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5 of Liberty City Six convicted

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MIAMI, May 12 (UPI) -- U.S. prosecutors finally won convictions Tuesday of five of the Liberty City Six, in their third trial on charges of planning to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower.

A federal court jury in Miami reached its verdict after lengthy deliberations, which had to be restarted twice because of jurors being replaced, The Miami Herald reported. Two previous trials ended in hung juries.

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One defendant, Naudimar Herrera, 25, was acquitted. He said the other defendants are also innocent.

"It's not right," he said. "They don't deserve this. All of us were supposed to be innocent. It's all B.S."

Narseal Batiste, 35, the ringleader of the group; Patrick Abraham, 29; Stanley Grant Phanor, 33; Rotschild Augustine, 25; and his brother, Burson, 24; face up to 30 years. Sentencing is scheduled for July 27.

The group was arrested in 2006 after meeting with a federal informant posing as an al-Qaida agent. While they took an oath of allegiance to al-Qaida and discussed acts of terrorism, investigators found no weapons or explosives.

"We were really about helping the community," Herrera said. "It wasn't until this informant came into the picture that things changed. All we wanted from him was money. It was a like a dangling carrot."

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