release, an undercover Lee County Sheriff’s Office detective was introduced to the Latin King leadership last year. A meeting was established with both the alleged statewide leader of the organization, Felix Cuevas, and reputed regional leader, Pablo Ortega.
Cuevas and Ortega were actively involved in the process of recruiting new members to the gang and were looking to establish a criminal business enterprise to generate money to grow the gang locally, officials said.
During this investigation, Cuevas and Ortega were reportedly documented holding a violent “recruitment ceremony.” During the ceremony, the laws of the Latin Kings were emphasized, followed by a rite of passage.
Following the recruitment ceremony, an undercover operative with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office managed to infiltrate the gang’s illicit business ventures. Law enforcement offiicals say the operative was successful in purchasing narcotics and weapons, some of which were stolen. During this time, the detective learned that leaders of the Latin Kings were interested in selling those items to raise money to facilitate a move into the Fort Myers neighborhood of Pine Manor where they could establish a base of operations for narcotics and prostitution.
The investigation, which spanned more than a year, was successful in removing key leadership roles from the Latin King organization, officials said.
Information gleaned from this investigation parlayed into Operation Firewall, another successful strike against locally present criminal street gangs. Operation Firewall was designed to enforce the new Florida State Statute preventing online recruitment and propagation of criminal street gangs.
The members of “All The Kings Men” and “Firewall” were arrested during a sweep occurring on Nov. 13 and 14. The cases have been presented to the Office of the State Attorney of the 20th Judicial Circuit for prosecution.
Individuals charged as part of the operation are listed as follows:
Pablo Ortega (DOB 4/15/62) 4424 Lake Heather Circle, St. James City
Felix Luis Cuevas (DOB 8/25/50) 4510 SE 6th Street, Cape Coral
Antonio Geminaiano (DOB 1/8/85) 203 Second Street, Fort Myers
Priscilla Ortiz (DOB 7/1/89) 11350 Redbud Lane, Bonita Springs
Marcos Santiago (DOB 10/4/91) 5447 11th Street, Fort Myers
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office