‘Latin Kings’ Gang Leader Freed by ‘First Step Act’ Is Wanted for Murder

‘Latin Kings’ Gang Leader Released by ‘First Step Act’ Now Wanted for Murder

A notorious leader of the “Almighty Latin Kings” gang is now on the run after allegedly stabbing a man to death in Rhode Island, just nine months after being released from federal prison thanks to the “First Step Act.”

In February, 41-year-old Joel Francisco — dubbed the “Crown Prince” of the Latin Kings gang in 2005 — was released from federal prison after President Donald Trump signed into law the First Step Act, promoted by a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and progressive and libertarian nonprofits.

According to an investigative report by the Providence Journal‘s Brian Amaral and Katie Mulvaney, Francisco was convicted in 2005 for dealing crack cocaine and powder cocaine. The conviction was Francisco’s third drug conviction and therefore he was given a mandatory life sentence in federal prison.

After Trump signed the First Step Act into law, though, Francisco had his life sentence for crack dealing reduced and he was released in February of this year, along with the other 3,100 convicts released this year by the new law.

Before his release, Francisco pleaded with the court that he had turned his life around, noting his taking part in rehabilitation programs in prison, which advocates of the First Step Act readily cited to make their case that even violent convicts could be reformed and thus released.

On July 13, about six months after being released from prison, Francisco was accused of breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend. When police arrived at the woman’s house, they found Francisco standing on her porch and a pocket knife in the nearby bushes that he had allegedly used to cut a window screen.

Francisco was subsequently charged with domestic violence.

Then, three months later on October 2nd, Francisco was accused of stabbing to death 46-year-old Troy Pine at a hookah lounge in the Federal Hill neighborhood. Since the alleged murder, Francisco has been on the run. Police, as Amaral and Mulvaney note in their Providence Journal report, had warned of such a scenario before the First Step Act allowed Francisco to be released from prison.

“Some criminals deserve to spend their lives incarcerated,” Providence Police Department Deputy Chief Thomas Verdi told the Providence Journal. “Joel is one.”

The Providence Police Department is asking anyone with information on Francisco and his whereabouts to contact (401) 243-6332.

In November 2018, Breitbart News reported that the First Step Act would result in the release of thousands of drug traffickers from prison despite their dealing deadly drugs such as fentanyl and heroin. A report this year by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson stated that the First Step Act had successfully released about 240 sex offenders, nearly 60 convicted murderers and assailants, as well as almost 1,000 inmates convicted for drug crimes.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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