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Vehicular mistaken identity has pot growers loading marijuana into Fish and Game warden's truck

September 7, 2010 | 12:30 pm


Two men were arrested after attempting to load 127 pounds of marijuana into a truck occupied by two California Department of Fish and Game wardens, mistaking the vehicle for one they believed belonged to their supplier.

DFG wardens Aaron Galwey and Scott Williams were on the lookout for deer poachers in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest the night of Aug. 30 when a group of men, one armed with a shotgun, approached the vehicle.

"Things unfolded so quickly that they immediately commanded them to keep their hands within view," DFG spokesman Pat Foy told the Record Searchlight. "They very quickly figured out what the situation was."

The wardens were able to handcuff two of the men but three others escaped. Those arrested are in the U.S. illegally and face deportation in addition to the drug and weapon charges.

Fortunately, the wardens were unharmed during the incident.

"We basically count on them [marijuana growers] being armed," Foy added. "The fact that only two wardens got out of that situation without anybody getting hurt is what everybody is thankful for."

The seized marijuana -- enough to fill two sleeping bags and four duffel bags -- was processed and ready for sale, leading Foy to believe that the group was not amateurs.

"To have these guys come out with 127 pounds -- that was a lot of work," Foy said. "They were very clearly knowledgeable about what they were doing. They made up all the elements of a drug trafficking organization."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Marijuana plants. Credit: Associated Press