10 convicted in drug ring tied to gang

Chicago Sun-Times,  Apr 14, 2001  by STEVE WARMBIR

The head of the Maniac Latin Disciples drug organization and nine other gang members or associates were convicted in federal court Friday on drug conspiracy charges.

Leader Thomas Ross and the others face up to life imprisonment for their roles in the conspiracy, which spanned more than a decade, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon King said.

Ross, 35, ran a massive crack cocaine operation that sold mainly in the Wicker Park and Bucktown areas, prosecutors said.

The trial, which began in mid-February, offered jurors an inside look at how the gang ran its drug business and offered wiretapped phone conversations from Ross and testimony from former gang members.

A ledger showed that Ross was bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars within six months in 1999.

Three other high-ranking members of the gang were convicted, along with six lesser players in the drug ring.