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Milwaukee gang raid nets 49 on charges in murders, drugs
By COLIN FLY
Associated Press Writer

MILWAUKEE- Forty-nine members of a street gang known as the Almighty Latin King Nation were indicted Wednesday on federal racketeering charges for crimes that include four murders, 38 attempted murders and widespread drug trafficking.

All 49 defendants - with aliases like Squirt Guns, Spider, Fat Fat, Icy White and Lil' Wolfy _ face up to life imprisonment if convicted on the racketeering charges and between 10 years to life on the drug offenses, authorities said.

In the past four years, police have conducted a series of raids that have taken down nearly 200 members in seven different gangs.

The latest case "is part of law enforcement's response to Milwaukee's murder rate and the other violent activity described in the indictment," U.S. attorney Steven Biskupic said. "We intend as a strategy to overwhelm these gangs."

The most serious of the charges, dating to 1998, relate to four men murdered in 2002 and 2003. Most of the attempted murders were against members of rival gangs, which authorities said fueled the violence.

All those charged are U.S. citizens, ranging in age from 18 to 34.

Biskupic said that 20 in the ring were already in state custody on other charges. The rest were rounded up in a series of raids Wednesday. Biskupic was unsure if anyone remained at large.

The indictment says the gang has chapters in several other states, including Connecticut, Florida and New York.

Even with the increased emphasis on violent crime, Milwaukee's murder rate has already eclipsed last year's total of 88.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 
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