Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Covelo Man Arrested for Possessing “Ghost Gun”, Stolen Property, and Violating Probation


This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Assault rifle chambered in .223 caliber and .22 caliber Lever Action Rifle found in possession of Britton Leonard Azbill Jr. [Photograph and caption from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

On 10-07-2020 at approximately 3:35 PM, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by an officer with the Round Valley Indian Tribal Police Department regarding them having an adult male detained in a parking lot in the 76200 block of Covelo Road in Covelo, California.

Upon the arrival of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy, the Round Valley Indian Tribal Police Officer advised the Deputy that he had been notified of a reckless vehicle that made an unsafe U-turn on Covelo Road, nearly colliding with a water tender committed to the fire fighting efforts in and around the Round Valley area.

The driver of the vehicle had been identified as being Britton Leonard Azbill Jr.

Upon contacting Azbill, the Tribal Officer observed an AR style assault rifle in the vehicle between Azbill’s leg and the center console of the vehicle.

The Tribal Officer knew Azbill from prior contacts and suspected him to be a convicted felon. Azbill was detained in handcuffs by the Tribal Officer and was assisted by a parole agent from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who was in the area and witnessed the incident in its entirety.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy took custody of Azbill and confirmed he was in fact a previously convicted felon.

The initial weapon located was found to possibly be a manufactured high powered assault style rifle.

This gun was an example of what is commonly called a “Ghost gun” and it had no serial numbers or manufacturer markings.

There was a second firearm in the vehicle, which was found to be a lever action 22 rifle which was loaded with live ammunition.

Additionally there was a large generator in the bed of the pickup which was found to be reported stolen out the state of Louisiana.

In addition to being a convicted felon, Azbill was found two have misdemeanor warrants for his arrest in Mendocino County for allegations of violating the terms of his probation and for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Azbill is also currently on probation in the Superior Court of Mendocino County for possession of stolen property.

Azbill was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges, where he was to be held on a total bail of $42,500.00, including the two arrest warrants.

It should be noted that some of the charges Azbill was booked on fall under the “Zero Bail” order currently in place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic which is why the bail is set as it is.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Round Valley Indian Tribes for the continued efforts in working to keep the people of the Round Valley Indian Tribal lands safe, and would like to the thank the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for their assistance in this case.

Britton Leonard Azbill Jr. [Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]
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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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