Deputy Murdered By '2 Mexican Nationals' Farming Illegal Marijuana Garden

El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini said Deputy Brian Ishmael was murdered by "two Mexican nationals" on Wednesday.

Somerset, CA – El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini announced Thursday afternoon that Deputy Brian Ishmael was killed by “two Mexican nationals” while responding to a call from a man who told 911 that somebody was stealing from his private garden.

Audio recordings from the 911 calls showed that dispatchers received a call from homeowner Christopher Ross who reported that someone was stealing marijuana plants from his private garden, KCRA reported.

Sheriff D’Agostini said that Deputy Ishmael and his ridealong, an off-duty San Joaquin County deputy, responded to a the call in the 4700-block of Sand Ridge Road, in the rural community of Somerset.

He said that when they arrived at the property, the deputies spoke with Ross and he told them the people in his garden were stealing.

“What he failed to report was that he had a business arrangement with the persons growing marijuana on his property,” Sheriff D’Agostini explained. “Had he been truthful with our deputies and the 911 dispatcher, this tragic event would not have occurred.”

The sheriff said that after talking to Ross, the deputies went to the rear of the home, where there was a grow of about 75 plants, and announced their presence.

“At that time, they were immediately confronted with gunfire,” Sheriff D’Agostini said.

The sheriff said that Deputy Ishmael and his ridealong both returned fire, and both were shot during the gun battle that ensued.

He said that Deputy Ishmael was shot once in upper chest above his ballistic vest and once in foot, and that he succumbed to his wounds within minutes.

Radio traffic during the gun battle reflected the desperation of the situation, KOVR reported.

“We have an officer down and we can’t get him out…” one deputy reported.

“…officer down, I need additional people up here by the pool,” another deputy told dispatch.

The off-duty San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy was wounded in the upper thigh, according to Sheriff D’Agostini.

He was transported to the hospital, underwent surgery, and was later released.

Sheriff D’Agostini said authorities set up a perimeter at the scene and SWAT officers apprehended two individuals near the garden site.

The sheriff said Mexican national Juan Vasquez was wounded by gunfire during the incident.

Vasquez was transported to the hospital and underwent surgery for his gunshot wounds.

Sheriff D’Agostini told reporters that Vasquez had been cleared for incarceration and would be arrested on Thursday and charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

He said police also arrested Mexican national Romiro Morales and booked him on charges of aiding in the commission of a felony.

The sheriff said that California law prevented him from contacting U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to inquire about the immigration statuses of both suspects, but that he had been told they were both “Mexican nationals” who had resided in the United States for some time prior to the shooting.

He also said that authorities were in talks with the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding federal charges.

Sheriff D’Agostini said the homeowner who had called 911 initially was also arrested.

The sheriff said Ross had “a business arrangement for the leasing of the land to grow the marijuana on” with the men who shot the deputies.

Jail records showed that Ross was charged with involuntary manslaughter and held on $50,000 bail, KCRA reported.

Sheriff D’Agostini said authorities didn’t believe there were any outstanding suspects.

Incidents surrounding legal and illegal marijuana grows in California are not unusual.

“There’s a lot of violence that surrounds these gardens and we’re seeing a perfect example of it right now,” the sheriff said.

He said California laws aren’t good enough to adequately prepare law enforcement to deal with the burgeoning marijuana-growing industry.

Comments (59)
No. 1-14
JBo
JBo

Sanctuary state. There ya go.

Buzz17
Buzz17

States that refuse to follow federal laws should be kicked out of the Union! California always wants plenty of federal dollars, but refuses to follow US laws! Screw 'em!

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Full update:

Deputy Ishmael was struck twice, once slightly above his ballistic vest. He died quickly.

Homeowner Ross will be charged with manslaughter.

Booking photos are forthcoming.

Sheriff says he couldn't even answer the question if they were illegal aliens, as California law prevents him from even asking about immigration status. All he can say is that they are Mexican Nationals, and they have been in the US for a while.

Sherrif says there is a lot of violence that surrounds these gardens.

tfort
tfort

Hopefully with the passage of legal pot, this sort of thing will never happen again.

Anti infiltrators
Anti infiltrators

If the sheriff can choose to ignore federal law then he can most certainly choose to ignore California law that is in violation of federal law! This merry go round children's philosophy of lawmaking is getting people killed and the politicians are NOT BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE! go start arresting lawmakers!

And stop every dime of federal money going into California immediately!

TexasStrong
TexasStrong

Mexican National definition: Mexican law recognizes the difference between nationality and citizenship. All those born in Mexico are nationals but they are not citizens until they turn 18 years old and can vote and join the army. This happens automatically. Acquiring Mexican nationality as an adult also makes you a citizen. Acquiring it as a child makes you a national.

I had to look it up. Being a Mexican national means nothing in the USA. If the person is over 18 it just means they left the country because they didn't want to join the army or vote in their country. They should be given the death sentence for killing a police officer while commiting a crime.

Raymelson
Raymelson

Violence goes along with drugs an when you make drugs leagal you open the door to more violence also the govenor is destroying a beautiful state an should be helded accountability

NomonK
NomonK

I am so divided in my own thinking about one aspect of all this. Marijuana Laws have to be changed. It should and must be legalized. Maybe like beer but with no penalty for growing it and possession of it. Yes I firmly believe that driving under influence of anything needs to be controlled. To many folks have been unduly punished for this only because of overbearing laws that need changed. But until it is changed WE MUST FOLLOW CURRENT LAWS.

wallywoo3
wallywoo3

California's "PRIZE WINNING" Governor should be held responsible for ENABLING" these "Mexican Nationals"....he will probably PARDON them both when it's all over anyways.....

Ksgal
Ksgal

It doesn't matter if the owner had a business deal with the shooters nor would it had saved the officer's life. Shooting a law enforcement officer or anyone is illegal!! When LEO identified themselves they should have put their hands up in the air and listened to directions. The murderers were carrying firearms, which it is illegal for immigrants to carry.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Tunnel to Towers to pay Ishmael's Mortgage

On Saturday, October 26, 2019, at 11:00 am the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, named after a fallen 9/11 FDNY Firefighter, will announce outside of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department its plans to assume the mortgage on the home of El Dorado County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Ishmael.

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

The stoners believe legalizing weed will allow them to sing kumbaya together while watching the sun set. They’re forgetting the violence that will be associated with legal weed. They’re also not thinking about how the government will tax weed, require licensing to grow and sell weed. Eventually there will be dozens of regulations geared toward tax revenue for the government which will allow more government corruption. Break one of these laws, it won’t be like simple possession. It’ll be like tax evasion. They’ll crucify you.

cshirreffs1
cshirreffs1

A business arrangement? If this is the case, I would think Mr. Ross has some explaining to do and IMO is culpable for the death of the deputy.