By Associated Press - Friday, March 4, 2016

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A jailhouse informant who worked with Orange County and federal authorities on cases involving a mass killer and gangs has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

The district attorney’s office said Fernando Perez was sentenced Friday by Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett for possessing a firearm in public as a felon.

Prosecutors say Perez had been facing a maximum sentence of 42 years to life.

Perez became widely known after a defense lawyer challenged his role in snitching on a man who killed his ex-wife and seven others in a shooting rampage at a Seal Beach hair salon in 2011.

He was largely an informant on gang cases involving the Mexican Mafia.

The district attorney’s office says the FBI wrote a letter on his behalf before sentencing.

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