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Seven members of murderous gang "Folk Nation" indicted

By Aman Ali

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seven members of a violent Brooklyn gang know as "Folk Nation" have been charged with multiple murders, along with the attempted murder of a 10-year-old girl caught in the crossfire as she walked into her apartment building, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Federal authorities, who said they have been monitoring the gang's activity since 2008, accused the members of four murders, three attempted murders, and two assaults in a 16-count indictment.

Many of the acts were committed against rivals to win "prestige, reputation and position" within the world of New York gangs, the indictment said.

"Motivated by greed, the Folk Nation employed indiscriminate violence to destroy the lives of their perceived enemies," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

"But their violence spread beyond the gang world into the streets and playgrounds of Brooklyn, and innocent bystanders, including a child, were caught in the crossfire."

A federal indictment said in 2008 one gang member pulled out a semi-automatic weapon to kill a rival gang member but instead shot and killed the 10-year-old girl.

Another time, a Folk Nation member shot and killed an unarmed teenager at a birthday party, mistakenly thinking he was a rival gang member, the indictment said.

Prosecutors also charged with gang members with six robberies. In some cases, they said the gang would lure people selling iPhones or expensive sunglasses on Craigslist to Brooklyn by posing as interested buyers. The gang would then rob the victims at gunpoint.

The defendants face sentences up to life imprisonment if convicted.

(Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Paul Thomasch)

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