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Former Massachusetts gang leader pleads guilty to racketeering, drug charges

Jorge Rodriguez was second-in-command of the Latin Kings, prosecutors said.

The former second-in-command of a Massachusetts gang pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of racketeering and drug conspiracy, federal prosecutors said.

Jorge Rodriguez, 32, of New Bedford, ran a cocaine network that used multi-unit apartment buildings known as “trap houses” to distribute the drugs, the US Attorney’s office said in a statement.

A federal grand jury issued an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy, and firearm charges against 62 members, leaders, and associates of the Latin Kings in December, prosecutors said. Rodriguez is the first to plead guilty in the case.

Investigators obtained multiple recordings of Rodriguez cooking cocaine base, directing violence against rival gang members, and handling firearms to protect the drug distribution network, prosecutors said.

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He is expected to be sentenced October 16.


Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.