LAWFUEL – Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United S…

LAWFUEL – Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Miami Field Office, announced that, following a six month trial, a Miami jury convicted defendants Manuel Marquez, Jose Miguel Battle, Jr., and Julio Acuna, members of one of the largest organized crime syndicates called “The Corporation,” on various racketeering charges. At sentencing, defendant Acuna faces a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment; defendants Marquez and Battle, Jr., each face a statutory maximum penalty of twenty years’ (20) imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for September 29, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Alan S. Gold.

According to the evidence presented at trial, these defendants were involved in a racketeering conspiracy that began in 1964 and continued through 2004. The evidence established that the Corporation conducted extensive illegal gambling operations, which it conducted through the use of violence and intimidation, including the commission of multiple murders. Indeed, the jury specifically found the defendants guilty of, among other things, eight murders and seven arsons resulting in deaths. These murders included the death of a 3 year-old child who was killed in a fire, the death of a former “Corporation” hit man who was gunned down in the 1970’s after turning against the “Corporation,” and a “Corporation” rival who was killed in a hospital by an assassin disguised as a nurse. These murders were authorized and committed by members of the Corporation in furtherance of their racketeering conspiracy.

In addition to the guilty verdict against the defendants, the jury also returned a forfeiture verdict of $1.4 billion. The United States has already seized in excess of $20 million in currency and other assets.

United States Attorney Acosta stated, “Yesterday’s guilty verdicts, in conjunction with the forfeiture of $1.4 billion, effectively dismantles a deadly and well-organized racketeering group that controlled a large metropolitan area through fear, violence and intimidation. Justice has been done in this case.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge Brian J. Wimpling stated, “IRS-Criminal Investigation Division is pleased to lend our financial expertise to dismantle organizations such as this through criminal prosecution and the forfeiture of ill-gotten assets.”

Mr. Acosta commended the Internal Revenue Service, the Office of the District Attorney for Kings County, New York, the Broward and Monroe County Sheriffs Offices, the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, and the Miami Dade Police Department, for their work in this Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case. The trial, which lasted over six months, was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Tony Gonzalez and David Haimes of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, Alicia Shick of the Narcotics Section, Alison Lehr of the Asset Forfeiture Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia McNeill and Dennis Ring, of the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office.

A copy of all press releases may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on .

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