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Crime News

California Weed Grower And Two Pals Kidnap And Tie Up Former Coworker

The new chief grower of a weed farm in Santa Rosa and two pals kidnapped and beat the farm's former head honcho, police said.

By Noah Hurowitz

Three men tied a rival to a chair and tried to shoot him during a dispute in California, but settled on beating and interrogating him for hours when their gun jammed, according to police.

Moises Calvillo-Chavez, who had recently taken over as head grower at a marijuana farm located in a rural area of Santa Rosa, California, and two friends are accused of trying to kill the man, but their luck turned when he managed to escape captivity, according to a statement from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim told police he had been the head grower at the farm, and that he and his replacement clashed as the victim showed the new guy the ropes, police said. The victim, a 43-year-old man, had been living at the farm but after his relationship with his replacement began to sour, he had been staying with a friend off the property, police said.

At about 2 a.m. on Sunday, Calvillo-Chavez and the victim got into an argument on the phone, and a short while later he and pals Chad Canup and Salvador Martinez, both 22, showed up where the victim was hunkered down with the intention of killing him, according to police.

Hopping out of his truck, Calvillo-Chavez aimed a .22-caliber rifle at the victim and pulled the trigger several times, but the weapon malfunctioned and the attacker settled for smashing his victim in the head with the stock of the gun, officials said.

When the former head grower fell to the ground from the force of the blow, his assailants began to kick and punch him the head, before tying him up with rope and hurling him into his own truck, which they then drove back to the weed farm, according to police.

Once back on the farm, Calvillo-Chavez, Canup, and Martinez sat the victim down, duct-taped him to a chair, and began interrogating him for several hours, police said.

The nature of the dispute and the interrogation were not immediately clear.

At some point, the alleged kidnappers left their victim alone, and out sight of his tormentors, he managed to break the chair and make a run for it, dashing barefoot into the street with part of the chair still duct-taped to his arm, police said.

When the would-be kidnappers realized their victim had flown the coop, Calvillo-Chavez called 911 and told a dispatcher that the man he had allegedly kidnapped had shown up at the farm “going crazy,” and that they had been forced to restrain him to calm him down, police said.

When deputies and emergency responders arrived at the property, paramedics treated the victim for a cut on the back of the head, but he declined hospitalization, police said.

The alleged attackers, on the other hand, were in for more trouble. Officers arrested Calvillo-Chavez, Canup, and Martinez and charged the trio with attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, conspiracy, false imprisonment, and vehicle theft, court records show.

All three were ordered held on $1.2 million bail, and were due back in court Tuesday afternoon, according to the Press Democrat newspaper.

[Photo credit: Sonoma County Sheriff's Office]