The mastermind of a Liaoning triad group, whose extensive network of corruption allowed it to carry out a crime spree with impunity for more than a decade in Jinzhou city, has lost his final appeal against a 20-year jail sentence. Dong Baojun , the head of a group responsible for what the local media described as the worst crime spree in Jinzhou since 1949, was jailed for crimes that included raising 28 million yuan through extortion. The Liaoning Provincial People's High Court not only upheld verdicts of Dong and his 26 accomplices, Xinhua reported yesterday, but also handed out prison terms for two former deputy sergeants of Jinzhou police station, Li Huo and Du Wenli , for colluding with Dong's group. Li received three years and Du six years in the separate hearing. On June 28 last year, Dong and his accomplices were charged in the Hulu Island District Court with crimes including murder, planning to injure others, blackmail, kidnapping, illegal gambling and possession of guns. According to court documents and witness testimony, Dong began establishing his powerbase in Hulu in 1995 by recruiting gangsters released from jails and centres for re-education through labour. From 1999 to 2003, Dong murdered and attacked his enemies while at the same time extending his network of corruption within the police force. He bribed Jinzhou police bureau deputy director Zhu Liang and his subordinates with millions of yuan, turning them into his hired thugs. Dong could even borrow police weapons whenever he needed. In 1999, two business partners Wang Zhaoliang and Wang Zhaowei , who were running a mine, were jailed on false evidence planted by Dong. In November 2001, Dong gave 130,000 yuan to Yang Zhili , a deputy director at the Jinzhou prosecutor's office, to spare his thugs from punishment. In the ensuing years, the mastermind used his influence and bribed officials to reduce prison terms for his men. Earlier reports said Dong's collusion with the police had resulted in the release of dozens of criminals. Dong's crimes - long ignored by local police - shocked the central government and the judicial circles across the nation, when they first came to light last year.