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Federal Jury Convicts Four Latin Kings

CHICAGO (CN) - A federal jury on Wednesday convicted four top leaders of the Latin Kings gang of RICO charges involving drugs and violence.

Prosecutors said Augustin Zambrano, 51, was the national leader of the so-called Almighty Latin King Nation, which they said has 10,000 adherents in Illinois alone.

The Latin Kings began on the West Side of Chicago and then branched out into other states, according to evidence presented at trial.

All four were convicted of "running a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves and others through drug-trafficking and preserving and protecting their power, territory and revenue through acts of murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, and other acts of violence," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in announcing the verdicts.

Of 31 people who were indicted in September 2008 and/or October 2009, 24 pleaded guilty, four were convicted, and three are fugitives.

Also convicted were Vincent Garcia, 33; Jose Guzman, 34, and Alphonso Chaves, 26.

Sentencings have been set for Aug. 23-26.

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