It was an historic case for the Holland community.
More than 30 alleged gang members tied to the Latin Kings from Holland indicted on federal charges.
It’s a case that’s taken decades to build, starting in the 1990’s.
In the 76-page indictment, law enforcement from the federal, state and local level, alleged illegal activity with connections to major cities like Chicago.
Holland Police say at least 29 of the 31 men they were looking for in the indictment had been picked up as early as Tuesday evening, facing a wide variety of charges.
They said it’s a big relief fro the small community.
“This was the prominent gang in town,” said Matt Messer, Holland Police Chief.
The arrest of a large number of alleged Latin King members for their involvement in racketeering and criminal activity has been nearly three years in the making for the A.T.F.
“We started this investigation in 2010 and it`s been a problem for the city of Holland for a lot longer,” said Donald Dawkins, a special agent with the ATF.
Holland has been waiting 20 to 25 years.
“It feels great to finally get some of these individuals arrested,” said Messer.
The indictment is shedding more light on what the Latin Kings have allegedly been up to in Holland.
It said their territory extended from North 24th Street to First Street between Lincoln Avenue and Graafschap Avenue.
The document states they had a leader called an Inca for both the East and West side of that territory.
The leaders were named in the indictment as Nicholas Bernal, also known as “Nickey B” and Francisco Martinez, Jr, nicknamed “Chubaka”.
The list of alleged crimes for the men and their followers stretches back to 1998
The are attempted murder, arson, assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and the sale of drugs and weapons.
“There were several attempted murders involving drive-by shootings fire bombing those type of activities,” said Messer.
Other reported violence included the throwing of rocks at a home on the corner of 18th Street and College Street in 2007 where the Maniac Latin Disciples lived.
The indictment says they were a rival gang of the Latin Kings in Holland.
The activities spilled over into local businesses.
At the Parrot Bar, a gang member named Antonio Rios was accused of assaulting the owner of Shooter’s bar in 2009.
Rios was also accused of stabbing a man at the S Nightclub on East Lakewood in Holland in 2009.
There are more than 120 crimes listed in the indictment. Police said more may be uncovered and they hope people are less afraid to report them with the suspects in custody.
“If they do have information, anything that we need to know, that they want us to know, please give us a call,” said Dawkins.