COLUMBUS (AP) — Sixteen reputed central Ohio gang members have pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, racketeering conspiracy and using guns to commit crimes.
Federal prosecutors say members of the Short North Posse murdered people during robberies, tried to kill rivals and intimidated witnesses — all part of efforts to control their reputation and Columbus territory.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that 16 of the 17 men charged as part of the largest federal murder indictment in Ohio history were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Columbus on Tuesday.
Eleven defendants could face the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder charges.
The indictment said dealing heroin, cocaine, pain pills and marijuana, robbing people and murders-for-hire were the only source of income for gang members during crimes dating to 2005.