DAVIS (CBS13) — Detectives have arrested seven people from out-of-state on multiple charges, including homicide, stemming from an apparent drug deal gone wrong in Grass Valley.

Grass Valley police say back on Saturday night, officers spotted a car speeding through town.

Angel Costello had just come home around 11:30 p.m. when she saw three cars racing down West Main Street in front of her house.

“I see three cars go down the street at probably around 70, honking and screeching their tires and then they were just gone,” said Costello.

Police say the high-speed chase started at South Ponderosa after seven men from out of state-attempted to buy marijuana with fake cash.

“The first thing I heard was three pops. I was very positive they were gunshots. I didn’t necessarily want to believe it because we live right in the middle of downtown,” Costello said.

Officers followed the car and discovered it was heading to the hospital because a woman who was inside had been shot in the head, police say.

After questioning the driver, the police started to put together a chaotic scene. The driver told officers that they had met up with a group from out of the area to sell marijuana.

“The black market is still very healthy, very alive. There is still a lot of money associated with marijuana with that comes a lot of criminal activity,” said Captain Steve Johnson.

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The parties met near South Ponderosa Road but, at some point during the deal, the sellers discovered that the suspects were trying to buy the drugs with fake money. Johnson said the area is seeing more people come from out of state to buy marijuana.

“It’s extremely concerning. Grass Valley is a small town, although we are not immune to criminal activity these sort of things certainly don’t happen very often,” said Johnson.

Detectives believe, near the intersection of West Main and Alta streets, a suspect inside the car driving off with the drugs shot several times – hitting a woman in the other car in the head.

“I just didn’t think someone was going to lose their life over marijuana. It doesn’t make sense,” Costello said.

Since that night, detectives have been working to identify the suspects’ vehicles. By Tuesday, the suspects were tracked to a hotel in Davis. Johnson said they were taken into custody after a 10-hour stakeout.

With the help of Davis police and several other law enforcement agencies, detectives moved in and arrested seven people believed to have been involved in the drug deal gone wrong. A pistol, 30 pounds of processed marijuana and a stockpile of fake cash was also discovered.

The following people were arrested on charges of homicide, grand theft and criminal conspiracy: 31-year-old William Levise, 22-year-old Trey Richard, 31-year-old Ronney Turner, 31-year-old Juan McHenry, 21-year-old Devon Jennings, 20-year-old Laderrick Wynn – all from Dallas, Texas – and 22-year-old Shreveport, LA resident Dakari Harris.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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