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

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

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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