By STEPHANIE BARISH
2:06 PM EDT, July 21, 2010
NEW YORK (WPIX)
Eighteen members of the Latin Kings street gang's " Borough Park Homicide Squad", have been indicted after two apartments were set on fire during a feud.
"These so-called 'Latin Kings' do not rule the streets of Brooklyn, but they may each find themselves reigning over a small prison cell for the rest of their lives," said District Attorney Hynes. "I will not tolerate violent street gangs like this bunch trying to overrun our neighborhoods."
Authorities say the violence sparked after Juan Kuang, 19, had been stripped of his Latin King status over disagreements with gang leaders. In retaliation, Kuang is accused of stabbing gang member Normal Vado, 21, and Vado's 25-year-old brother, Roger.
Kuang has been charged with attempted murder in the second degree.
In retaliation for the stabbings, the indictment charges the defendants with making Molotov cocktails by filling glass iced-tea bottles with gasoline.
Officials say no one was injured in the fires. However, one completely destroyed a multi-family apartment where an elderly woman and young children lived.
Five gang members have been charged with actually setting the fires and the five "Crowns" are charged with ordering the fires set, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Those 10 are charged with arson in the first degree, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life. All 18 defendants named in the indictment are charged with conspiracy in the second degree, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
"Cowards, not kings, more aptly describe those who firebomb apartments and run away, putting innocent lives at risk. I want to commend the detectives, arson investigators, and prosecutors who worked together to bring these gang members to justice," said Police Commissioner Kelly.
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