News & Blogs Five trimmers suspected of killing pot farmer (1 Viewer)

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Kim Chee

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http://www.cbsnews.com/news/marijuana-trimmers-suspected-killing-california-bay-area-man/

Marijuana trimmers suspected in killing of California Bay Area man
laytonville-marijuana-trimmers.jpg

Zachary Wuester, Amanda Wiest, Frederick Gaestel are wanted in the death of a Bay Area man in Laytonville, California
LAYTONVILLE, California — A San Francisco Bay Area man was found dead Thursday afternoon in Mendocino County and the county’s sheriff’s deputies are seeking five suspects who are at large.

Deputies responded at 3:39 p.m. to a report of a man who had been allegedly killed on a remote property off North U.S. Highway 101 in Laytonville, CBS San Francisco reports.

The property is about five miles west of the highway on a dirt road.

Sheriff’s officials said deputies confirmed that a man had died in a violent assault and identified the man as 35-year-old Bethel Island resident Jeffrey Quinn Settler.

Settler was allegedly growing marijuana for sale, which had nothing to do with medical uses, sheriff’s officials said.

Deputies said the killing unfolded early Thursday morning when multiple suspects who Settler had hired as marijuana trimmers came to the property to rob Settler of some processed marijuana.

Settler slept in the same structure where he stored the processed marijuana and the suspects knew this, according to sheriff’s officials.

The suspects entered the structure and assaulted Settler so violently that he died.

Deputies said they believe the suspects may be fleeing to Southern California or out of the state. One of the vehicles being used in the escape is thought to be a blue, 2017, 4-door Volkswagen Golf with Virginia license plate VHR5611.

Sheriff’s officials said they have obtained an arrest warrant for 24-year-old Haskell, New Jersey, man Zachary Wuester, who detectives believe is the main suspect in the killing.

Detectives will be seeking warrants for the four other suspects, which include Amanda Wiest and Frederick Gaestel.
 
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K

Kim Chee

I deleted myself
Why did they do this - because he screwed them out of money? Something tells me there is a lot more to the story.
There is usually more to the story.

An alleged murder isn't story enough?
 

SlankyLanky

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i actually saw this on latfo the other day but i think it only mentioned 2 suspects in the murder. yikes. shit like this really makes seasonal workers look worse then most of us already do. its a huge shame that the old idea of a working hobo has been reduced to people like this, only making it harder to get jobs. especially trim/harvest/beets etc etc work, after someone i knew was murdered by a group of face tattooed freaks with dogs ide sure be weary of hiring people cut from the same cloth next year.
 
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Kim Chee

I deleted myself
i actually saw this on latfo the other day but i think it only mentioned 2 suspects in the murder.
The latest I saw says there were 8 involved.

I figure somebody trying to dodge a murder rap might be pretty desperate to change their appearance or simply to get food.

I'd hate to hear about somebody getting hurt over some gear so I posted this just in case somebody might recognize who they are looking at and act accordingly.
 

Coywolf

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"This message is awaiting moderator approval, and is invisible to normal visitors."

Wow, I didnt know ya'll moderated EVERY post. thats gotta be some work....
 

SlankyLanky

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"This message is awaiting moderator approval, and is invisible to normal visitors."

Wow, I didnt know ya'll moderated EVERY post. thats gotta be some work....
i imagine it may be only for this sub forum being that it would be easy to just post stuff about people you dont particularly like and try to smear their name. although with the amount of shit posting latly...wouldnt surprise me if they are doing something to detour that.
 

EphemeralStick

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@SIB, It's just for this sub-forum and it's for reasons that @cantcureherpes stated. It's easy for people to just use this area to talk massive amounts of shit. It's not too much work.

On the topic of this thread, Jesus people can be fucking crazy. It says five suspected but only lists the three kids, though Kim Chee says it went up to 8? Makes me wonder where they're getting these numbers.
 
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Kim Chee

I deleted myself
...Makes me wonder where they're getting these numbers.
Wuester has been apprehended, also there was another person who reported the murder at the farm.

Those are my two guesses.

I'll see if I can dig up something mentioning 8.
 
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Kim Chee

I deleted myself
This artical mentions 7 suspects, 3 caught as of last Wednesday:

http://www.willitsnews.com/article/NR/20161208/NEWS/161209946

Third suspect arrested in Laytonville murder

The San Diego Police Department arrested Abdirahman Mohamed, 28, for first-degree murder Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Previously described as “Richie,” thought to be a 25-year-old black man from San Diego, Mohamed is being held at San Diego Central Jail under $650,000 bail.

Two other suspects are being held in Mendocino County Jail for murder.

The first, 24-year-old Zachary R. Wuester of New Jersey, reportedly turned himself in on Nov. 14. He was booked under $650,000 bail for the murder, in addition to warrants from New Jersey and Virginia that have “no bail” status.

23-year-old Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald of Virginia and formerly of Arcata also turned himself in and was booked into county jail on Nov. 23 on suspicion of murder under $650,000 bail.

The remaining four suspects are Frederick Gaestel, 27, a white male from New Jersey; Gary Blank III, 34, a white male from Illinois; Jesse Wells, 32, a white male from New York and Michael Kane, 25, a white male from New York.

There are two outstanding vehicles associated with the suspects, a 1999 Honda Accord with plate number 7LPN823 and a 2005 Volvo XC70 with plate number 7TVT318.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the MCSO Investigative Unit at (707) 463-4111or the Tip Line at (707) 234-2100.
 
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Kim Chee

I deleted myself
I think the number went from 8 to 7 because Amanda Weist is no longer considered a suspect and has been reclassified as a kidnapping victim:

https://www.mendovoice.com/2016/11/suspect-gary-fitzgerald-arrested-in-settler-murder-amanda-wiest-now-considered-victim-of-kidnapping-press-release/

Suspect, Gary Fitzgerald, arrested in Settler murder, Amanda Wiest now considered victim of kidnapping (press release)

MENDOCINO Co., Nov. 28 — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement on the arrest of Gary Fitzgerald, a suspect in the murder of Jeffrey Settler. Notably, the release reclassifies Amanda Wiest from a suspect, to a victim. She was previously sought in connection with the murder, but the MCSO now believes that she and a four year old child were kidnapped as part of the murder.

According to the statement, Fitzgerald turned himself in on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016.

Other suspects remain at large, if you have any information you are urged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit at 707-463-4111 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

The press release email included copies of previous press releases, we have edited those out for clarity. They can be read in our previous coverage, here, and here.

DATE: “November 28, 2016”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Victim(s): Jeffrey Quinn Settler, 35 year-old male from Bethel Island, California
Amanda Wiest, 26 year old white female, Fairfax, Virginia
Juvenile Child, 4 years old, Fairfax Virginia

Suspect(s): Zachary Wuester, 24 year old white male, Haskell, New Jersey **In Custody**

Frederick Gaestel, 27 year old white male, Clifton, New Jersey

Gary Blank III, 34 year old white male, Elgin, Illinois

Gary Fitzgerald, 23 year old white male, Roanoke, Illinois**In Custody**

Jesse Wells, 32 year old white male, Binghamton, New York

Michael Kane, 25 year old white male, Pleasantville, New York

“Richie” last name unknown, approx 25 year old black male, possibly from San Diego, California

Written By: Lieutenant Shannon Barney

Synopsis: **UPDATE** SUSPECT STATUS.

During this investigation the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detective Unit was able to contact and interview Amanda Wiest, a 26 year old female, from Fairfax Virginia, who had previously been listed as a possible suspect in this case. At the conclusion of that interview Wiests’ status has been changed from suspect to victim of a kidnapping along with a four year old child. Charges of kidnapping with be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review in addition to the charges of homicide and robbery against the suspects in this case.

On the evening of 11/23/2016 Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald turned himself into the custody of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on a charge of homicide. His bail was set at $650,000.

The investigation into this case is ongoing with the Sheriff’s Office Detective Unit actively seeking to arrest the 5 additional suspects in this case. Any persons with information about this incident, or the current whereabouts of the named suspects are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit at 707-463-4111 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

On 11/14/16 at 9:25 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives contacted Zachary Ryan Wuester, 24, of Haskell New Jersey in the 100 block of East Commercial Street in Willits and arrested him without incident on an arrest warrant for 187 PC (murder) and 211 PC (robbery). The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office had been contacted by a Deputy United States Marshal who had been in contact with Wuester and convinced Wuester to surrender himself to authorities.

Wuester was booked in the Mendocino County Jail for a Mendocino County Superior Court arrest warrant alleging murder and robbery. His bail was set at $650,000. Wuester was also found to have felony warrants out of New Jersey and Virginia, both of which were narcotic related offenses. The out of state warrants have a “no bail” status.

This investigation is ongoing and the Mendocino County Detectives are looking to locate and interview Gary “Cricket” Blank III, Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald, Jesse Wells, Michael Kane, Frederick “Freddy” Gaestel and Amanda Weist. There is one additional suspect that has not yet been identified. This person is only known as “Richie”, a black male adult, approximately 25 years of age, thought to possibly be from the San Diego area.

There are currently two outstanding vehicles associated with the listed suspects; a 1999 Honda Accord, California License #7LPN823 and a 2005 Volvo XC70, California License #7TVT318.

The Sheriff’s Office will not be releasing the cause of death of the victim at this time. All press information will be released in the form of updated press releases to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Any persons with information about this incident, or the current whereabouts of the named suspects are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit at 707-463-4111 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

______________________________________________________________
On 11-11-2016 at 3:39 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were summoned to a reported man who had been murdered on a remote property located in the 49000 block of North Highway 101 in Laytonville, California.

The property was a rural parcel approximately 5 miles from Highway 101, on a dirt road that traveled in a westerly direction.

Deputies responded to the scene confirming there was a male adult who was obviously deceased as a result of what appeared to be a violent assault.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives were summoned to the scene, along with Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and Criminalists from the California Department of Justice.

During the investigation it was determined the deceased male adult, Jeffrey Quinn Settler, was operating a commercial marijuana growing operation on the property.

In the early morning hours of 11-11-2016 (Thursday), multiple subjects who had been recently employed by Settler as marijuana trimmers returned to the property in the middle of the night with the intent to commit robbery of processed marijuana.

The investigation has revealed the subjects knew the marijuana was stored in the same structure where Settler slept and the subjects violently assaulted him during the robbery, causing his death.

The subjects were believed to have fled the property in at least two vehicles and were believed to have stolen over 100 pounds of processed marijuana. The subjects are believed to possibly be fleeing to Southern California or out of state.

One of the vehicles is believed to be a blue 2017 Volkswagen Golf 4-door sedan displaying Virginia license plate number VHR5611.

Sheriff’s Detectives have obtained a murder/robbery felony arrest warrant for Zachary Wuester, who was identified as being one of the subjects involved in this case.

Sheriff’s Detectives have also identified Frederick Gaestel, Gary Blank III, Gary Lynn Fitzgerald and Amanda Weist as being participants in the robbery/murder.

A statewide Be-On-The-Look-Out (BOLO) was disseminated for all the subjects and Sheriff’s Detectives will be seeking arrest warrants on the remaining subjects in the near future.

The investigation has shown no evidence or inference that the marijuana growing operation was for medical purposes and Sheriff’s Detectives believe it was solely for the purpose of commercial gain.
 

roguetrader

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I heard that a lot of Europeans, (especially females) are being recruited for Mendocino area trim work, mainly because they are viewed as being less risky than many US nationals. Now I see why....
 
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Kim Chee

I deleted myself
...mainly because they are viewed as being less risky than many US nationals...
This thread is about a murder that occurred recently and should serve as a warning to anybody who might come across whichever suspects haven't been apprehended.

If you want to discuss why who hires who, kindly create your own thread.
 

ThatGirl77

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That shit is scary. My first trim job was close to there. The sketchiest trailer park in all of NorCal is near there as well. It's cheap and a lot of traveling kids end up there but it's pretty shitty.
 

tacopirate

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Yea, a lot of CA pot farms are sketchy. I worked as a trimmer in Hayfork, CA and it was nuts. Sad to hear about a senseless murder...
 

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