PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The woman at the center of what became known as the Tacony “basement of horrors” case in Philadelphia has been sentenced to life plus 80 years in prison.
Prosecutors contended Linda Weston, 55, and four others held people captive in Philadelphia, Texas, Virginia and Florida from 2001 to 2011, when four victims were found – one of them chained – in a basement in the Tacony section of the city.
Authorities say Weston and her co-conspirators lured mentally disabled individuals into rented locations. Weston and the co-conspirators targeted mentally challenged individuals who were estranged from their families, officials say.
Authorities say Weston became their representative payee with Social Security and began to receive their disability benefits and in some instances, their state benefits.
Weston pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, kidnapping resulting in the death of the victim, forced human labor, involuntary servitude, multiple counts of murder in aid of racketeering, hate crime, violent crime in aid of racketeering, sex trafficking, kidnapping, theft of government funds, wire fraud, mail fraud, use of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, and false statements.
Her plea arrangement had the government agreeing not to seek the death penalty.