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Jury selection in process for trial of 14 gang members

People arrested for drug-related crimes in New Jersey can sometimes face additional charges. The drug offenses may or may not have been the primary allegations involved in an arrest. A case involving the arrest of 14 people back in 2013 offers an example of this. The defendants are reported to all be members of an El Salvador gang and based in Plainfield, New Jersey.

The gang is referred to as MS-13 and the defendants are part of the Locos Salvatrucha group in the gang. The original arrest led to the gang members being indicted in the fall of 2013. A trial is just now getting underway with the process of selecting a jury. In addition to drug dealing, a variety of other accusations are involved in the case. The group is accused of shooting, attacking other gangs with machetes during confrontations, and more. Formal charges include racketeering conspiracy among other crimes of violence.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey are leading the effort against the defendants. Gang rules typically forbid members from making deals with prosecutors yet that is exactly what five of the defendants have done. No details of the agreements are known other than the persons involved have pled guilty to select charges. It is not known when the trial proceedings will get underway or what potential penalties are faced by the defendants if they are eventually convicted.

Situations like the one above can be very complex and the charges against each defendant can be different. When arrested for any type of criminal activity, even as part of a group, individuals may wish to consult with an attorney to understand the allegations and options for their defense.

 Source: The Daily Caller, “US Attorney Going After Salvadoran Drug Gang In Jersey,” JP Carroll, February 10, 2016



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