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Latin Kings gang members face life in prison for assault against witness

Two Latin Kings street gang members face up to life in prison after they were convicted of retaliating against a witness in a federal trial involving another member of the gang, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Jose Escalera, 41, of Buffalo, and Giovanni Cotto, 36, of Springfield, Mass., were accused of ordering an assault against a witness in a 2014 trial where one of the defendants was a Latin Kings member, federal prosecutors said. The trial involved a killing, authorities said.

Three days into the witness' testimony, he was assaulted in the Cattaraugus County Jail's recreation yard and suffered a broken jaw and bruises. His jaw had to be wired shut and the rest of his testimony was delayed several weeks.

The person who committed the assault, who was tried and convicted for the attack, testified at their trial, officials said. Escalera and Cotto are scheduled to be sentenced in October.

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