Four members of a Miami street gang called “Big Money Team” were convicted Monday of drug trafficking and related violent crimes after a one-month trial.
The defendants — Maurin Chacon, aka “Tiny”; Christopher Altamirano, aka “Tango”; Rodolfo Portela, aka “Desperado”; and James Dixon, aka “Smoke” — were found guilty of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine, marijuana and other drugs.
At trial, prosecutors portrayed them as thugs who terrorized the Little Havana and Allapattah neighborhoods with armed robberies, assaults and carjackings. They also threatened people who might talk to law enforcement, prosecutors said.
The leader, Chacon, posted a picture of himself on a social media site that compared himself to John Gotti, the late head of the Gambino crime family.
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“These gang members used violence to intimidate, harass and oppress our community’s citizens,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in a statement.
Before the jury’s verdicts, a dozen other gang members pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking conspiracy charges.
All of the convicted defendants face from 10 years to life in prison.
The case was investigated by the Miami Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies on a countywide gang task force.