CHICAGO (WLS) --Tightened security is in place at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse as jury selection begins for the trial of a group of alleged gang leaders who formed a so-called 'super-gang' known as the Hobos. All are on trial for alleged racketeering and conspiracy.
It is possible opening statements in the trial may not start until next week. Each defendant is represented by a team of defense attorneys.
Federal prosecutors said the super-gang's name, the Hobos, is found in tattoos on all six of the defendants.
The six men sat flanked by attorneys in court as the federal judge began jury selection. The trial could last months.
Prosecutor allege that these men and others are part of a consortium of higher-ranking gang members from a variety of local gangs that joined forces to make more money off drug sales and increase territory.
The alleged business plan ran into problems when rivals stole, lied or cooperated with law enforcements.
As the Hobos are accused of amassing wealth and comfortable lifestyles of vacations and gambling jaunts, retaliation allegedly led to nine murders, kidnapping and threats.
Wednesday, amid heightened security in and around the courtroom, the judge questioned dozens of perspective jurors about their ability to be fair and follow instructions including that all men charged are presumed innocent and the government has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Security is expected to remain heightened throughout the trial as many witnesses are inmates already convicted of other offenses.