Boss of vi­o­lent Chicago Ho­bos gang sen­tenced to 40 years

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

CHICAGO — A judge Thurs­day sen­tenced the boss of one of Chicago’s most vi­o­lent street gangs to 40 years be­hind bars, say­ing the Ho­bos boss had used his many tal­ents “to ad­vance the cause of evil.’’

Gre­gory “Bowlegs’’ Ch­ester, 40, led the South Side gang that pros­e­cu­tors de­scribed as an “all-star team’’ of thieves and killers who cul­ti­vated a rep­u­ta­tion for bru­tal­ity to main­tain their crim­i­nal empire.

In a brief state­ment just be­fore the sen­tence was pro­nounced, Ch­ester apol­o­gized for what he called “my be­hav­iour’’ and ap­pealed to U.S. District Judge John Tharp to “Please have mercy on me.’’

Min­utes later, Tharp said Ch­ester, who grew up in poverty cop­ing with a de­for­mity that badly bowed his legs, had squan­dered his clear in­tel­li­gence and en­tre­pre­neur­ial mind. “He made a choice to use those tal­ents to ad­vance the cause of evil,’’ the judge said. Ch­ester was the first of the Ho­bos to be sen­tenced since ju­rors con­victed six in Jan­uary of a rack­e­teer­ing con­spir­acy that in­volved at least six slay­ings, in­clud­ing the 2013 shoot­ing of a star gov­ern­ment wit­ness, Keith Daniels, in front of his two small stepchil­dren as they screamed a few feet away.

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