Sun-Times file photo

Gang leader gets 22 years for selling guns, cocaine

SHARE Gang leader gets 22 years for selling guns, cocaine
SHARE Gang leader gets 22 years for selling guns, cocaine

A gang leader has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for dealing guns and cocaine on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer sentenced 38-year-old Francisco Masias Friday to 264 months in federal prison, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office. A federal jury convicted Masias in 2015 of selling cocaine and illegally possessing 16 handguns.

Masias, a Berwyn resident, was the “longtime leader” of the Gangster 2-6 Nation gang, which operated a drug trafficking organization predominantly in the Little Village neighborhood, prosecutors said.

He illegally acquired 16 handguns from an associate before handing them off to fellow gang member Jose Maldonado, prosecutors said. Maldonado passed the guns to another gang member, at which point authorities seized the weapons before they could be distributed further.

Masias, Maldonado and more than 15 other defendants were convicted as part of a joint federal, state and local investigation called “Operation Shady Business,” the U.S. attorney’s office said. Wiretaps, surveillance and cooperating witnesses helped authorities uncover the gang’s gun activities.

In the course of the investigation, police also searched a home in which the gang was growing more than 100 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $1 million, according to prosecutors. Jason Herrera, who lived in the house and worked as security, pleaded guilty to a drug charge and was sentenced to five years in prison.

A federal jury also convicted Maldonado of drug and gun charges prosecutors said. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

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