In the second major gang sweep in two weeks, federal and local authorities announced Wednesday a crackdown on the Imperial Insane Vice Lords, an allegedly violent West Side gang, with the arrests of nearly three dozen leaders and members for a murder, an attempted murder and almost two decades of drug trafficking.
The takedown came as Chicago's stubborn problem of gun violence and street gangs has continued to garner national attention.
Among those charged was the gang's reputed "king," Nathaniel Hoskins, 45, who was accused of ordering the April 2011 murder of drug rival Marcus Hurley in West Humboldt Park. The gang henchman who allegedly carried out the killing, Andre Brown, was himself fatally shot in June 2012, authorities said.
Hoskins was arrested at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday as he was boarding a flight to Las Vegas, where he has a second home, authorities said. At a hearing Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole, Hoskins sat sullenly in the jury box, his hands cuffed and dressed in a gray sweatsuit. Prosecutors will seek to continue to detain him and a number of his co-defendants at hearings next week.
Hoskins and nine other defendants were charged with federal racketeering conspiracy. Hoskins and 23 other members of the gang were also charged with drug conspiracy for allegedly running an open-air market on the West Side that peddled heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Nine others face state charges in Cook County, authorities said.
According to the indictment, the gang used violence to control its drug markets. Authorities alleged three high-ranking gang members — Torrie King, 37; Julian Martin, 28, and Raymond Myles, 39 — plotted the murder of an individual in May 2011, but the killing was not carried out. Another gang leader, Joseph Faulkner, 40, was charged with ordering the January 2010 shooting of an unnamed victim who was wounded but survived the attack.
Court records show that two decades ago, Hoskins and Faulkner were charged in the 1993 murder of Jerome Lucious on the West Side. Hoskins fled to Las Vegas, where he was arrested in 2005 living under an alias, records show. The murder charges were eventually dropped against Hoskins, while Faulkner was found not guilty by a Cook County judge.
Late last month, the leader and several other members of the Hobos street gang were charged in connection with several homicides, including the 2006 killing of a police informant.