The following is a press release issued by 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:
On 07-07-2021 at about 7:30 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies and medical personnel were contacted and advised of a reported gun shot victim being transported to the Black Butte Store from Mendocino Pass Road in Covelo, California.
Prior to Deputies arrival, the victim was transported via air ambulance to an out of county hospital for treatment.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Bureau was contacted and a Detective responded and met with the reporting party/witness.
The investigation revealed the witness and victim were involved with an illegal marijuana cultivation operation in the 49000 block of Timberridge Trail in Covelo.
The property is in a remote area of Mendocino County along the M1 road system adjacent to the Mendocino National Forest.
Sometime on 07-07-2021 in the late afternoon, the victim and witness were returning to the property where marijuana was being cultivated. Upon arrival, the suspect, another cultivator at the property, discharged a small caliber pistol at both parties striking the victim once.
At this time, the motive for the shooting is unknown.
Following the shooting, both victim and witness left in a vehicle and contacted medical personnel where they eventually met at the Black Butte Store.
At this time, the suspect is not officially identified and only a minimal description has been provided.
The suspect was identified as a Hispanic adult male, between 35 to 45 years-old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
On 07-09-2021, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and Patrol personnel, assisted by the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team and Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, served a search warrant on the remote property to attempt to locate evidence related to this investigation.
The suspected crime scene where the shooting occurred was discovered along with over 2,900 marijuana plants in multiple stages of growth. The marijuana was being cultivated in multiple non-permitted green houses and structures on the property.
At this time, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Detectives are attempting to confirm identification of the suspect in this investigation and no further information is available for release at this time.
Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line at (707) 234-2100, the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at (800) 782-7463 or the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Non-Emergency Dispatch Line at (707) 463-4086.