Butte County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Kory L. HoneaThe Sheriff’s Office serves all the citizens of Butte County by providing a mix of public safety and public service functions. The Sheriff’s Office provides around-the-clock law enforcement service to every region of the county. In addition to 24 hour policing, we offer Butte County citizens a full range of services including, coroner services, civil services, court security and corrections.

 

 

 

  

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FIVE INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED DURING DEATH INVESTIGATION

Thursday, September 16, 2021/Categories: Press Release

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FIVE INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED DURING DEATH INVESTIGATION

 

Oroville, CA – On September 11, 2021, Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies located a sport utility vehicle without license plates parked in a rural area on the side of Forbestown Road, Oroville.  Deputies approached the vehicle and located a deceased individual concealed in the rear of the vehicle.  The scene was processed by detectives and the vehicle was towed to a secure location to be processed by detectives and personnel from the California Department of Justice.  During the subsequent investigation, detectives identified the deceased individual as Melvin Garcia-Vargas, age 33, of Sacramento.  Detectives located evidence that gave them cause to believe Melvin had been shot in his lower body. 

On September 12, detectives contacted Melvin’s father, who was identified as Carlos Garcia-Hernandez, age 66, at a residence in the 7000 block of Lindale Drive, Sacramento.  Detectives determined evidence was located at Carlos’ residence.  Detectives obtained a search warrant for Carlos’ residence. 

During the investigation, detectives determined Melvin died at an illegal marijuana grow controlled by Carlos in the area of Squaw Flat Road, Forbestown.  Detectives also located evidence that Carlos and his two other children, identified as Juan Garcia-Vargas, age 27, and Ronald Garcia-Vargas, age 28, moved and concealed Melvin’s body after his death. 

On the evening of September 12, detectives, personnel from the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task ForCE, BCSO Marine Unit, and BCSO Special Enforcement Unit served a search warrant at the marijuana grow on Squaw Flat Road.  During the service of the search warrant detectives located the area where they believe Melvin was shot.  Detectives also located a firearm and over 600 marijuana plants.  The  scene was processed by the California Department of Justice.

On September 13, detectives determined Carlos, Juan, and Ronald had additional marijuana grows located in the area of Knob Hill Avenue, Oroville.  On the afternoon of September 13, the BCSO SWAT Team served search warrants at seven parcels on Knob Hill Avenue.  During the service of the search warrants five firearms and over 1400 marijuana plants were located.

This investigation is on-going and detectives are actively reviewing evidence.  To date, detectives have located evidence that gave them cause to believe Melvin likely accidently shot himself while working at the illegal marijuana grow in Forbestown.  Detectives also located evidence that Carlos and his two sons, with the assistance of Juan Cruzcupido, then moved and attempted to conceal Melvin’s body to prevent law enforcement from discovering their illegal marijuana grows.

To date, the following individuals have been arrested:

Carlos Garcia-Hernandez was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains. 

Juan Garcia-Vargas was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains. 

Ronald Garcia-Vargas was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains. 

Juan Cruzcupido, age 33, of Sacramento, was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and unlawfully moving and disposing of human remains. 

Edgar Najera, age 50, of Sacramento was arrested for misdemeanor counts of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. 

If anyone has information about this investigation, they are encouraged to call Detective Tristan Harper or Zach Price at 530-538-7671.

 

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