- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say eight members of the MS-13 street gang have been convicted of racketeering-related crimes, including multiple acts of violence.

The verdicts rendered Wednesday culminated a 16-week trial. The jury deliberated for about four days before reaching its decisions.

Prosecutors say the eight defendants were members of the Plainfield Locos Salvatruchas clique of MS-13, which operated in Union, Somerset, and Middlesex counties. Authorities say gang members committed five murders between 2007 and September 2013 to further the gang’s objectives.

Among those convicted was Santos Reyes-Villatoro, a 43-year-old Bound Brook resident who prosecutors say was the clique’s founding member.

Reyes-Villatoro and four other defendants face mandatory life terms when they’re sentenced Sept. 7. The three others face several decades in prison.

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