CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors in Chicago secured guilty verdicts Tuesday against two men tied to a slew of violence on the city’s West Side over the course of two decades.
Jurors at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse returned guilty verdicts against Donald Lee and Torance Benson, two higher-ups in the Wicked Town faction of the Traveling Vice Lords gang.
Lee was found guilty of committing three murders and supplying the weapons used in three more killings, while Benson was found guilty of one murder and three other nonfatal shootings, according to federal prosecutors.
Lee and Benson were two of 13 people initially charged in the conspiracy, though their 11 co-defendants all pleaded guilty before trial. The indictment, handed up in late 2021, accused Wicked Town of committing 19 murders and 19 more attempted murders between 2000 and 2020.
Speaking to reporters at the courthouse Tuesday, John Lausch, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said:
“It takes a long time to put a case together like this, but when you’re able to learn about multiple acts of violence that are committed by a group — and it’s done either to protect and promote particular criminal activity they have or retaliation for other crimes that are committed — it allows us to see the full picture and it allows us to reach a greater breadth of people who are ultimately responsible.”
A sentencing date for Lee and Benson has not yet been scheduled, though each faces a mandatory life sentence.