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4 men plead guilty to murder in ongoing investigation of central Ohio gang-related crimes


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The government says four men have pleaded guilty to murder as an investigation continues into gang-related violence in central Ohio.

The four are accused of being members of the Short North Posse, a gang with 2-decade-old roots in and around Columbus.

State and federal authorities announced Wednesday that Joseph Hill, Christopher Wharton, Troy Patterson and Ishmael Bowers each pleaded guilty to one count of murder in aid of racketeering.

Authorities say Hill also pleaded guilty to a second count of murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

Authorities also say Wharton pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The charges involved five murder victims. The defendants face life in prison at sentencing.

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