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Thursday, 20 November 2008

Ruben "Niteowl" Castro, 48, a kingpin of the 18th Street gang controlled Latino street-gang activity around MacArthur Park

08:07 |

Ruben "Niteowl" Castro, 48, a kingpin of the 18th Street gang, admitted to running criminal operations at the park in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder. He had been indicted in 2006 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and murder, along with 17 others.Gangs under his control allegedly taxed drug dealers in the area, as well as MacArthur Park fruit and ice cream vendors. Police also reported gang members taxing people who play chess on park tables.Revenue was divided among Castro and his associates on the street.Because of the extent of his criminal reach from federal prison in Florence, Colo., Los Angeles Magazine picked Castro as one of the city's most powerful people in December 2006.Castro was already serving three life sentences for a 1997 conviction on racketeering and conspiracy.
Deputy U.S. Atty. Brian Michael said Castro's conviction sets the stage for the trials of others in the 2006 indictment.

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