By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

READING, Pa. (AP) - Federal authorities have announced more charges in an investigation of what they call a violent drug gang that engaged in sex trafficking, attempted murder and murder in eastern Pennsylvania.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain said the racketeering conspiracy and other charges against 13 people stem from a yearslong investigation into a gang called “The Sevens” that primarily operated from a Reading boarding house from December 2017 to last March.

The indictment lists 15 victims of sex trafficking and violent crime, two of them minors. Authorities allege one victim was killed and others were shot, assaulted with a baton, stabbed, or hit with a hammer. They allege one victim was ”forced to have a sexual encounter with a gun held to her head.”

The charges include racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy, and various violent crimes including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and assault.

Authorities last year announced a drug-trafficking and weapons indictment of eight alleged high-level gang members they said were responsible for as many as eight homicides.

The investigation was conducted by the federal Homeland Security department and Reading police.

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