Five Kankakee area men identified as local leaders and members of the Latin Kings and a girlfriend of one of the men are scheduled for trial in August (2016). They face federal charges after making their respective initial appearances in Urbana before U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce.
A federal grand jury returned three indictments earlier in June 2016, but the charges had remained sealed pending their arrests and court appearances.
31-year-old James Atwood of Bourbonnais, 22-year-old Jessie Dorsett and Jovan Saulsberry, both of Kankakee, are charged in one indictment with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. If convicted, both offenses carry statutory penalties of up to 20 years in prison; if a defendant has a prior felony drug conviction, the statutory penalty increases to up to 30 years in prison.
The federal record shows, in a separate indictment, 43-year-old Jesse Guardiola of Martinton is charged with five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Guardiola's girlfriend, 30-year-old Heather Grad of Kankakee is charged with Guardiola in count two of the indictment, with possession of a firearm by a felon.
A third indictment charges 30-year-old Santos Salgado of Kankakee with two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. That could bring up to 10 years in prison.
Atwood, Saulsberry, Guardiola, and Salgado remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Dorsett is already in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections on unrelated charges. Grad has been released on bond. Trial for the defendants in each case is scheduled on Aug. 16, 2016.