One man is dead and five others are under arrest following a Tuesday night shootout at the site of a commercial marijuana growing operation in rural Amador County.
The Amador County Sheriff's Office received a call at 9:10 p.m. Tuesday from a resident on Carbondale Road who reported hearing several gunshots. At 9:18, a second caller reported hearing 15 to 20 gunshots. One of the callers reported seeing a white full-sized extra cab truck and dark-colored sport utility vehicle leaving the property where the gunshots originated.
Deputies spotted the two vehicles traveling southwest on Carbondale Road. The vehicles took off at high speeds when occupants spotted patrol cars. Deputies lost sight of the white truck as it turned onto Michigan Lone Bar Road but overtook the second vehicle, a green Expedition.
Inside the Expedition were five Asian men, ages 18 to 23, all of whom were identified as gang members form the Sacramento area, according to an Amador County Sheriff's Office news release. A search of the vehicle revealed a ballistic vest, a tactical vest marked "SWAT," a red and blue dash-mounted law enforcement light, several flex cuffs, numerous pairs of gloves, several flashlights, numerous plastic bags and pruning shears. No firearms or ammunition were found.
Deputies who went to the Carbondale Road location where the shots were reportedly fired found several outbuildings and trailers, and indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation operations. The trailers had numerous bullet holes, and expended ammunition was on the ground nearby. Inside one of the trailers, deputies found a man dead, covered with blood and grasping an empty shotgun, officials said. The man was identified as He Ting Fu, 45, a resident of the property.
A search of the roadway and shoulder areas turned up a backpack containing marijuana, clothing, flex cuffs, gloves and two semiautomatic pistols. On the Carbondale property, deputies found 779 marijuana plants under cultivation, including 400 outdoors and 379 in several elaborate indoor cultivation rooms, according to the news release. Eight pounds of processed marijuana also were located.
During the investigation, officials said, a man claiming to be associated with the property arrived and reported that he and three other people were cooperatively cultivating medicinal marijuana on the property. A subsequent search of the individual's residence in Elk Grove turned up an additional a marijuana cultivation site with approximately 200 marijuana plants.
In addition to the search warrants executed in Amador County, Amador sheriff's officials said Sacramento police officers and Sacramento County sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at a Sacramento County residence, resulting in the detection of another marijuana cultivation site, other drugs, firearms and a large amount of cash.
Officials said the names of the five men arrested in Amador County have not been released pending positive fingerprint identification. They are being held on suspicion of attempted robbery, conspiracy and a gang activity enhancement.
KCRA: Marijuana, guns and murder in multi-county investigation - Sept. 28, 2011