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Several arrested on gang charges

Several people in New York were arrested by local police and federal agents for their alleged involvement with a Yonkers street gang known as GMF. Two accused gang members are still wanted, but several others were arrested by the FBI's SWAT team and Westchester Violent Crimes Task Force on the morning of Dec. 10. The people arrested were scheduled to appear before a federal judge in White Plains later on that same afternoon.

The indictment claims that the Yonkers gang was involved in making threats and violent acts in an attempt to protect the organization's power and territory. The indictments attributes a 2013 murder of a rival member to shootings committed the GMF gang. Prosecutors also claim that GMF paralyzed another rival gang member during a 2010 shooting and injured in an innocent bystander and another gang shooting that occurred in 2008. The federal indictment charges 13 members of the gang with firearms offenses, murder, drug trafficking and racketeering.

The FBI requested that anyone possessing knowledge of the whereabouts of the two remaining gang members to call in with the information. Each of the alleged gang members may benefit from contacting legal counsel before cooperating with investigators or any interrogations. Criminal defense lawyers may be able to help the accused avoid making self-incriminating statements that could be damning in court.

Lawyers may be able to investigate the allegations and determine which defense strategy will be the most effective for the defendant's particular circumstances. People charged with violent crimes may be able to obtain reduced charges or more lenient sentencing if legal counsel can discredit the prosecution's case. If lawyers can prove that prosecutors and investigators violated the defendant's rights, a judge may be compelled to dismiss some of the charges or the entire case altogether. If an acquittal or dismissal is unlikely, a plea bargain may still be possible.

Source: NBC New York, "13 gang members indicted on rackateering, murder charges: officials", Joe Valiquette, December 10, 2014

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