3 gang members convicted of federal charges

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Associated Press

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 3:32 PM

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — Authorities say three members of the Texas Syndicate prison gang have been convicted of federal racketeering charges for their role in a series of killings that date to 2002.

The FBI announced Wednesday that a jury in Del Rio returned guilty verdicts against 38-year-old Raul Rodriquez, 37-year-old Mike Cassiano and 35-year-old Cristobal Velasquez. Del Rio is about 145 miles west of San Antonio on the border with Mexico.

Investigators say the three men along with 11 others conspired to commit three murders, attempt another, extort and distribute drugs. The 11 others previously pleaded guilty to similar racketeering charges. All are awaiting sentencing.

Investigators say in one instance the men killed a fellow gang member for failing to follow Syndicate rules, and in another they murdered a man for "disrespecting" the gang.

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