Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies arrest 'queen' of Pasco gang

Wanda Capuano, 44, was charged with drug possession and trafficking, reports say.

Wanda Capuano, 44, was charged with drug possession and trafficking, reports say.

NEW PORT RICHEY — They call her Queen Wanda.

Pasco County deputies arrested a Port Richey woman Thursday they say has ruled a local Latin Kings gang for years.

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said that for a decade, "Queen" Wanda Capuano, 44, who rose to power after the death of her husband, a "king" of the gang, was infamous for connections to drug dealing, gang violence and at least five murders.

"When there was a homicide in west Pasco, and it was gang-related," Nocco said, "Wanda's name came up."

After years of waiting for an opportunity to arrest her, at about 4:45 a.m. Thursday deputes raided her home at 7215 San Miguel Drive in Port Richey. She was charged with drug possession and trafficking, according to reports.

Nocco said the start of Capuano's downfall began when Latin Kings member Anthony Capuano — Wanda's current husband — was arrested May 16 after deputies say he broke into a Port Richey home armed with a gun.

Anthony Capuano, 39, was still being held in Land O'Lakes jail Thursday in lieu of $150,000 bail.

He was dealing drugs for Wanda Capuano, Nocco said, so she started dealing to account for the loss since he's been in jail. Deputies responded by taking the gang's assets — buying drugs while undercover.

That's when she and some of her gang members walked into the Sheriff's Office, Nocco said, and threatened to hurt deputies.

"When you start threatening ourselves and our families," he said, "that's when it gets personal."

In addition to Wanda Capuano, Marlon Wright, 34, Sadie Pokol, 19, and Anthony Carrero, 22, — who all lived with her in Port Richey — were also arrested in the raid on drug possession charges. Pedro Perez, 25, who was linked to the group, was arrested two hours later in his home at 6630 Date Palm Blvd. in Port Richey, charged with theft and possession and sale of cocaine.

Wanda Capuano was being held in the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday. Carrero, Pokol, Wright and Perez were also being held Thursday.

Neighbors clapped when they heard deputies' flash-bangs go off during the raid, Nocco said, glad to be rid of the gang. He said the Latin Kings have tried to grow their operations in the area, Port Richey's Embassy Hills.

"It's unfortunate because you have some very, very good people who live in Embassy," Nocco said. "On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have some criminals who live in Embassy.

"Well, today we have eliminated some of those criminals. And we're going to keep the pressure on."

Deputies arrest 'queen' of Pasco gang 05/29/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 9:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump condemns 'evil losers' who carried out Manchester concert attack

    Politics

    BETHLEHEM, West Bank — President Donald Trump condemned the "evil losers" responsible for the deadly attack on concert-goers in England Tuesday and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence.

    President Donald Trump pauses as he makes a statement on the terrorist attack in Manchester, after a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem. [Associated Press]
  2. Tampa Bay Times journalists wins 17 Green Eyeshade Awards

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Times journalists placed first in seven categories of the prestigious Green Eyeshade awards, which honors outstanding journalism in the Southeast.

  3. A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, some of many springs that feed the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal that would allow a decrease to the amount of fresh water flowing in the Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014]
  4. Ailing Florida springs could be tapped further to fuel development

    Water

    BROOKSVILLE — Efforts by state officials to set a minimum flow for its iconic springs have stirred up a wave of public opposition. Opponents contend the state is willing to destroy its springs in order to justify continuing to provide water for new development.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, one of many springs that feeds the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal to decrease the amount of fresh water flowing in Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014
  5. Canned by lawmakers, PTC staff say they are now forgotten

    Transportation

    TAMPA — After roughly 20 years in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Mike Gonzalez got another job with a uniform and badge when he was hired in 2015 as an inspector for the Public Transportation Commission.

    The badge that PTC inspectors carry while on duty. State lawmakers voted to abolish the agency this year leaving its remaining employees fearing for their future.