“I am not a monster,” Nathaniel Hoskins, “king” of Chicago’s Imperial Insane Vice Lords told U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo. “Nor am I a menace to society.” These words did not sway Bucklo, who threw the book at Hoskins, sentencing him to life in prison.
Hoskins also told the judge that his biggest mistake was returning to Chicago. He came back from Vegas at the age of 42 “a violent and murderous West Side drug conspiracy,” according to Bucklo.
Bucklo convicted Hoskins last summer along with Julian “Light Bright” Martin and Torrie King of a racketeering conspiracy involving the drug market at Thomas and Keystone. The Vice Lords had long warred with the Four Corner Hustlers over territory divided by Pulaski, according to federal prosecutors. He was among 33 people charged with participating in the narcotics enterprise in 2013. He was arrested at O’Hare Airport that fall as he tried to leave for Nevada.
Police believe that Hoskins oversaw an army of 250 Vice Lords and was trying to absorb smaller West Side factions into the VL fold. Though it is believed he made the bulk of his money through drug operations, he is accused of “dabbling in illegal pharmaceutical sales in Nevada too.” The prosecution said he fled to Nevada to evade charges for the 1993 murder of Jerome Luscious in Chicago. The murder case was dismissed when he came back to take over leadership of the set.
The prosecution accused Hoskins of sending Andre “Teardrop Thuggish” Brown to whack Marcus Hurley of the Four Corner Hustlers in 2011. He is also accused of hiding Brown (who has since been murdered) at a suburban Red Roof Inn.
“The seriousness of defendant’s crime cannot be overstated,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Rajnath Laud in a court filing. “He led a violent street gang that controlled a neighborhood through terror. He ordered the murder of Marcus Hurley based solely on the perceived association of Hurley with a rival gang. After the murder, he boasted about ordering it to his fellow gang members and sheltered the murderer.”
Julian “Light Bright” Martin is yet to be sentenced, as well as VL “prince,” Joseph Faulkner, who was convicted separately in December.