Anti-gang crusader pleads not guilty

LOS ANGELES /*Alex Sanchez*/, 37, was arrested last week during a gang raid. He was named in a federal indictment with 24 alleged members of the /*Mara Salvatrucha*/ or /*MS-13 gang*/ on June 24.

Prosecutors say Sanchez and three others conspired to murder a rival who was shot to death in El Salvador three years ago. He is also accused of drug distribution and extortion.

Sanchez was reportedly an active member of MS-13 in the Los Angeles area as a youth. He was deported to his native El Salvador, but allegedly snuck back into the United States one year later.

Sanchez later tried to turn his life around and helped to organize the local chapter of /*Homies Unidos*/, a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping kids out of gangs.

Trial for Sanchez is set for September 1 in U.S. District Court.

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