MS-13 gang leader convicted of encouraging rival killings

BOSTON - A man who led a local chapter of violent Central American street gang MS-13 has been convicted after prosecutors say he encouraged members to kill rivals in the Boston area.

The U.S. attorney's office says 22-year-old Rafael Leoner-Aguirre was found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced in March.

Federal prosecutors say Leoner-Aguirre was the leader of the Enfermos Criminal Salvatrucha clique of MS-13 in Chelsea, just outside of Boston. The clique was one of many operating in Massachusetts from 2013 to 2016.

Prosecutors say the El Salvador native also created recruitment videos for MS-13.

He was not linked to any deaths.

Leoner-Aguirre's attorney didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

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