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Ghost Gun, Marijuana Plants and Drones in Mariposa County

MARIPOSA COUNTY–The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a man is facing multiple charges after a resident in the Bear Valley area of Mariposa County called 911 to report that he had been shot at while he was walking on his property.

A Guy Shooting at His Neighbor

At approximately 3:00pm on Tuesday, January 17th, a Hispanic male adult reportedly shot at the resident with what appeared to be a handgun. The resident immediately called 911 and deputies responded.

Barricaded Suspect

Initial reports indicated the suspect retreated to his residence where he was barricaded inside. After hours of clearing the property and attempting to make contact with the suspect, deputies got a search warrant to enter the residence.

Mutual Aid Special Response Team

Due to the complex situation a mutual aid request was made to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office for a special response team. At approximately 10pm with the use of drones flown by both Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office and Merced County Sheriff’s Office to watch the surrounding property, units made entry into the house.

Escape Hatch Inside a House

No suspect was located, however, an escape hatch created inside a crawl space was located that led directly to an exit at the back of the residence.

Ghost Gun Fully Automatic AR-15

After clearing the residence, Mariposa County Detectives and Deputies began a thorough search of the residence where they located 4 guns. One being a ghost gun. These are guns that have no serial numbers. This AR-15 was modified into a fully automatic weapon with selector and auto sear intact and had a 50 round loaded drum attached.

2000 Marijuana Plants

Also found on the property inside a “shop” area was a marijuana growing operation with 2000 plants including a substantial cloning operation-99 pounds of processed and packaged marijuana were also located. Almost 8 hours later the scene was cleared, and all personnel left around midnight.

“This residence has been part of previous marijuana eradications done by our office. Unfortunately, the slap on the hand and the lack of ability to truly take down these operations for good, keep criminals like these coming back to our communities. They are getting more sophisticated and arming themselves with heavier weapons as we saw at this house with an escape hatch and a fully automatic weapon with a LOADED 50 round drum. I am happy that no one was injured in this case but we continue to be on the verge. Our California lawmakers have to do better to allow us to truly protect our communities. Thank you to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office for assisting us, partnerships like this help keep both of our counties safe.” –Sheriff Jeremy Briese

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