(WJLA) - Law enforcement officials in Maryland are hoping that the sentencing of the leader of a notorious gang will wipe out the group for good.
Andres Cortez, the leader of the Little R or "La Raza" gang, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for his role in the gang rape of a gang rape of a female teenager.
Cortez was the one who took pictures of the attack on a 15-year-old girl, who begged her attackers to stop while they assaulted her.
"I think when you take out a leader, that sends a real message to the gang and it leaves it in disarray," Maryland Assistant State's Attorney Marybeth Ayers said.
With Cortez's sentencing, more than 20 members of Little R - with such nicknames as Crazy, Carrot Top and Narco - have been found guilty of crimes ranging from burglary to murder. Many have considered the gang to be a scourge of Wheaton since 2006.
Cortez is believed to have started the gang at a Montgomery County middle school, where fading graffiti can still be seen. His undoing in this specific case came when a co-worker reported the gang rape video being on the suspect's phone.
"They were very much a danger and very much involved in many different kinds of crime," Ayers said.
Authorities tracked Cortez down and traced the trim to an Olney townhouse, which belonged to a known gang associate.
The victim of the rape was in court to hear the sentence.
"She feels like it was an appropriate sentence and is pleased with the results," Montgomery County Police Det. Alison Depouy said.
Meanwhile, Corzez's mother, who was also in court, had nothing to say.