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Conviction Means Life Sentences For Gang Leaders

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Three leaders of the MS-13 street gang in Washington are facing mandatory life sentences after being convicted of racketeering and conspiring to murder a rival gang member today. The conviction is the first of its kind for the D.C. region.

John Torres, the special agent in charge of the Washington Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says in the past two years, ICE agents have arrested more than 200 gang members and associates in D.C. and Virginia -- mostly from MS-13.

But this is the first time U.S. attorneys in the region have used racketeering laws against the gang.

The men -- 26-year-old William Cordova, 21-year-old Jose Gutierrez and 24-year-old Melvin Sorto -- all face mandatory life sentences following the verdict.

The conspiracy cases culminated in the 2007 murder of 18-year-old Edwin Ventura.

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