Wednesday, July 24, 2024

One Man Dead, Two Subjects Detained, and a Deputy Injured After Early Morning Homicide on Cannabis Farm Near Laytonville

[Photos Jacob Whitney]

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten has confirmed that one man was found dead from a gunshot wound early this morning on a cannabis farm northwest of Laytonville in the 59000 block of Bell Springs Road. Law enforcement has detained two subjects associated with the property and one deputy has been hospitalized suffering from what could be a broken bone.

Captain Van Patten told us MCSO was originally informed of the circumstances early this morning at around 1:45 when the reporting party heard gunshots, checked out the property where the gunshots originated and came across a male visibly injured. Initially, the reporting party was not sure if the male was suffering from a gunshot wound or a dog attack. The reporting party told dispatch he was going to go back and check on the person and found them “no longer breathing,” said Captain Van Patten. 

As deputies were dispatched to the scene, information was provided by the reporting party that the property where the decedent was located had upwards of 4-5 subjects on it and was an active cannabis farm. Whether the farm is permitted or unpermitted, Captain Van Patten could not say.

Captain Van Patten stated that at approximately 3:00 a.m. deputies arrived at the scene and confirmed the male was deceased from a gunshot wound.

As law enforcement investigated the property, a deputy saw a subject running down a canyon. Captain Van Patten explained a California Highway Patrol helicopter was requested to assist in the search for the fleeing subject. At approximately 6:00 a.m., the crew from the CHP helicopter based in Redding successfully located a fleeing subject and held them at gunpoint from overhead while ground forces converged taking the subject into custody. While this subject was being detained, Captain Van Patten said another subject was seen hiding nearby and officers were able to detain them as well.

Captain Van Patten added that at this point, it is unclear what the connection is between the two detained subjects and the homicide. 

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Investigations into this crime are ongoing and the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team and MCSO’s detective unit are still on the property trying to piece together what led up to the homicide, said Captain Van Patten.

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  1. Held by gun point by a helicopter? If it’s not a Apache keep running they’d never hit you. How do you not hide in the trees. This green rush is out of hand Kendall and board of supervisors.

    • Well I disagree they can hit you no problem!! Also I was driving by while this was going on and got video of the officer shooting from the open door at the ground in front of the subject. He let off two rounds then circled for about five minutes. The guy was literally running down a meadow in plain sight of the 101.

  2. Nah guys shoot out of helos all the time. The coasties are extremely proficient taking down outboards on moving craft from a 60 in hover…pretty badass!

      • Machine guns nah…didn’t say that. CHP commonly has AR platforms that can be deployed via helo…in the service it’s more often a bolt action 50 supported with sling or fired prone. I think bolting a M2 to one of those little bell jobs the chips fly around in would totally F up weights and balance 🙂

  3. A murder or two a week is becoming so common that it’s no longer alarming. The BOS in their years of attempts to capitalize on the “Mendo” cannabis name has spent years luring thugs and criminals from around the country to our once serene and peaceful county in their dilutions of grandeur at summoning possible tax gains from the marijuana industry. It has become a fruitless endeavor by the BOS that has cost us taxpayer citizens at every turn, including the peace, safety, beauty, affordability, and quality of life this county once offered its taxpayer families. The taxpayers must fund all of the BOS’s fruitless endeavors and at every turn they search for a way to get deeper into taxpayers pockets to supplement the non taxpaying growers and dealers. With the influx of the drug addicted, mentally afflicted, homeless, and criminals, the BOS search for more ways to throw taxpayer dollars at the problems they created and continue to create. This is no longer a safe, beautiful, or affordable place to choose to raise your families . There are far more deserving of our tax dollar, high quality counties in CA to relocate to. What will the BOS do when all of the taxpayers and retirees decide they can no longer accept what this county has turned into and they relocate to a more worthy county taking their tax dollars with them? We constantly live under drought crisis, Fire crisis, crime crisis, financial crisis, polluted watersheds from chemicals dumped into our grounds and water ways while over 50% of the BOS agenda focuses on placating the growers and bringing them into compliance. The other 50% is spent on drumming up more taxes to find their endeavors and their own outrageous pay raises as they spend a few hours a week zooming from the comfort of their home or place of vacation. How many arsons, murders, sex crimes, meth labs, heroin, fentanyl, opioid sales, drug overdoses, violent crimes, and property crimes are associated to the marijuana industry that the BOS has spent a decade eliciting to our county? That would be a study I could support my tax dollars funding. These crimes and problems are under reported to the public for fear of creating panic and a mass exit of taxpaying residents.

  4. The Tax Paying citizen’s comments are correct, to the point and above all, extremly intelligent. I too have had enough. It’s time to get the cannabis crooks and capitalists out of the county to restore peace to our daily lives.


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
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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