Marijuana workers convicted of murdering Northern California state congressman

SOMERSET, Calif. (AP) — A marijuana field worker who shot dead a Northern California sheriff’s deputy was convicted of second-degree murder on Friday.

Juan Carlos Vasquez-Orozco, 22, was also found guilty of assaulting three other MPs with a gun. He faces a life sentence if convicted in May.

Vasquez-Orozco killed El Dorado County Deputy Sheriff Brian Ishmael in October 2019, according to prosecutors. Ishmael, 37, had answered an emergency call from the landowner in rural Somerset about people who may have been stealing plants in a marijuana garden, prosecutors said.

Ross did not tell authorities that Vasquez-Orozco and another man, both Mexican nationals, tended the garden on his land, and he feared they would take the plants without paying the men who hired Christopher Ross $3,000 paid what was owed to him, prosecutors said.

Ross also did not tell authorities that Vasquez-Orozco and Ramiro Bravo Morales had a gun, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office said.

When three deputies from El Dorado County and one from neighboring San Joaquin County arrived at the cultivation site, Vasquez-Orozco opened fire and ran out of the cultivation, then returned and ambushed the deputies, prosecutors said.

Ishmael, a four-year veteran and father of three, was hit four times and died at the scene. San Joaquin County Deputy Sheriff Joshua Tasabia was wounded.

Ross has pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter and faces 11 years and eight months in prison, District Attorney Vern Pierson said.

Ramiro Bravo Morales was subsequently convicted of aiding and abetting. Marijuana workers convicted of murdering Northern California state congressman

Joel McCord

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