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A dozen gang members get jail time

ATLANTA - Twelve Atlanta-area gang members were sentenced to prison Friday afternoon for their involvement in gang-related crimes, some of which included murder.

All 12 men are known members of the Brownside Locos street gang, which operated primarily in Gwinnett, DeKalb and Fulton counties, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta.

The longest length of prison time imposed on Friday was 33 years and four months, and there is no parole for federal crimes, the release said.

"The members of the Brownside Locos street gang convicted in this case were responsible for inflicting fear and causing mayhem in our communities," said U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias. "Five of the defendants were convicted of murder charges, including three murders that occurred when gang members opened fire on public streets. These defendants will be behind bars for a long time.

"Other defendants were responsible for a variety of crimes, including drug dealing and drive-by shootings."

According to the release, the gang members sentenced on Friday were:

•Alex Romero, aka Stranger, 29, of Snellville was sentenced to 33 years and four months in prison for his role in the July 22, 2001 murder of Karlin Antunez and the October 27, 2002, murder of Aldo Vallejo.

•Ruben Flores Hernandez, aka Boxer, 26, of Lawrenceville was sentenced to 19 years and six months in prison for his role in the May 7, 1998, murder of Richardo Meza.

•Omar Flores, aka Looney, 27, of Atlanta was sentenced to 18 years and four months in prison for his role in the November 21, 2000, double-homicide of two rival gang members and the shooting of two other gang members. ... He was responsible for shooting the two surviving victims of that attack.

•Carlos Maynard-Reyes, aka Smokey, 25, of Winder was sentenced to 17 years and six months in prison for his role in the July 22, 2001, murder of Karlin Antunez. It is expected that he will be deported after serving his term.

•Israel Stalabera (Israel Talavera) aka Puppet, 24, of Austell was sentenced to 17 years and six months in prison for his role in the October 27, 2002, murder of Aldo Vallejo.

•Augustine Jastino Torres, aka Gadget, 25, of Lawrenceville was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

•Pedro Membreno (Pedro Mejia) aka Silent of Doraville was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in conspiring to commit several drive-by shootings and aggravated assaults against rival gang members. It is expected that he will also be deported after serving his term.

•Alejandro Javier Cantu, aka Big Payaso, 27, of Marietta was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiring with other gang members to commit a drive-by shooting against a suspected rival gang member and for traveling across state lines to further the gang's racketeering drug activity.

•Mark Anthony Gaitain, aka Creeper, 30, of Lawrenceville was sentenced to six years and six months in prison for his role in founding the gang and for being involved in a November 8, 2000, drive-by shooting.

•Jose Ivan Quiroz, aka Turtle, 24, of Duluth was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for his role in distributing cocaine.

•Jose Roldan, aka Chicano, 23, of Smyrna was sentenced to three years and four months in prison for his role in two separate aggravated assaults against rival gang members.

•Christian Edgardo Arreola, aka Vago, 25, of Lawrenceville was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in not reporting a drive-by shooting against a rival gang member where a bullet fired by Brownside Locos members hit a pregnant woman in the back. It is expected that he will be deported upon his release.