|October 27, 2011
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that Eric Santiago, a Manatee County gang member, was sentenced to sixty years in prison after being found guilty during a retrial on criminal charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Santiago, 25, was a member of the East Side Crips, a violent gang that has terrorized Manatee County through house and car burglaries, assaults, drug sales, violence against law enforcement and other crimes.
“Manatee County is now a safer place with this gang member behind bars,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “We will continue to prosecute these cases and prevent gang activity in our state.”
In 2009, the Second District Court of Appeals reversed one of the predicate incidents in Santiago’s first trial and remanded for resentencing. Because the appellate reversed one of the predicate incidents used in the trial, the appellate court in turn reversed the convictions. Upon a retrial this week, Santiago was sentenced to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit racketeering and 30 years in prison for racketeering, both sentences to run consecutively. Santiago was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in partnership with the State Attorney's Office of the 12th Judicial Circuit.. Santiago was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Harry Rapkin of the 12th Judicial Circuit.