A former member of the Netas street gang was sentenced to 28 years in prison Tuesday for the 2004 murders of two teenage members of the rival MS-13 street gang.
In sentencing Alvaro Cabral, 29, U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert called the killings "senseless" and motivated solely by gang rivalry.
Cabral was part of a Netas crew that lured the two so-called "Pee Wee" or junior MS-13 members to a house in Brentwood on the pretext of buying drugs, according to officials.
Before he was sentenced, Cabral said in federal court to spectators that included members of the victims' families, "I want to say how sorry I am to their families for the pain that I have caused. I know that there is nothing I can do to make the hurt to go away."
One of the 17-year-old victims, Anthony Marcano, was a well-known cocaine and marijuana dealer in the Central Islip area, officials said. The second, Fabian Mestres, had accompanied Marcano to the house, officials said.
In the house, the Netas gang pointed guns at Marcano and Mestres and bound them with duct tape, officials said.
At one point, Marcano, assuming he was about to be killed, asked if he could call his young daughter to say goodbye, according to court papers filed by Eastern District federal prosecutors Nichole Boeckmann and Christopher Caffarone. In response, one of the Netas "kicked Marcano in the face several times," the prosecutors wrote.
The two teens were then placed in the trunk of a car, driven to an abandoned Ridgewood warehouse, taken out of the trunk, ordered to kneel, and then each was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun, prosecutors said.
This was not a typical gang drive-by shooting, but "a heinous, heinous crime," Boeckmann has said.
Prosecutors said Cabral and associates celebrated the murders by making a tape rapping about the crime. Cabral's defense attorney Richard Levitt denied this, saying the rap didn't brag about the murders but was typical of rap lyrics at the time.
Levitt had asked for a sentence of 15 years. Levitt argued Cabral was essentially a passive participant in the crime and had joined the gang because he "was looking for a family he didn't have." His older brother Jason was head of the Netas Central Islip chapter, court papers say.
Alvaro and Jason Cabral were living in Florida when they were arrested by FBI agents in 2012 and charged with murder by use of a firearm, to which they each pleaded guilty in February 2014.
Jason Cabral, 37, as the Netas chapter leader and convicted orchestrator of the murder plot, was sentenced in November to 37 years in prison.
A third Netas member also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
The victims' families didn't speak in court Wednesday. At Jason Cabral's sentencing, Mestres' mother, Midgalia, said: "I don't have a son. I don't have the happiness of having a grandchild . . . I don't know how a person could do something like this."