Members of Newark Drug Ring Indicted

NEWARK, NJ - More than a dozen individuals belonging to the Newark branch of the Latin Kings street gang have been indicted on racketeering charges in connection with their alleged roles in a ring that dealt heroin and crack cocaine in Newark.

A law enforcement operation carried out by State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice dubbed "Operation Peddling Misery", which targeted a "violent" ring accused of distributing drugs in the state's largest city, also resulted in indictments for four other suspects on conspiracy and other charges, said State Attorney General, Christopher Porrino.

Among those indicted are suspected members of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, a street gang, who have been charged with promoting organized street crime. The indicted include Japhet Lopez, 33, identified as the ringleader; his alleged top lieutenant, Kiele "King Forty" Lopez, 22, who also served as a "warlord" in charge of security; Christopher "Boxing Chris" Velez, 30; and Luis "King Santo" Maldonado, 38. All four men are from Newark.

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