Madera County Detectives Nab "Bad Guy" in Double Shooting
Madera County Sheriff John Anderson calls this a drug deal involving some bad guys versus some really bad guys.
He was outside his headquarters Tuesday afternoon, unveiling a stunning display of items including tactical vests, U.S. Marshal's Service hats, rifles and drugs.
All, were recovered during a warrant tied to a double shooting on December 30th near Chowchilla.
"The story we got from the first victim was they were out in the country, looking for a horse they might want to buy," Anderson says.
Three men had been inside a blue car.
Some work by Madera Sheriff's Detectives soon uncovered the men had not been hurt looking for livestock; the men had been delivering drugs from Mexico.
They later told deputies they picked up a ten-pound haul of methamphetamine in Los Angeles, and had agreed to deliver it to Elias Lopez Martinez and a second man in a remote field, along Avenue 18 1/2.
But, they say the deal fell apart when they thought they had been caught by police.
A gray truck, outfitted with blue lights, pulled them over.
That's when the men say Martinez and a second man began shooting.
One of the men was shot in the abdomen and was found in a field.
He's still in the hospital.
A second man in the car, ran away to safety.
But the driver, panicked.
"This guy, was shot in the face," says Anderson. "[He] drove eight miles, and then got ahold of police."
But detectives say, he still had the wherewithal to hide the drugs from them.
The following morning, detectives found a trail of blood near the site where the driver called for help.
It led to a bridge.
And under the bridge, was a bag of dog food, stuffed with ten pounds of meth, worth about 50-thousand dollars on the streets.
"Had he not been shot, we would have never heard about this crime, I'm sure," says Anderson.
Once officers were able to track down the truck used in the robbery, they served a warrant at an address that was tied to the registration records.
Inside the low-income apartment, they found cash, marijuana, and gear that appears to be used by law enforcement officers.
Martinez is facing two counts of attempted murder, so far.
Anderson notes that when Martinez was arrested, he told deputies he did not speak English. But he did later ask, in English, to meet with an attorney.
But a second man in the case is still on the loose.
Sheriff Anderson says the man is likely from Oaxaca, so he likely speaks Spanish and an Indigenous language.
Anderson added during Tuesday's news conference that his detectives are on a roll, beyond cracking this complicated case.
Of seven recent murders in Madera County, his detectives have made arrests in six of those cases.