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Santa Barbara rap artist and Eastside gang member Sad Boy Loko, legally Mario Hernandez-Pacheco, was sentenced January 15 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to felony assault and street terrorism. Pacheco, 30, struck a plea deal with prosecutors in December to avoid a trial on his original charges of attempted murder and robbery.
According to prosecutors, in the early-morning hours of July 23, 2018, near the Cacique Street footbridge, Pacheco was with two minors and another adult male when they attacked and stabbed a 19-year-old victim after stealing his backpack, which contained drugs. The victim suffered a 15-centimeter stab wound to the top of his head and a fractured skull. “Sadly, because of the code of silence followed by gang members, the primary adult assailant and stabber remains outstanding in this investigation,” prosecutor Kim Siegel stated in Pacheco’s sentencing report. His defense attorney, Adam Pearlman, did not respond to a request for comment.
Pacheco had been held in Santa Barbara County Jail without bail since his arrest on August 3, 2018. Those 15 months of time served will count toward his prison term. Before his arrest, Pacheco was an up-and-coming rapper. He’d gained a large following in his hometown of Santa Barbara and had recently signed with a major label. “This defendant is a self-admitted Eastside gang member,” said Siegel, referencing Pacheco’s music videos, including for the songs “Gang Signs” and “For My Gangstas,” which have racked up millions of views on YouTube. “One can hope any musical abilities or opportunities will not be directed at further promotion of the gang lifestyle.”