MIAMI — Federal authorities have charged 14 people with operating a drug racketeering conspiracy at a Miami housing complex long plagued by violence and gangs.

Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin Greenberg said at a news conference Wednesday that some of the suspects have been involved in the enterprise since 2000, when many were only juveniles. The group was charged under a federal racketeering law that carries a potential life prison sentence.

Greenberg says the suspects were dealing drugs at the South Gwen Cherry Housing Complex and also committing murders, robberies and assaults. Greenberg says the men used violence and threats to take over rival drug dealers’ territory.

The case is part of a collaboration between federal and local investigators to dismantle criminal networks in neighborhoods throughout South Florida.

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