Jury to get 'Mexican Mafia' case
May 16, 1997
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The trial of 13 alleged members of the "Mexican Mafia" is expected to go to a federal jury in Los Angeles on Friday after closing arguments are completed.
The defendants are charged with racketeering, attempted murder, drug sales, conspiracy and extortion.
During the six-month trial, the government has maintained the prison-based Mexican Mafia controls narcotics trafficking and money laundering among Hispanic street gangs in Southern California.
Defense attorneys deny the existence of a Mexican Mafia and claim their clients were framed by the government.
The chief prosecution witness was former Mexican Mafia member Ernest "Chuco" Castro, who became an informant, giving testimony about mob connections to drugs and murder.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
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