George Torres Guilty of Racketeering, Solicitation of Murder
Numero Uno supermarket founder and president George Torres has been convicted today on multiple federal felony charges that include racketeering and solicitation of murder. The government's case against Torres, who has been in custody since his June, 2007 arrest, had at times seemed in jeopardy to some court watchers.
The prosecution admitted that there were credibility problems with two key government witnesses, both of whom are serving prison terms for cocaine-related crimes. Torres' brother, Manuel, had been cut loose last week as a co-defendant and declared "not guilty" by Judge Stephen V. Wilson. Wilson ruled that prosecutors had not proved their case against Manuel Torres and, by declaring him not guilty, ensured the government could not attempt to retry him later on the same charges.
In the end, jurors believed the government and their witnesses enough to convict Torres of dozens of felonies. These also included the attempted bribery of a public official in a failed attempt to win a liquor license for one of Torres' stores, and of hiring illegal immigrants after having them secure false documentation.
"Numero Uno's George Torres Faces Murder Charges," by Jeffrey Anderson
"Grocery King George Torres Fingered in Murders," by Jeffrey Anderson