ATLANTA -- Three members of the MS-13 gang have been sentenced to life in prison for committing murders in two counties.
Ernesto Escobar, 30, of Norcross was sentenced Thursday in federal court. He goes by the street names "Flaco" and "Pink Panther."
Two co-defendants -- 25-year-old Miguel "Joker" Alvarado-Linares of Norcross and 30-year-old Dimas "Toro" Alfaro-Granados of Duluth -- were sentenced in October.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the three men were charged with murder, attempted murder and armed robbery for several incidents in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.
Evidence presented in court showed Alvarado-Linares and Alfaro-Granados killed a fellow MS-13 member in October 2006 because they believed the victim was cooperating with police.
On Christmas Eve 2006, the same two defendants told a man who wanted to quit the gang that he could only leave if he killed a rival gang member. That man, working under the defendants' orders, shot at a car on Highway 316, injuring the driving and killing his 20-year-old passenger.
Alvarado-Linares shot two rival gang members at an apartment complex on New Year's Eve 2006. A few weeks later, Escobar shot a rival gang member in the parking lot of a nightclub.
The gang members were also accused of killing two teenagers in 2007. Escobar shot a 16 year old at a Gwinnett County Shell station in August, while Alvarado-Linares killed a 15-year-old 18th Street member in October.
"These defendants upheld MS-13's reputation for spreading fear throughout the community by committing brazen and indiscriminate acts of violence, including killing rival gang members and suspected cooperators," Yates said in a statement. "They have rightfully earned their life sentences."
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