Grass Valley code enforcement call ends in arrest |

Grass Valley code enforcement call ends in arrest

Ryan Castorina

A convicted felon ended up back in jail after authorities found him in possession of what was described as an “improvised weapon” using carbon dioxide cartridges.

Ryan Joseph Castorina, 48, remains in custody without bail on charges of violating parole, possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, possessing burglary tools, and possessing the improvised gun.

“This came in as a code enforcement complaint,” said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Clint Bates, adding that neighbors in the area reported a man living in a trailer at the end of Leahy Road, in violation of city ordinances.

The suspect was identified as Castorina, who was known to be on parole for possessing a sawed-off shotgun, Bates said.

Castorina had pleaded no contest to a felony charge of having a concealed weapon in a vehicle in connection with a 2017 arrest. In 2019, Castorina was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and subsequently pleased no contest to felony counts of spousal abuse and making criminal threats, court records show.

Officers contacted Castorina at the trailer on Sept. 1 and located a personal amount of methamphetamine and paraphernalia. Bates said.

They also located the improvised gun, which Bates said was manufactured and not homemade. He described it as consisting of a pipe with a 12-gauge barrel into which you insert a carbon dioxide cartridge that acts as the firing mechanism.

“You can load it with anything you want, from change to nails,” Bates said. “It was illegal for him to possess, as a felon.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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