Accused Murderer Freed by ‘First Step Act’ Instantly Returned to Drug Life

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

A notorious leader of the “Almighty Latin Kings” gang, now accused of murder, instantly returned to a life of drugs and violence after being released from federal prison by the “First Step Act.”

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

Less than a year after his release, Francisco allegedly murdered 46-year-old Troy Pine by stabbing him to death and skipped town in an attempt to evade murder charges. Weeks ago, police captured Francisco in Texas and extradited him to Rhode Island.

Newly reported details of the case by the Providence Journal‘s Brian Amaral and Katie Mulvaney reveal that almost immediately after Francisco was freed by the First Step Act, he returned to a drug-fueled life that had originally put him in prison.

Francisco was originally convicted in 2005 for dealing crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Days after his release by the First Step Act in February, drug records reveal he returned to using cocaine.

In February, days after his release, Francisco tested positive for cocaine. Then, months later in June, Francisco tested positive for marijuana three times. Weeks later, Francisco was charged with attempting to break into his ex-girlfriend’s home.

On September 23, Francisco again tested positive for cocaine. Days later, on October 2, police said Francisco stabbed Pine to death. Francisco had violated his terms of release six times within the first year of being freed by the First Step Act.

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 of drug crimes.

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


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