Gang Leader Convicted of Ordering Hand-Smashing

One eyewitness told jurors he could hear the victim's knuckles shatter

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A Latin Kings street-gang leader in Chicago has been convicted of ordering an enforcer to smash the hands of a subordinate with a hammer and other crimes.

    After a week-long trial, a federal jury Thursday convicted 37-year-old Juan Amaya on all counts, including racketeering conspiracy.

    One eyewitness told jurors about how he could hear the victim's knuckles shatter as an enforcer pounded on both hands. Amaya ordered the assault as punishment for stealing.

    More than 100 Latin Kings have been prosecuted since 2006 as U.S. prosecutors in Chicago seek to dismantle the leadership of the gang, which has 10,000 members in Illinois. Top leader Augustin Zambrano was sentenced to a 60-year term in 2012.

    Amaya faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.