CHICAGO - Two defendants in the Hobos gang trial were sentenced to life in prison Friday.
The Hobos street gang was described by prosecutors as a "super gang," a sort of all-star team of criminals born out of the Robert Taylor Homes, which terrorized the South and West sides of the city for a decade starting in the mid-2000s.
Federal prosecutors and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson left court Friday afternoon after two defendants were given life sentences. Several other defendants have also been sentenced in recent weeks as part of a massive federal prosecution.
A total of 10 defendants were either convicted or pleaded guilty. Five have now been sentenced to life, while others have received heavy prison time.
Prosecutors said the Hobos dealt in narcotics and illegal guns, and are responsible for a slew of murders including those of police informants.
"The judge was intending to send a strong message that when people engage in this sort of violent conduct, it will not be tolerated, and there will be consequences, and people will be imprisoned for lengthy, lengthy sentencing," said Acting U.S. Attorney Joel Levin.
"The Hobos street gang, I remember them when I was a beat cop. And they just wreaked havoc over this city, and they earned every day of the sentencing that they got," Johnson said.
Most, if not all, of the defendants are now in their 30s and 40s. Superintendent Johnson said he hopes these sentences send a message to the younger gang members of today.