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November 21, 2012
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Homeowner bound with duct tape and shots fired in San Juan Ridge pot rip-off

Shots were exchanged and two men were bound with duct tape Monday morning in what Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal described as a home invasion robbery of more than 15 pounds of marijuana.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence in the 18000 block of Farrell Ravine Road on the San Juan Ridge at just after 8 a.m. after receiving a 911 call that two people had been tied up and needed help.

“They found a number of totes and a large amount of marijuana cola strewn along the driveway,” Royal said.

The names of the two victims, aged 43 and 52, were not being released, Royal said.

One of the men told deputies he woke at about 6:30 a.m. and opened the curtains to the shed in which both men were sleeping, and saw two men who appeared to be Hispanic walking up the driveway with guns.

“He tried to wake up his buddy, but he was out cold,” Royal said.

The two men saw him through the window and allegedly began shooting at him, shouting that they were DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), Royal said. The victim said he yelled at his buddy to grab a gun, but his friend still didn’t wake up. He said he then grabbed a shotgun and fired several shots, one of which went through the window and apparently hit one of the suspects in the face.

The suspects apparently were joined by a third man and broke in, yelling that they were DEA and to get down, Royal said.

“One of the men was bleeding from the face and was angry,” Royal said. “He was yelling that he had been shot.”

The robbers threw the two victims on the ground and duct-taped their hands and feet together, kicked and punched them, and stole about $1,800 in cash and between 15-20 pounds of marijuana before fleeing.

The suspects had information about the situation at the property, Royal said, asking about a third man who was not there and about a dog that had recently
had puppies. One of the Hispanic suspects was described as about 5 foot, 4 inches, clean-cut with a mustache, wearing a dark baseball cap, black jacket and blue jeans.

The Caucasian suspect was described as being over 6 feet tall, with a tattoo on his left forearm, wearing a green jacket with a yellow stripe down the sleeves.

One of the victims was able to free himself and cut his friend loose, and they fled to a neighboring property, where they called for help.

Investigators were at the scene for most of the day Monday; a check of area hospitals turned up no one who had sought treatment for a gunshot wound.

While at the property, deputies found a trailer and a Bobcat tractor that had been reported stolen from an equipment rental company in Sacramento, Royal said. The property owner allegedly told deputies he had purchased the vehicles from a Craigslist.com ad.

The neighborhood off Jackass Flats Road was the scene this summer of a series of possible arson fires that culminated in a vigilante attack against the suspected arsonist.

Clyde Courtney, the man suspected of setting a fire on Farrell Ravine Way, was critically injured in the August assault; no arrests have yet been made in that investigation.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.


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The Union Updated Nov 21, 2012 05:10PM Published Nov 29, 2012 07:58AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.