Liz Kellar

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May 9, 2014
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Arsenal, drug stash linked to Grass Valley home invasion suspect

Grass Valley Police officers serving an arrest warrant Thursday afternoon in connection with a brutal home invasion robbery found more than they bargained for in the bedroom of the 17-year-old suspect — pounds of illegal drugs, thousands in cash and a dozen weapons that included an assault rifle, pistols, throwing stars and metal knuckles.

The teen — identified as Austin Michael Wallace — is the fifth suspect to be arrested in the Dec. 6, 2013, robbery, in which a 73-year-old man was beaten and tied up.

Detectives working on the case with the help of District Attorney’s investigators obtained a warrant to arrest Wallace on suspicion of home invasion robbery, first-degree burglary, conspiracy and harboring a felon, said Sgt. Steve Johnson.

Officers arrested Wallace at his residence without incident.

A warrant search of the boy’s bedroom uncovered a substantial cache of illegal items, Johnson said.

Investigators reportedly found more than a pound of hallucinogenic mushrooms and more than a pound of marijuana, 6.4 grams of heroin, and prescription medications including lorazepam, alprazolam, and methadone, as well as $3,000 in cash.

They also found metal knuckles, throwing stars and 10 firearms, including an assault rifle and an assault-style semi- automatic shotgun, Johnson said.

One of the firearms already has been confirmed as having been stolen, and several others had the serial numbers filed off, Johnson said, adding that his department is working with federal agencies to track those weapons.

Wallace “also had a bullet-proof vest with high-end ceramic body plates designed to stop rounds from a high-powered rifle,” Johnson said. He initially was booked into juvenile hall on the warrant charges, and additional charges are forthcoming.

Wallace was subsequently charged as an adult due to the severity and nature of the crimes, District Attorney Cliff Newell said in a press release.

Bail has been set at $200,000 in the case.

Wallace joins four other teens who have been arrested in connection with that case.

Billy Mecredy, 18, was arrested May 1 after he reportedly was found to be hiding out at a residence in Carmichael.

Mecredy was in Nevada County Superior Court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to home invasion robbery, first-degree residential burglary with a person present, assault with a deadly weapon, and vehicle theft.

Elliott Roberts, 17 was arrested less than a week after the attack and is being tried as an adult. He has been charged with first-degree residential burglary, second-degree robbery and criminal conspiracy, but has not yet entered a plea.

Tyler Leal, 17, was arrested Feb. 13 and has been charged as an adult. Devin Thomas, 18, subsequently turned himself in.

Leal and Thomas have pleaded not guilty to home invasion robbery, first-degree residential burglary with a person present, criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property.

A motion to consolidate all of the defendants’ cases will be heard May 15.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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The Union Updated May 12, 2014 12:59PM Published May 19, 2014 03:23AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.