Gangs and guns

Two gang members arrested in Chico, while another sentenced to prison

Gun-toting gang members kept the Chico Police Department hopping last week.

At about 2 a.m. on Friday (Feb. 18) officers arrested a man who minutes earlier had been shouting a gang slogan while cocking a shotgun in the middle of street at West Fifth and Chestnut streets. Codey Lee Palmer, 21, was arrested after ditching the gun and attempting to run away from the officers.

According to a CPD press release, the gun had been illegally shortened and its serial number altered. Palmer, a felony parolee, faces many charges including an enhancement possession charge by a criminal street gang member.

In the afternoon that same day, during a routine traffic stop, Jesús Hernández Martínez, 19, a known gang member, was arrested for possession of a loaded .45 caliber handgun. He is charged with numerous violations, including carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle.

The day before, Marco Antonio Peña, a 28-year-old gang member from the Bay Area, was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison. Peña was arrested back in August in Chico for being a felon in possession of a loaded .38 caliber firearm.

A gang enhancement charge, coupled with prior convictions in Contra Costa County, led to the stiff sentence in Butte County Superior Court, according to a press release from the office of Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.