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Feds: Kansas gang preyed on illegal immigrants

Published on -5/11/2012, 3:21 PM

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DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a Hispanic gang consisting mostly of U.S. citizens preyed upon illegal immigrants in Kansas who did their business in cash and were afraid to go to law enforcement because of their immigration status.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom on Friday announced racketeering and other charges against 23 members of the Nortenos gang in Dodge City, including 22 who are first- or second-generation citizens.

Four of the men are charged with murder in the 2009 slaying of Israel Peralta and attempted murder of three other men who were with Peralta when he was shot to death.

The gang members are charged under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, adopted by Congress in 1970 to prosecute the Mafia. They're also charged with drug, weapons and assault crimes.

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