BOSTON (AP) — The leader of a Massachusetts-based kidnapping gang who sometimes pretended to be police officers, attached GPS tracking devices to potential victims' cars, and once burned a victim with a hot iron, has been sentenced to life in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Danny Veloz, of Lawrence, was sentenced Thursday after being found guilty last summer of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Authorities say Veloz led a Joloperros gang, which loosely translates as "stick-up guys," that targeted drug dealers, small business owners and immigrants.

Prosecutors say the gang committed or tried to commit several kidnappings in 2012, including one where the kidnappers wore T-shirts with the word "police" on them and abducted two men at gunpoint, held them overnight, and burned one with an iron.

Veloz's attorney called the life sentence excessive.