52 arrested in Tulare County Norteño gang sweep

Watch the video for extended coverage from Action News reporter Kate Valentine
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the Department of Justice agents and local law enforcement arrested 52 people as part of an ongoing investigation into the Norteno gang following a rash of homicides in Tulare County.

The operation included the arrest of Norteno leader Pedro "Pistol Pete" Sanchez, who they say, is in charge of running the gang's illicit day-to-day operations.

She said the investigation has been going on for several months and involved several law enforcement agencies, including the Tulare County Sheriff's Department, the Visalia Police Department, the Tulare County District Attorney's Office, and the California Department of Justice and California Highway Patrol's Fresno-based Special Operations Unit.

"This operation captured dangerous criminals accused of terrorizing Central Valley communities through murder and violence," said Attorney General Harris. "We will continue to target violent street gangs by dismantling their networks and taking these dangerous criminals off our streets. I thank our DOJ Special Agents and local law enforcement partners for their dedicated work to keeping our communities safe."

Those arrested face felony charges ranging from conspiracy to commit homicide, attempted homicide, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, extortion, home invasion, weapons possession and sales of narcotics.

The case will be prosecuted by the Tulare County District Attorney's Office.
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