Alleged gang members charged in San Francisco area killings

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Ten alleged members of a Northern California street gang have been charged for their roles in seven killings, according to a report Saturday.

Two factions of the Surenos gang engaged in a criminal enterprise that targeted suspected rivals and sought to maintain control of drug sales in San Francisco's Mission District, prosecutors say.

The slayings occurred between 2006 and 2013. A grand jury indictment unsealed this week states the victims included members of rival gangs — including a 16-year-old fatally shot at a birthday party in the city of Richmond in 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The indictment alleges that members committed strong-arm robberies and assaults to protect their territory. All 10 defendants are in custody. Nine are accused of murder, among other charges; a10th is accused of conspiracy to commit murder.

The drugs allegedly sold by some of the defendants include crack cocaine, cocaine powder and heroin.

Members of the Surenos gangs are mostly born in San Francisco, but members have roots in Southern California or Latin America, and "they recognize the primacy of the Mexican Mafia prison gang," according to court documents. Their chief rivals are various Nortenos gangs, the indictment said.

The charges followed an investigation that included the U.S. attorney's office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations arm and the San Francisco Police Department.