MANATEE -- A 25-year-old member of a Bradenton street gang has been sentenced to 60 years in prison on racketeering-related charges.
Eric Santiago, a member of the Brown Pride Locos, was found guilty Tuesday of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Judge Harry Rapkin then sentenced Santiago to two consecutive 30-year sentences.
Santiago and seven other BPL members in 2007 were charged with racketeering because of their criminal activity as members of the Brown Pride Locos.
In 2008, Santiago was tried, convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but that conviction was overturned last year after an appeals court found that two prior drug-related convictions prosecutors had used to build the racketeering case against him, had been overturned.
Santiago will serve the 60 years consecutively with current 5 year sentences for possession of heroin and possession of a firearm.
Other members of the Brown Pride Locos charged at the same time as Santiago received lesser sentences in exchange for guilty pleas.
Earlier this month, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and statewide prosecutors charged 13 additional reputed members of the SUR 13 gang with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Four of the suspects remain at large, while the others are either in jail or prison.