Sacto 9-1-1
March 15, 2011
El Dorado County pot grower convicted in shootings due parole hearing

By Bill Enfield
benfield@sacbee.com

An El Dorado County marijuana grower who was convicted of the attempted murders of his brother-in-law and his nephew is due a parole hearing. The victims had innocently wandered near Silvestre Gonzalez' pot grow and a guard shot them.

Gonzalez, now 49, was convicted of two counts of attempted murder. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms, plus an additional year for each term, The Bee reported.

Gonzalez armed a 78-year-old laborer, Luis Lopez Arriaga, and told him to shoot anyone who came near Gonzalez' marijuana garden.

On Oct. 8, 2000, Arriaga shot and nearly killed William "Bill" Hunt and his 8-year-old son as the pair walked near a hidden marijuana plot on the Hunt family's vast, forested property near Georgetown.

(Arriaga was convicted of two counts of attempted murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison, plus two 25-years-to-life enhancements for using a firearm. The Bee was unable to locate him in the prison system. He may have died while incarcerated, records indicate.)

Gonzalez - who was married to Hunt's sister - was the "mastermind" of a clandestine marijuana-growing operation that was run on the Hunts' mountainous property without the family's knowledge, the prosecutor in the case said.

Gonzalez' hearing will be March 22 at the California State Prison, Los Angeles, where he is incarcerated.

If you want to give your opinion of an inmate's suitability for parole, you may mail a letter to:

Martin Hoshino, Executive Officer

Board of Parole Hearings

Post Office Box 4036

Sacramento, CA 95812-4036

For more information on the Board of Parole Hearings, go to:

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/BOPH/index.html

Bee researcher Linda Beymer contributed to this report

Call The Bee's Bill Enfield, (916) 321-1058.

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