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Jury convicts alleged Chicago street-gang leader

Jury convicts alleged Chicago street-gang leader

April 7th, 2011 by MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press in News

CHICAGO (AP) - A jury has convicted the alleged top leader of the Chicago-based Latin Kings street gang in a drug-selling operation that the federal government said used murder and other violence to protect its turf.

Prosecutors are hailing Wednesday's verdict as a major blow to one of the nation's most powerful gangs.

Fifty-one-year-old Augustin Zambrano showed little emotion as the verdict was read in federal court in Chicago. He was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit extortion and assault with a dangerous weapon.

The case is part of a concerted push over several years by prosecutors to cripple Chicago gangs.

During the trial, the defense questioned the reliability of testimony from people who admitted participating in crimes. Zambrano's attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment late Wednesday.