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Salinas gang member sentenced to 50-years-to-life for 2017 murder

SALINAS (CBS SF/BCN) – A judge sentenced a 22-year-old Salinas man who identified as a Norteno gang member to 50-years-to-life in prison after his conviction in a 2017 shooting death, Monterey County prosecutors said.

The sentencing of Luis Atayde, also known as Reeses, was announced Wednesday by the District Attorney's Office.

A jury found Atayde guilty March 28 of first-degree murder of John Rodzach, who was 39 at the time of his death Feb. 11, 2017. 

Police had responded to numerous gunshots near the Hebbron Heights Community Center and found Rodzach with multiple gunshot wounds to his head, torso and limbs. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Evidence at trial was the result of an ongoing investigation referred to as REDRUM. The investigation revealed that Norteno criminal street gang members within the City of Salinas were systematically killing people. 

According to prosecutors, prospective gang members would receive certification or formal acceptance into the gang for killing a person perceived to be a rival Sureno gang member, though it was never required that the victims actually be rival gang members.

Prosecutors said the investigation has resulted in charges against numerous Norteno gang members.

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