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Men dealt 6 life terms
Robbers get one of stiffest rulings in county history

LAWRENCEVILLE - A judge imposed six life sentences plus more than 200 years on the last two captured members of a posse who robbed, sexually assaulted and generally terrorized Gwinnett immigrant communities five years ago.

The ruling caps the prosecution of eight men who'll face some of the longest sentences imposed in the history of Gwinnett County.

Suffice it to say Superior Court Judge Debra Turner - known for doling harsh penalties - doesn't shine kindly on home invaders.

Turner set a Georgia record in 2007 when she sentenced Jeffrey Kollie and Ryan Brandt each to seven consecutive life sentences plus 265 years.

The duo robbed a string of Gwinnett restaurants and a married couple at their Snellville home in 2006. They held the record for longest sentencing in Georgia until Brian Nichols was dealt life in prison without parole last December, said Lisa Jones, the Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted both Gwinnett robbing crews.

Turner concluded a two-week trial Tuesday when she sentenced Javier Quiroz, 24, and Paulino Martinez, 26, to several centuries behind bars. A jury convicted Quiroz of 22 counts and Martinez of 24 but was hung on a total of 22 other charges, Jones said.

The judge declared a mistrial on the latter counts.

"Whether they'll be retried on those counts is still to be determined," Jones said.

To date, four members of the posse have been sentenced to more than 150 years in prison each after entering guilty pleas. The only two to fight the charges before last month - Gustavo Cisneros and Mario Silverio - were sentenced by Turner to six life sentences plus more than 200 years.

"(Turner) gave each defendant the maximum sentence possible," Jones said.

The nine-man posse targeted eight Hispanic families and one Jamaican family in early 2004.

In one instance, a mother was stripped and sexually molested in front of her 6-year-old child; in another, a man who wouldn't divulge the location of stashed money was burned and cut with a red-hot knife.

Prosecutors painted the robbers as a methodical crew, who in each instance were masked, wore gloves and picked the homes clean of cash, jewelry and other valuables. They moved in ranks, anointing members either drivers, gunmen, cover-men, searchers or lookouts, prosecutors said.

The ninth suspect, a juvenile at the time, was mistakenly set free. Jones said a bench warrant has been issued for the teen's arrest but he has not yet been captured.