Gang leader 'Pistol Pete' accused of 5 murders

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- It is unlikely 34-year-old Pedro Sanchez will roam the streets again as a free man.

Monday the alleged gang member known as "Pistol Pete" was arraigned on a grand jury indictment on sixteen felony counts.

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward says Sanchez was taken into custody back in 2015 after a massive multi-agency gang sweep called "Operation Red Sol."

At that point, he was charged with 47 counts including conspiracy, gang crimes, and attempted murder.

But while in custody and awaiting trial, investigators gathered new evidence linking Sanchez to five counts of first-degree murder, one count of arson, one count of robbery and nine counts of conspiracy to commit murder.

"It is pretty impressive what our law enforcement partners were able to do just a sheer magnitude of the operation," said Ward.

Authorities say the five victims murdered in 2015 from January to May were killed to benefit a street gang.

One of them was 22-year-old Noe Martinez. Action News was there after his body was found in an orange grove by a farm worker in Tulare County.

Another victim, Alfonso Pena. We spoke with his uncle over the phone who says the family is thankful justice is being served for the father of two.

"We are all going to feel glad and relieved. It will be a weight off of everyone's shoulder after not knowing the guy who did it has been arrested."

The District Attorney's Office says it is seeking the death penalty for the 2016 grand jury indictment.
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