Thirty-four alleged members of the Latin Kings street gang are facing federal racketeering charges, authorities announced Tuesday.
The charges stem from alleged gang activity by two factions on Chicago's Southeast Side and the surrounding suburbs as well as in the western suburbs of Maywood and Melrose Park.
Two indictments unsealed Tuesday "allege that members of the Latin Kings violently enforced discipline within its ranks and retaliated against rivals and former members to prevent cooperation with law enforcement," reads a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
"Its members and associates engaged in various acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault with dangerous weapons, arson, and extortion, according to the indictments," the release continued. "The charges include the attempted murders of rival gang members and a Melrose Park Police officer."
Edgar Velarde-Saldana, 33, of Maywood is accused of attempting to murder the Melrose Park police officer in July 2014. The officer had been working with FBI agents at the time of the attempted killing, the indictment states.
Thirty-four people have been charged with racketeering conspiracy, while another two alleged Latin Kings members have been charged with selling a firearm without a license and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The investigation that resulted in the indictments occurred over several years by various law enforcement agencies under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program.
"Several of the defendants were arrested this week and have begun making initial appearances in federal court in Chicago," according to the news release.