September 16, 2020 – The Operation Throne Down racketeering and narcotics bust out of New England is less than a year old and it has already yielded a dozen guilty pleas, many of them of high-ranking Latin Kings, in federal court in Boston. Dropping in December 2019, Operation Throne Down dismantled the leadership of the Latin Kings’ east coast hierarchy, indicting 62 members and associates of the mostly Latino crime group. Worcester chapter boss Alvin (King Humble) Mojica pleaded guilty back in the spring. Boston chapter bosses Wilson (King Dub) Peguero and Alexis (King Looney) Peguero and the Latin Kings’ east coast underboss or “Inca” Jorge (King G) Rodriguez copped pleas in July and August, respectively. New Bedford chapter underboss Xavier (King X) Valentin-Soto and two of his lieutenants, Juan (King Pun) Figueroa and Luis (King Tiny) Santiago, pleaded guilty this month. Santiago and Figueroa were both alleged to have taken part in shootings related to Latin Kings activity. Figueroa is a rapper. The guilty pleas all could result in 20-year prison sentences. The Latin Kings’ reputed east coast boss Michael (King Merlin) Cecchetelli, who lives in Springfield, Massachusetts and reports directly to the organization’s national administration in Chicago, is holding firm and refusing to a plea deal. He’s slated to go to trial next year. King Merlin, 42, is Italian and gained his stature in the Hispanic-centered gang via ties developed with Latin King members during a prison stint in the 2000s. Cecchetelli’s uncle, David (Fat Chicky) Cecchetelli, is a convicted mob associate and bookmaker who has belonged to the club for years. Fat Chicky, 52, is under indictment for an unrelated gun case but has reportedly retired from participating in any mafia activity in favor of crafting a social-media persona and seeking a reality-television show contract. The FBI considers both Cecchetellis associates of alleged Springfield mob crew boss Albert (The Animal) Calvanese, a convicted loan shark.