Federal prosecutors wrapped up the prosecution Friday of a violent street gang that conducted armed robberies and drug deals in suburban Atlanta.
Jose “Fantasma” Delgado, 28, of Lawrenceville, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to racketeering charges involving murder as a member of Mara Salvatrucha-13.
“MS-13 is a ruthless street gang that used violence to spread fear through Gwinnett, DeKalb and Fulton Counties,” acting U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a news release. “While the gang preyed mostly on other rival gang members, this case demonstrates the tragic violence that harmed innocent citizens when the gang’s activities spilled out into the community.”
Delgado was the last of 22 gang members — most of whom came from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — who was prosecuted in the eight-year federal investigation, Horn said. The gang was prosecuted for racketeering crimes, which involved murders that went back to 2006 and had sentences ranging from multiple life terms to seven years in prison, authorities said.
The gang was highly organized and disciplined and sent back money to gang leaders in their home countries, authorities said. Victims included Angel Gonzalez, 20, who was shot and killed on I-85 while traveling in a car that MS-13 members believed contained rival gang members, federal authorities said.
Another victim was 16-year-old David Hernandez, who was shot to death in retaliation after a he and another teen got into a scuffle with an MS-13 member at a Gwinnett County Shell station, authorities said.