General Crime

Five Suspects Arrested After Robbery at Pot Grow Operation in Sonoma

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Five people are in custody for an armed robbery at a home in Sonoma County on Tuesday morning that also resulted in the arrest of the robbery victim for marijuana cultivation, sheriff’s officials said. At about 8 a.m. Tuesday, sheriff’s deputies received a report of an armed robbery in the 7000 block of Cougar Lane in Kenwood.

The victim, John Orgon, told them that five armed suspects had broken into his house, and said there were four other victims at the home, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded and stopped two vehicles that were leaving the scene.

They arrested five people, identified as Richard Heuser, 35, and Kenneth Wiepert, 45, both transients; and Vallejo residents Charles Hewitt, 50, and Mario Ratliff, 41. Deputies also arrested 47-year-old David Ortiz, of Sebastopol.

The suspects were identified by the victims as the intruders, and were also caught on video by a surveillance camera, sheriff’s officials said. After the suspects were arrested, Orgon told deputies that they were not allowed on his property. He refused to open two gates for them that led up to his home, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies walked about a mile to the home from where the suspects were arrested in order to check on the victims’ welfare and further investigate the crime.

Upon arriving at the residence, deputies discovered a large outdoor marijuana grow operation, sheriff’s officials said. Narcotics detectives were called to investigate the grow. Deputies took Orgon into custody on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. The case remains under investigation and detectives are continuing to collect evidence, sheriff’s officials said.

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