INDIO: Coachella Valley arsonist to be sentenced

INDIO – A man who set 25 structures and vehicles ablaze throughout the Coachella Valley over the course of 14 months is scheduled to be sentenced today for numerous counts of arson.

Luis Josue Perales, 23, pleaded guilty last month to setting 25 separate fires between Jan. 15, 2015 and March 31, 2016, including setting fire to three occupied buildings, two unoccupied buildings, six vehicles and several other miscellaneous pieces of property, including palm trees and dumpsters. Nineteen of the fires occurred in the city of Indio and nearby areas and six of the fires broke out in Palm Springs.

Perales pleaded guilty to 25 separate arson counts, plus one count of burglary for breaking into a home where one of the fires was set. He faces the possibility of more than 60 years in prison.

Perales also faces sentence-enhancing allegations of causing fires that burned multiple structures, using a device to accelerate the spread of the fires, and committing arson in areas where the state’s emergency drought regulations are under effect.

County fire investigators, with assistance from the Palm Springs police and fire departments, arrested Perales on the morning of March 31, 2016 on South Palm Canyon Drive, according to Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.

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