Reputed Latin Kings chief pleads not guilty to racketeering

BOSTON (AP) — The man described by authorities as the leader of the Latin Kings gang's East Coast operations pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal racketeering conspiracy charges.

Michael Cecchetelli, 40, of Springfield, and four other alleged members of the gang agreed to voluntary detention after their appearances in U.S. District Court in Boston, according to The Boston Globe.

He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

Cecchetelli has ties to the Genovese crime family and oversaw the gang’s operations from Massachusetts to Florida, Joseph Bonavolonta, head of the FBI's Boston office, said earlier this month when about 60 reputed members of the gang were arrested across the state.

The arrests came after a five-year investigation that used informants to infiltrate the highest levels of the gang’s leadership, recording the group’s meetings and preventing at least eight killings, prosecutors said.

No details of the allegations were discussed in court Wednesday.

Cecchetelli’s lawyer, Michael Bourbeau, declined to comment after Wednesday’s hearing.

According to court papers, Cecchetelli conspired with others in December 2018 to attempt to kill two Latin Kings members who disrespected him, including one who accused him of being a “snitch.”