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Gang leader convicted of drug charges sentenced

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 10:44 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – A Chicago street gang leader convicted of ordering an enforcer to smash the hands of a subordinate was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Juan Amaya was found guilty in March of racketeering conspiracy and other charges connected to narcotics trafficking and violence that plagued Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.

The 38-year-old Amaya is a leader of the Latin Kings. Federal prosecutors say he discussed 25 shootings committed by his underlings while expressing pride at the consistency of violence. Amaya was also overheard ordering 17-year-old Rodolfo Salazar’s hands smashed after the teen allegedly stole from another gang leader.

One eyewitness told jurors about how he could hear the victim’s knuckles shatter as an enforcer used a hammer to pound on both hands.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer sentenced Amaya on Monday.

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