- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A leader of a notorious Los Angeles street gang has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal racketeering and drug trafficking charges.

In a letter to the judge, Victor Barrios, a Mexican national, apologized for his crimes and said he hopes to someday be an anti-gang advocate. The 43-year-old said drug addiction is part of the reason he became a member of the Hazard street gang, which officials say is controlled by the Mexican Mafia.

Barrios was sentenced Monday.

Federal prosecutors say he was a “shot caller” for the gang and that he admitted being involved in drug deals and acts of intimidation and violence.

Barrios was one of 27 defendants named in a racketeering indictment unsealed in December 2014.

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