Saturday, December 2, 2023

Attempted Murder Investigation Leads to Massive Bust at Illegal Covelo Cannabis Grow


This following 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:

An overhead view of the illegal cannabis grow [Picture provided by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

On 07-04-2021 at about 8:20 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies and medical personnel were dispatched to the Cal-Fire Covelo Substation for a reported victim of a gunshot wound who was dropped off at the location

The 28 year-old male victim initially reported being shot by a family member following a reported physical altercation along the roadway near the intersection of Highway 162 and Mendocino Pass Road north of Covelo.

Prior to Sheriff’s Deputies arrival, the adult male was flown to an out of county hospital for treatment.

Based on the unclear nature of the location of the assault, Sheriff’s Detectives and an investigator from the Investigative Services Unit of the California Highway Patrol-Northern Division responded to interview the adult male working jointly to determine the circumstances that led up to and following the shooting.

Further investigation revealed the suspect in the shooting was identified as being Angel Reyes-Guzman of San Jose and Modesto, California.

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An arrest warrant for Reyes-Guzman was sought and issued by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge.

On 07-15-2021 working with the Stanislaus County Special Investigative Unit who were attempting to locate Reyes-Guzman, investigators located him in the 300 block of Primo Way in Modesto, California.

Reyes-Guzman was arrested without incident and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail for the outstanding arrest warrant and an open charge of possession of an assault weapon (30305 PC).

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Detectives responded to Stanislaus County to continue the investigation.

On 07-19-2021, Sheriff’s Detectives served a search warrant in the 29000 block of Barnes Lane (Covelo) for the purpose of locating evidence related to this reported shooting.

Additionally, it was learned the location was a large non-permitted and illegal marijuana growing operation encompassing two adjoined parcels.

Sheriff’s Detectives were assisted by the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF), the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET), CHP Officers from the Garberville and Ukiah area offices, and a CHP helicopter and Special Investigator assigned to CHP Northern Division-Redding.

Upon arrival at about 9:00 AM, at least twenty (20) people were observed on the property believed to be actively participating in some form of marijuana cultivation or marijuana processing.

At least thirteen (13) unidentified individuals ran from the property and were not identified.

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Eight (8) individuals were detained and questioned at the illegal marijuana growing location.

Seven (7) of the detained persons were identified as being from either Santa Rosa, Fresno, Paso Robles, or Shandon, all being locations in California. All seven (7) people were offered work in the illegal marijuana grow and had arrived within the previous two weeks.

On the two properties, two large livestock barns were converted to marijuana drying and processing areas along with makeshift living quarters. There were twenty-eight (28) plastic style greenhouses, most of which contained active growing marijuana plants.

At the conclusion of the search warrant, there were 13,732 marijuana plants that were seized/destroyed along with approximately 8,865 pounds of processed marijuana bud, marijuana shake and drying marijuana stalks.

At this time, Reyes-Guzman remains in the Stanislaus County Jail awaiting transport to Mendocino County for the charges of attempted murder (664/187 PC) and the personal use of a firearm causing great bodily injury (12022.53 PC) and is being held in lieu of $650,000 bail.

The large illegal marijuana operation remains under investigation and at the conclusion of the investigation will be forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for review of additional charges and/or potential prosecution.

Special thanks to our allied agency partners at the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, Stanislaus County Special Investigations Unit, San Jose PD Homicide Unit and the CHP Northern Division-Redding Investigative Services Unit for their assistance in this joint investigative endeavor.

Earlier Chapter

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  1. Hey Matt, Thanks for the follow-up on stories. So often you get headlines and are left wondering about the rest of the story.” I appreciate your through reporting in mendo county.

  2. Why can’t the public see that it’s obvious collusion with the illegal growers. Law enforcement officials say that they are stymied by the inability to search a suspected grow. New judges and county seems to be desperately needed. This b s. of rows of hoop houses, thousands of illegal plants was out of control is a lie. It was allowed to get out of control to smear and degrade marijuana and it’s proponents, or maybe just some serious bribes made certain people unable to see the obvious. Something is fishy….besides the river which now is dead due to overuse during a drought. Thanks Mendocino county.

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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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