8 St. Joseph men indicted in alleged violent gang activity
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Federal racketeering charges have been filed against eight alleged members of a St. Joseph-based street gang.
Prosecutors said Friday the gang was involved in murder, attempted murders, drug trafficking, armed robberies and extortion. They allegedly operated in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Massachusetts and other places. Many of the members were recruited from Puerto Rico although the eight people indicted live in St. Joseph.
Prosecutors say Victor Matias-Torres led the gang, which created a "climate of fear" in St. Joseph.
One of the eight, 28-year-old Luis Alfredo Villegas-Rosa, was indicted in the February 2015 shooting death of John O. Baynham Jr. in St. Joseph. The gang also was indicted in five cases where victims were shot or shot at, and at least five robberies of check-cashing businesses in St. Joseph.