Members of the gang's East Coast leadership were among those charged in what Joseph Bonavolonta, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston division, said was the "largest takedown" in their office's history.
The bust, called "Operation Throne Down," was carried out after nearly four years of infiltration by law enforcement, who recorded high-level conversations through informants and social media posts that could implicate the members, according to Boston.com.
Over 650 law enforcement agents started making arrests around 4:00 a.m. on Thursday that saw 62 alleged gang members charged. The charges vary from drug trafficking and firearms abuses to RICO conspiracy. To arrest the more dangerous suspects, 10 SWAT teams were deployed by the North Shore Gang Task Force.
Nine of them are in custody, while eight are now fugitives, according to the outlet.
Gang members were reportedly monitored on social media wearing colors of the Latin Kings, flashing gang signs and rapping about drugs or murder in a series of YouTube rap videos. Other videos were reportedly shot at locations where members of the gang were murdered and officials believe some of the lyrics mentioned shooting other gang members, according to Boston.com
Law enforcement also gained access to three confidential sources they say helped them take down the gang leadership.
“To get at gang leadership, you almost always need a highly placed cooperating source,” Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a press conference. “If you don’t have that, it’s very difficult to get the leaders.”
Lelling said they gained an understanding of the gang's violent ways gradually throughout the investigation.
"Time after time, we uncovered their planning of brazen acts of violence against those who ran afoul of the gang's manifesto and constitution," he said, according to the outlet.
During Thursday's arrests in Massachusetts, police seized dozens of firearms, including machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, as well as six cars, six motorcycles, three jet skis, an ATV, drugs and $38,000.
They also recovered two missing children, a 14-year-old boy from New Bedford and a 16-year-old boy from Fall River.
“Having taken out most of the leadership, it’s extremely difficult for the gang to regroup in this region” any time soon, Lelling told Boston.com. “It puts us a step ahead of them regionally -- for once.”