NEW YORK – More than two dozen alleged members of a New York City-based Russian organized crime gang have been charged with racketeering and other crimes.
Federal prosecutors say the suspects operated across the country and abroad and trafficked in stolen goods, including cigarettes and even a cargo shipment of more than 10,000 pounds (4535 kilograms) of chocolate.
The gang members also were charged with plotting to rob victims by seducing and drugging them with chloroform and using electronic devices to hack casino slot machines.
The defendants were mostly born in the former Soviet Union and had strong ties to Ukraine, Georgia and Russia.
The indictment also accuses them of extortion, gambling, narcotics trafficking and credit card fraud.
The charges against 31 people were unsealed in Manhattan federal court Wednesday.