Five men are facing murder charges in connection with the 2021 killing of a man who was allegedly attempting to resign from the Latin Kings street gang. All of the accused men are alleged members of that gang.
The Latin Kings gang was founded in Chicago, in the mid 20th century and is now present throughout the United States. It’s been reported that the Latin Kings is the largest gang in Florida.
According to a 1996 report in the Journal of Gang Research, “The overall threat rating notes that the Latin Kings are a Level Three gang organization; the gang is a centralized, authoritarian, violent formal organization complete with a written constitution and by-laws. In taking advantage of political corruption, the gang fits the more classic pattern of organized crime. The size of the gang and its penetration of communities outside of its epicenter, along with its propensity for violence, qualify it for an “8” on a 10-point scale of threat severity.”
According to Denise Moloney, public relations manager for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), on July 13, 2021 HCSO deputies and crews from the Hernando County Fire and Emergency Services (HCFES) responded to a call from a delivery driver reporting that a man was lying in the roadway near Silent Breeze Street and Wolf Road in Brooksville. According to the caller, the man did not respond when the driver honked his horn to move him out of the road.
At the scene, deputies found a Hispanic male lying on the ground next to the rear passenger door of a 2021 Volkswagen Jetta automobile. HCFES personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene.
During their preliminary investigation deputies positively identified the man and determined that he was the registered owner of the vehicle. They also determined that the man had died by “homicidal violence.”
The following day an autopsy by the Medical Examiner at the Florida District 5 Medical Examiner’s Office in Leesburg ruled the death a homicide.
An extensive investigation of the crime scene as well as neighborhood canvassing and a series of interviews revealed that the dead man had been a member of the Latin Kings street gang but that he wanted to leave the gang. Investigators also learned that the man died during the ritual “beating” or “stripping of his membership,” that was required for him to leave the gang.
During their investigation into the case detectives identified five men who were suspected of being connected to the killing.
On Oct. 18, 2022, warrants were issued for the arrests of those men including Shayne A. White-Gracteroly, 31, and Jimmy Nguyen, 29, both of Hernando County, Hector Robles, 46 and Reynaldo Fonseca, 31, both of Marion County and 25-year-old Reynol Gonzalez of Putnam County.
By Oct. 27, all five of the men had been located, arrested, each charged with 3rd degree murder, aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery.
Their trial is pending, but the investigation into the case remains ongoing.
Anyone with information about the homicide should call Det. Tom Cameron at 352-754-6830.
Anonymous tips may be submitted to Hernando County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or texting **TIPS from a cell phone. Tipsters may also visit http://www.hernandocountycrimestoppers.com.
Those who submit tips to Hernando County Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000.