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updated: 3/22/2013 4:15 PM

Reputed 'Killing Crew' leader sentenced

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Associated Press

The 27-year-old leader of a crack-cocaine ring that called itself "The Killing Crew" has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

Jurors convicted Rashod Bethany, whose nickname is "Fat Man," of conspiracy to sell crack. But during sentencing this week in Chicago, prosecutors also raised allegations of his involvement in five murders.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Judge Harry Leinenweber didn't factor in the alleged murders in imposing a sentence. But he called Bethany's crimes "very, very serious."

Prosecutors say Bethany's South Side gang brutally enforced a no-snitch rule to ensure nobody exposed its operation to police.

Filings by the defense contend Bethany had a rough upbringing and learned how to bag drugs as a child. Defense lawyer Beau Brindley said his client "never had a chance."

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