Sacto 9-1-1
June 18, 2010
Oroville man sentenced to prison for drug trafficking crimes

By Cathy Locke

An Oroville man has been sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison for drug trafficking crimes, including an incident in which he dressed up as a law-enforcement officer.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton on Tuesday sentenced Eric Keith Sills to 10 years and 10 months in prison for drug trafficking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Sills pleaded guilty on Feb. 2.

According to court documents, Sills and three other men dressed up as law enforcement officers to rob a marijuana growing operation in Butte County. The men, armed with shotguns and semiautomatic pistols, detained a man guarding the site at gunpoint.

Law enforcement officers later searched Sills' house and found more than 120 pounds of processed marijuana, a MAC-10 machine pistol, a .357 revolver, a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, a Panther stun gun, police badges, gun cases, shirts with Sheriff's or police insignia, night vision goggles, two sets of handcuffs, body armor and a radio on a tactical police sling.

The cases resulted from a joint investigation by the Butte County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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