CHICAGO — An alleged West Side gang leader, who is facing new murder and conspiracy charges, has been a notorious figure in the city for years.
Labar Spann, known as "Bro Man," "B" and "Wheels," already was in custody for a separate case when the new charges came down last week, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In fact, Spann — who prosecutors say is a member of the Four Corner Hustlers — has faced charges in highly publicized cases before and been in and out of prison.
Spann's now charged with racketeering conspiracy and several murders, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Spann was involved in at least six murders between January 2000 and June 2003. He and other alleged Four Corner Hustler members killed and wounded people; dealt drugs, including heroin and cocaine; intimidated witnesses; and robbed rivals, prosecutors said.
Spann's cousin, Deandre Spann, also has been charged in the case. Spann was previously acquitted in a high-profile murder. He also attended at a 2010 meeting between Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis and West Side gang leaders, a summit of sorts that caught gang leaders off guard.
In 2008, Spann was tried in connection with the 2003 murder of Rudy Rangel Jr., a rapper and Latin Kings gang member known for his flashy lifestyle — including having jewelry worth more than $300,000, according to the Tribune. Rapper DMX wrote the song "A 'Yo Kato" in honor of Rangel.
Prosecutors said Spann, who reportedly has used a wheelchair since being wounded in a shooting, was carried into a trailer so he could shoot Rangel. Spann was acquitted.
Spann later was convicted of harassing a witness, armed robbery, bringing contraband into prison, possession of a gun, aggravated battery of a police officer and manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance.
In 2010, Spann said he was tricked into attending a meeting between Weis and gang leaders. Weis had arranged the meeting in an attempt to reduce Chicago's violence.
"They said they would get us if we don't stop the killing," Spann told the Sun-Times at the time.
Spann complained that he'd thought he was attending a meeting for his parole and didn't know he'd be meeting Weis. He dubbed the meeting a "gimmick" and told the Sun-Times he was not a gang leader, despite what police said.
At the time, Weis warned gang members the department would bring conspiracy cases against them, according to the Sun-Times.
Spann now awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to shooting a gun at a suburban range. Spann, a convicted felon who cannot legally possess a gun, posted a video to Instagram showing himself and two women firing guns.