Sunday, April 14, 2024

A guy dialed 911, claiming he got shot. When the cops arrived, they discovered him and five more people dead in a California desert following a fight over drugs

Must read

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Five men got arrested and accused of being involved in the deaths of six people found shot – and some of them burned – last week in a faraway part of Southern California’s Mojave Desert.

All six seemed to have been fatally shot, and four of the bodies were also burned, as per San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michael Warrick, speaking in a Monday evening news conference. The authorities believe the killings are linked to illegal marijuana activities.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson, in a Tuesday news release announcing murder charges for the suspects, mentioned, “This mass murder, done in a dark secluded desert, clearly shows the violence and crime resulting from illegal marijuana operations.”

The victims, all men, were found last Tuesday night after one of them made a 911 call in Spanish, stating he had been shot but didn’t know his location.

“Dispatchers tracked the phone via latitude and longitude coordinates to a remote area in unincorporated Adelanto,” explained Warrick. Adelanto, situated in the desert, is around 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Deputies from the sheriff’s office, along with an air-operations unit from the California Highway Patrol, searched the area until they discovered a crime scene with “multiple gunshot wound victims” and two vehicles, one of which had multiple gunshots, Warrick said.

Four victims had severe burns, a fifth was inside a vehicle, and the sixth, believed to be the 911 caller, was found a bit further away with a gunshot wound. Aerial footage from CNN affiliates last week showed remnants of a brutal crime scene.

Four victims have been identified so far, authorities said Monday: Baldemar Mondragon-Albarran, 34; Franklin Noel Bonilla, 22 (identified as the 911 caller); Kevin Dariel Bonilla, 25; and a 45-year-old man whose next of kin is still being notified.

The authorities served multiple search warrants during the investigation and recovered firearms and other evidence, according to the sheriff’s office.

The five suspects in the killings, arrested on Sunday, are Toniel Baez-Duarte, 34; Mateo Baez-Duarte, 24; Jose Nicolas Hernandez-Sarabia, 33; Jose Gregorio Hernandez-Sarabia, 36 (previously said to be 34); and Jose Manuel Burgos Parra, 26. CNN is working to identify attorneys for the defendants.

All five men face six felony counts of murder, with the special circumstance of multiple murders, and six felony counts of robbery, according to the Tuesday news release from the DA’s office. Additionally, all except Toniel Baez-Duarte are charged with six special allegations of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Investigators believe the victims had arranged to meet at the remote location for a “marijuana transaction,” but the suspects arrived and shot at them for “reasons still under investigation,” according to the sheriff’s office.

“We are confident that this appears to be a dispute over marijuana, which resulted in the murders,” Warrick said. “Our investigators combed through evidence collected at the scene and followed up on information provided by the community.”

The investigation is still ongoing, and all five suspects remain in custody with no bail. They were expected to be arraigned Tuesday, according to the DA’s office.

When asked about the case being gang or cartel-related, Warrick said, “there’s certain things at the scene that show a level of violence that obviously raises some interesting questions for us, but at this point in the investigation, we can’t comment on if we believe if this is cartel-related or not.”

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus mentioned that the illegal marijuana market in the area has led to brutal crime scenes, including killings. In the last year alone, marijuana enforcement teams served more than 400 search warrants for illegal marijuana grows and recovered more than 650,000 marijuana plants and $370 million.

“It looks like illicit marijuana was the driving force behind these murders, and that’s all we really know at this point.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article