Sheriff says men posed as cops to steal meth in Madera County


A table full of weapons, drugs, cash, ski masks, and law enforcement gear shows what Madera County detectives collected during their investigation into a shooting on December 30th. It happened near Avenue 18 ½ and Road 10 outside Chowchilla.

Madera County Sheriff John Anderson said, "The story we got from the first victim was they were out in the country to look at a horse they might want to buy."

Sheriff John Anderson says deputies soon learned the three victims really went to the area to sell crystal methamphetamine to two buyers. But instead the suspects showed up in a truck with blue and flashing white lights and posed as officers.

"The 'police' come out with guns, they order them out of the car, the prone them out, they shoot one of them, laying there on the ground with an SKS rifle," said Sheriff John Anderson.

A 22 year old victim managed to get back in this car, but was shot in the face while driving away. One 17 year old victim ran away from the scene and later showed up unharmed. But the 17 year old who was shot at close range is still fighting for his life.

"He is still in the hospital shot through the liver in very critical condition," said Sheriff John Anderson. "We're still not sure if he's going to survive."

Detectives used the description of the truck to track down and arrest 25-year-old Elias Lopez Martinez, of Oaxaca, Mexico, in the vehicle the next day. They found most of these items at an apartment tied to the crime, and also followed a blood trail at the original scene to a dog food bag filled with nine pounds of packaged meth. But the sheriff's office is still searching for a second suspect and asking anyone with tips to come forward.

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