• Former gang unit member says Latin Kings widespread in central Florida


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators said Robert Corchado, the suspected driver in a fatal hit-and-run that killed a 4-year-old girl, is no stranger to the law. Florida Highway Patrol troopers said he has ties to a well-known gang known as the Latin Kings.
    Since the beginning of last year, Channel 9 has covered arrests of eight people with ties to that gang, including Luis Toledo who's accused of killing his wife, Yessenia Suarez and her two young children.
    Channel 9's Tim Barber spoke to a retired corrections officer who was a member of the Orange County Corrections Department Gang Unit about why the Latin Kings are so prevalent in central Florida.
    He said the gang has been in the area for 15 year and has a big presence
    The retired officer said historically members have been major heroin dealers and kids have been targets for recruitment.
    The former corrections officer who spoke with Barber said the Latin Kings are one of the most organized street gangs in central Florida. He said that they believe that "once a King, always a King."  
    Boys and Girls Club President Gary Cain has 30 central Florida branches dedicated to saving kids from a dangerous life on the streets. He said his club gives them a sense of belonging.
    "You know, I don't think any kid starts out  in life thinking they want to become a gang member," said Cain.
    He said it is important for parents and families to keep an eye on their children.
    "You have got to keep close tabs, you have got to be involved in your kid's life," said Cain.

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    Former gang unit member says Latin Kings widespread in central Florida