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Leader of Lawrence kidnapping gang sentenced to life in prison

The leader of a Lawrence-based kidnapping crew was sentenced Thursday to life in prison, according to a statement by the office of the US Attorney.

Danny Veloz, 41, of Lawrence, had been convicted in August for his role in leading a crew that targeted drug dealers for kidnappings in order to extort them.

Veloz and his crew are said to have kidnapped two men at gunpoint in Lawrence in 2012, according to prosecutors.

The victims were transported to Manchester, NH, and held overnight, during which time one was burned with a hot iron, before law enforcement raided the facility and rescued the victims, the statement said.

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A search of Veloz’s home resulted in the seizure of two laptop computers containing information about GPS tracking devices used to commit the kidnappings, prosecutors said.

Veloz’s crew, consisting of Jose Guzman, Gadiel Romero, Jose Matos, Luis Reynoso, all of Lawrence, and Henry Maldonado of Manchester, NH, and Thomas Wallace of Raymond, NH, also attempted kidnappings in May and July of that year.

The arrests of Veloz and his crew followed an investigation that targeted the city’s gangs, and resulted in more than 20 arrests, including Romero, Wallace, Matos, Maldonado, Guzman, and Reynoso.


Jake Johnson can be reached at jake.johnson@globe.com.