Driver in pair of gang-related drive-bys to spend 25 years in prison
TULARE — A Tulare man who was behind the wheel during a deadly shootout with rival gangs back last year was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison on attempted murder and related charges.
Jesus Camilo Sanchez, 20, faces spending the next quarter century of his life behind bars for his involvement in the February 2009 firefight, which had him driving fellow gang members as they blasted multiple rounds into a residence that injured a 15-year-old boy.
Sanchez was also found guilty of carrying a concealed firearm and being involved in a street gang. The defendant originally pled no contest to the charges back on Feb. 19 of this year.
The crime originally took place on the early morning of Feb. 4, 2009 at 1:20 a.m. The defendant drove fellow gang members to a rival gang member’s home, where the car’s armed occupants proceeded in opening fire upon the house. The two gang members then hopped back into the vehicle and Sanchez drove outside the city to an unreported location.
The 15-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, but has since recovered from his injuries.
Sanchez was also linked to a later drive-by-shooting that injured another 15-year-old male. The victim in that case has since recovered from the March 24, 2009 shooting, which resulted in a bullet wound to one of his arms.
On April 8 of that same year, a Tulare police detective conducted a traffic stop on Sanchez. The defendant had a concealed firearm in his vehicle. After further investigation, the Tulare Police Department tied Sanchez to both shootings. In both cases, Sanchez was determined to be the driver of the vehicle. The two shooters with Sanchez have not been identified.