Loaded rifle, ammo found on trespass suspects near North Columbia | TheUnion.com

Loaded rifle, ammo found on trespass suspects near North Columbia

Two men face multiple charges after authorities say they tried to break in to some property east of North Columbia and then were found with a loaded assault rifle.

Nevada County sheriff’s deputies responded around 2 a.m. Thursday to the 21000 block of Casey Ranch Road after the resident had reported a possible burglary in progress, said sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Trygg.

The two men — later identified as Michael David Walker, 53, of Spring Creek, Nevada; and a passenger, Neil Christopher Rudd, 51, of Nevada City — had cut the lock to a gate, then said the gate was open when confronted by the resident, according to dispatch reports.

While units were responding, dispatch was able to obtain a description of the possible suspect vehicle, a Dodge pickup truck with a double cab towing a trailer, Trygg said.

The first arriving unit passed the pickup as it headed back toward Nevada City on Tyler Foote Crossing Road, and the deputy immediately radioed other incoming units to be on the lookout for the truck, Trygg said. It was then spotted at the intersection of Tyler Foote Crossing Road and Highway 49, and another deputy stopped the truck.

The driver, Walker, and passenger, Rudd, were removed from the truck and questioned about their potential involvement. During an in-field “showing,” the resident identified Walker as the man he saw on his property and who vandalized a gate, Trygg said.

During a search of the truck, a deputy found a loaded assault rifle, as well as an ammunition can full of ammunition and magazines, Trygg said. Additional items in the vehicle included a stun gun, an expandable baton and several methamphetamine pipes.

Rudd claimed they were in the area to “help someone move some wood,” but he was not able to identify who they were helping or where that person was located, Trygg said.

Walker was charged with possession of an assault weapon, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing drug paraphernalia, trespassing and vandalism. He’s since made his $54,000 bond, Nevada County Jail reports state.

Rudd was booked into jail on suspicion of trespassing, vandalism, and possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, as well as on an outstanding warrant, reports state. He remained held Friday without bail.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lizk@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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