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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

20 members of the "Chain Gang" and "Wolf Pack" are locked up.

Prosecutors say more than 20 members of the "Chain Gang" and "Wolf Pack" are locked up. Federal agents busted a major Rochester gang Monday.It is a major takedown for Rochester. "I can tell you these individuals are responsible for a tremendous amount of violence that's taking place in our community," said Rochester Police Chief David Moore.Prosecutors tell us it's the first time in the city's history that the RICO statute is being used to bust up a gang. It's the same law that was used to bring down the mob. Monday, it was used to arrest two-dozen young people, mostly on the city's east side.Federal and local law enforcement teamed up Monday to make the arrests. Many of the arrests came in and around Grand and Garson Avenues. Gail Ashley has heard of the gangs. She's known as the church lady in her neighborhood and even knows some of the gang members. "They don't want to be out there selling drugs, and they don't want to be in a gang and all of that," said Ashley. "But what choice do they have?"Ashley says many times they don't have a choice. She believes the problem is poor education and lack of jobs. Other neighbors like Jeff Hoffmann agree. He says the lack of jobs turns many teens to the streets. "Living here in the midst of it, there are a lot of good people in this neighborhood," said Hoffmann. But while he is tending to his garden, crimes are being committed around him. "You get property destruction, you get theft, and you get transits coming in out of the neighborhoods," said Hoffmann. "Perhaps buying drugs." Police Chief David Moore says Monday's arrests are significant."Gang violence is a significant role in the violence we see in this community," Moore said. Sources tell us the suspects are accused of all sorts of crimes ranging from murders to gun charges to drug dealing. But Ashley sees a different side to these suspects."Most of them are good boys," said Ashley. "They just (come from) broken homes or just boredom."
People who live in the neighborhood hope Monday's arrests will help clean up the streets. Chief Moore says there's no doubt. It's a guaranteed safer community. We also spoke with Mayor Bob Duffy. He says gang activity simply will not be tolerated in Rochester. Racketeering comes with a stiff penalty. If convicted, the maximum sentence is 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.


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