February 7, 2021 – Latin Kings Massachusetts chapter boss Israel (King Imperial) Rodriguez pleaded guilty to racketeering charges spawning from 2019’s Operation Throne Down last week, bringing the total of guilty pleas in the case to more than 30.
Rodriguez, 39, ran the Latin Kings’ “North Shore” crew, a faction that operated in the coastal region resting between Boston and New Hampshire. He’ll be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel in July and faces up to 20 years in prison. As part of his plea, King Imperial admitted to playing a central role in plotting the murder of another Latin Kings chapter boss in the summer of 2018 for the belief that the intended victim was cooperating with law enforcement.
The feds indicted 61 members and associates of the East Coast Latin Kings enterprise as part of Operation Throne Down in December 2019. The No. 1 defendant in the case, Springfield’s Michael (King Merlin) Cecchetelli, alleged to have final say in the Latin Kings East Coast affairs, has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. King Merlin’s second-in-command, Jorge (King G) Rodriguez of the Latin Kings New Bedford chapter, was sentenced to 18 years in prison following a guilty plea back in the summer.
Even though the Latin Kings are mainly a Hispanic criminal organization, Cecchetelli has risen through the ranks as an Italian. According to court documents, the 40-year old King Merlin reports directly to Latin Kings national administrators in Chicago.
Cecchetelli is reportedly aligned with the Springfield Italian mafia, a satellite wing of New York’s Genovese crime family. His uncle, “Fat Chicky” Cecchetelli, is a convicted mob bookie.