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33 people — including gang’s reputed ‘king’ — charged in drug conspiracy case

Tattoos Imperial Insane Vice Lords are pictured Chicago Crime CommissiGang Book. The gang's alleged leader Nathaniel Hoskins was charged along

Tattoos of the Imperial Insane Vice Lords are pictured in the Chicago Crime Commission Gang Book. The gang's alleged leader, Nathaniel Hoskins, was charged along with 32 others in a conspiracy case that includes a 2011 murder, authorities said.

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Updated: November 11, 2013 12:13PM

Nathaniel Hoskins and his family lived in Las Vegas.

But the reputed gang leader micromanaged drug spots in his hometown of Chicago and even ordered a murder in 2011, prosecutors said.

On Wednesday, Hoskins, 45, was among 33 people charged with participating in a narcotics enterprise.

Hoskins is the reputed head of the Imperial Insane Vice Lords, whose stronghold is on the West Side but also operated a drug spot in Wicker Park near North and Damen, police said.

Hoskins — who was ranked as the “king” of the gang — allegedly ordered the fatal shooting of Marcus Hurley on April 27, 2011.

Police said the killer, Andre Brown, was shot to death on June 2, 2012.

Both men were killed near the gang’s main drug market at Thomas and Keystone on the West Side.

The gang also was involved in a Jan. 5, 2010, shooting of a victim not identified in the indictment. Joseph “Little Joe” Faulkner, another defendant who was ranked “prince” of the gang, ordered the shooting, prosecutors said.

Hoskins was among 10 defendants charged in federal court with racketeering. They and 14 others ranging in age from 21 to 52 also were charged federally with conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Nine other defendants were charged separately in Cook County Criminal Court.

The federal indictment alleges Julian “Light Bright” Martin and Torrie King — two members with the rank of “Five Star Universal Elite” — conspired with gang member Raymond “Boozak” Myles to murder an individual on May 4, 2011. The indictment does not say whether the killing was carried out. King remains at large.

Hoskins was arrested Monday at O’Hare Airport as he tried to leave town for Las Vegas. He appeared in court Wednesday in a gray sweatsuit.

Police said he was living in Las Vegas for the past three years, trying to avoid the heat law enforcement was putting on his gang. Wednesday’s charges follow two related drug busts last year, officials said.

Police suspect Hoskins controlled about 250 gang members in Chicago and was trying to bring smaller gangs on the West Side under his control. He received most of his revenue from drug operations here, but was allegedly dabbling in illegal pharmaceutical sales in Nevada, too, police said.

Even though he was more than 1,700 miles away, he kept a close eye on his operations in Chicago, police said.

“He’d want to know ‘Who’s out on the spot?’ or ‘How come there’s no one selling out there?’” said James O’Grady, head of the Chicago Police Department’s narcotics division.

But he kept a low profile, O’Grady added.

“He didn’t fly first class,” he said.

The police department’s Organized Crime Bureau launched the investigation. Later, they partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s strike force. Other federal agencies were involved in the case, too.

“This case is an example and should serve as a warning,” said Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. “We will not rest until everyone in this city enjoys the same sense of safety.”

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