BRADENTON -- Two Bradenton teens were sentenced today to 20 years in state prison, plus 10 years probation, for their roles in a carjacking and armed robbery on Feb 4, 2011.
Fernando Cabrera, 16, and Prince Pichardo, 17, were sentenced for crimes at the Wal-Mart at 2911 53rd Avenue East.
Both have been documented by state and local officials as members of the SUR-13 gang. They were found guilty of multiple counts, including principal to carjacking with a firearm, robbery by sudden snatching by firearm, and principal to robbery.
Although the pair are gang members, their charges do not involve the racketeering statutes, said Sgt. Gary Combee of ther Manatee County Sheriff's Office, director of the sheriff's gang unit.
"These are young guys coming up, who had a potential to take over from the older guys," Combee said. "We are hoping to send a message that we are not stopping because you are not an adult. Gangs are not the answer."
Cabrera showed no emotion when he was sentenced, but his family was very upset and tearful, Combee said.
Judge Gilbert Smith was the sentencing judge for Cabrera. Judge Marc Gilner sentenced Pichardo.