The biggest street-gang trial in recent Chicago history starts in earnest today, with months of testimony expected to provide a rare look inside the gangland activity fueling deadly gun violence in the third-largest U.S. city, the Associated Press reports. On trial on federal racketeering charges are six purported leaders of the Hobos gang who prosecutors say murdered, maimed, and tortured their way into controlling the most lucrative drug markets on the city’s South Side. Among the defendants is alleged Hobos hit man Paris Poe, who prosecutors say killed a government witness in 2013, shooting the man 25 times at close range while his horrified step-kids, aged 4 and 6, screamed in the back seat of a car.
Prosecutors will seek to prove that the defendants’ conspiracy involved at least nine murders, including the killing of semi-pro basketball player Eddie Moss Jr. in a case of mistaken identity and the fatal drive-by shooting of two rival gang members outside a funeral home. Security is heavy at federal court, where opening statements are expected today. The judge ordered jurors’ names be kept secret to ensure they aren’t subject to intimidation.