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Los Banos homes raided in marijuana bust

POSTED July 30, 2010 10:48 p.m.
An anonymous tip about a marijuana grow operation in Los Banos led to the arrest of four people and the confiscation of weapons and narcotics.The tip came into the Merced Mariposa High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force. It provided information that a home in the 15000 block of Henry Miller Road was being used to grow marijuana and sale methamphetamine.When they arrived at the house of John Soares, 48, they found a small marijuana grow of less than 15 plants and a quarter ounce of methamphetamine, but no Soares, said Merced County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.Agents developed further information that led them to two houses in the 14000 block of McDonald Avenue, which they believe have ties to Soares’ alleged operation.At the first location they found Donald Deaver, 48, a convicted felon in possession of two shotguns loaded with law enforcement-style ammo and a .22 caliber rifle. He was arrested and booked on being a convicted felon in possession of ammo and guns, a felony warrant for stealing a car and also two Madera warrants for spousal abuse and failing to appear. He remains in custody in lieu of a $73,000 bail, MacKenzie said.At the second location the agents found 26-year-old Christopher Pearson, who had a no-bail warrant for burglary and attempted burglary, MacKenzie said. Also at the house was parolee Tiffany Bray, 27, who was released from state prison nine days ago. She is on parole for burglary and was a parolee at large for three years until a couple months ago when she was arrested by a deputy from the Merced County Sheriff’s Department. Agents found guns at the house, which is in violation of her parole conditions, so she was taken back into custody on a parole violation and remains without bail, MacKenzie said.After speaking with agents from the task force, Soares turned himself in and was booked on possession of methamphetamine and made the $10,000 bail about an hour later, MacKenzie said.

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