March 5th, 2024

5 suspects arrested in California desert killings in dispute over marijuana, sheriff’s officials say

By The Associated Press on January 29, 2024.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) – Five men have been arrested in the investigation surrounding six bodies found last week at a remote dirt crossroads in the Southern California desert in a dispute over marijuana, sheriff’s officials said Monday.

Authorities discovered the bodies in the Mojave Desert outside El Mirage after someone called 911 and said he had been shot, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Warrick said. Five bodies were found late Tuesday and a sixth the following morning.

Five suspects were arrested after deputies served search warrants Sunday, Warrick said at a news conference.

“We are confident that this appears to be a dispute over marijuana,” he said.

The area, some 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Los Angeles, is so remote that the sheriff’s department called in help from the California Highway Patrol’s Aviation Division to find the scene.

Overhead footage from TV stations last week showed a dark blue SUV with a passenger window blown out and another door open, with part of the image blurred. The footage also showed numerous yellow evidence markers in the scrubby desert.

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