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Santa Cruz man gets 5 years in prison for robbing a teen at gunpoint

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A 20-year-old man received a five-year prison sentence Wednesday for robbing a teenager and firing a weapon outside a party earlier this year, the Santa Cruz Sentinel is reporting.

Brandon Alvarez Garcia received the sentence through a plea agreement after pleading no contest in May to robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and participating in a criminal street gang.

Prosecutors claimed that Garcia and another man were in a car that pulled up alongside a 16-year-old high school student back in March. Garcia and his co-conspirator, Alejandro Jimenez, reportedly yelled gang slogans at the victim before pulling out a handgun and robbing him, according to the Sentinel. Jimenez is already serving a year in county jail for his role in the crime.

The Sentinel reports that Judge Ariadne Symons received several letters of support from Garcia’s friends and family pleading with her not to send him to prison. But her hands were tied due to the plea agreement, which required prison time.

According to the Sentinel, Symons suggested that Garcia use his time behind bars to work on becoming a better person.