Medical pot robbery leads to 6 YC arrests
Deputies arrested six suspects who allegedly robbed a Meridian resident of his medical marijuana early Monday, a Sutter County Sheriff's Department official said.
The victim, who was not identified, awoke about 1:56 a.m. to find the suspects harvesting the plants in his back yard. When confronted, they fired shots into the air and fled in a Silver Grand Am and a green Chevy Tahoe, said Undersheriff J. Paul Parker.
Deputies found both cars in Yuba City, one at Highway 20 and Plumas Street and the other at Lois Lane and Stafford Way. All six suspects, including five adults and one juvenile, were arrested on suspicion of robbery and booked into Sutter County Jail. The adults were being held Monday on $30,000 bail each.
Deputies recovered the marijuana and found two handguns in the cars. The Sutter County District Attorney's Office may decide to make using the guns an enhancement to robbery charges, said Parker.
The adult suspects are: Moises Paul Joseph Garduno, 26, of the 400 block of Queens Avenue, Yuba City; Daniel Davila, 26, of Turlock; Alvaro Julio Munoz, 26, of the 600 block of B Street, Colusa: Jose Andrew Lopez, 18, of the 200 block of Wilbur Avenue, Yuba City; and Oscar Oswald Quintero, 19, of Sacramento.
The juvenile, who was not identified because of his age, was being held in Bi-County Juvenile Hall.
Parker said the victim's marijuana, which was being grown legally with a doctor's recommendation under California law, was seized as evidence. The department has no plans to return it because possession of the drug is illegal under federal law, he said.
“We're caught between a rock and a hard spot,” he said. “We're not in the habit of returning it, even if it's medicinal.”
Less than a pound of pot was involved, he said.
California voters legalized possession of limited amounts of medical marijuana by passing Proposition 215.
A judge could order the pot returned to the victim but the Sheriff's Department will not be the one to do it, said Parker.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young can be reached at 749-4710. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.