Gang member gets 26 years on cocaine charge

January 13

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a New Lenox man who is a high-ranking member of the Latin Kings was sentenced to 26 years in prison on a narcotics charge earlier this week.

Ruben Gutierrez, 48, a former Inca of the South and Southwest Sides for the Latin Kings, pleaded guilty in June 2011 to possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) with intent to deliver. He was arrested in March of 2010 when New Lenox Police served a search warrant on his house and confiscated 31 grams of cocaine.

Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes sentenced Gutierrez on Monday after Assistant State’s Attorney Tricia McKenna presented extensive testimony on his long and violent background with the Latin Kings. McKenna tracked down a gang expert from the Kankakee Police Department who testified in detail about Gutierrez’s efforts in 2000 to locate and punish fellow gang members who stole a kilo of cocaine from him.

Kankakee Lt. Patrick Kane testified that Gutierrez and 20 other Latin Kings hunted down that gang member, Marty Patnaude, and shot him in the head. Patnaude survived, and Gutierrez was eventually convicted of home invasion in Kankakee County.  Before his conviction, however, several members of the Kankakee Chapter of the Latin Kings blew up the Patnaude’s house. Patuaude was not inside but his parents were killed in the blast. Gutierrez, however, was never charged in Kankakee in connection with the bombing.

“Judge Policandriotes handed down a tough sentence that should put every drug dealer with a history of gang violence on notice,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Ruben Gutierrez’s past came back to haunt him in court because Assistant State’s Attorney Tricia McKenna went the extra mile at sentencing. Now this drug dealer can no longer terrorize our community.”