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Suspect in interstate El Dorado Co. pot distribution ring nabbed

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - There has been an arrest in what El Dorado County drug enforcement agents say is an interstate drug trafficking ring with ties to El Dorado County, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia.

Sgt. Jim Byers with the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said 48-year-old Robert Edward Mulready was apprehended after the Western El Dorado County Narcotics Enforcement Team served several search warrants, including at two Shingle Springs and Placerville properties, and seized $236,480 in cash, 393 marijuana plants and 20 pounds of processed marijuana with an additional 200 starter clones. Byers said officers also recovered assault weapons, additional properties, bank accounts and safety deposit boxes.

Man shot dead at El Dorado Co. reservoir is identified

EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - A man fatally shot at Union Valley Reservoir Saturday night has been identified as 25-year-old Randall Gene Center of Colfax.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office received a call from a camper around 8:10 p.m. of a person being shot, Sgt. Jim Byers said.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the involved subjects and that the shooting victim had died, Byers said.

The shooting took place in an undeveloped and remote shoreline area which can only be accessed by boat.

The El Dorado County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service also responded to the scene.

The sheriff's department continues to investigate the shooting, Byers said.

TRIAL BLOG: Placerville principal shooting Day 2

PLACERVILLE, CA - Testimony continued Thursday morning in the trial of a school maintenance worker charged with the murder of a Placerville elementary school principal last year.

John Luebbers is accused of shooting Louisiana Schnell Elementary School Principal Sam LaCara on Feb. 2, 2011. The shooting took place at the school, and prosecutors contend it was over an employment dispute.

RELATED: Placerville principal fatally shot at elementary school

Read the News10 court blog of what's happening at the trial:

9:30 a.m.

Luebbers and attorney in court.

Prosecutor: (Not showing graphic photos from autopsy)

"However, Exhibit 18 shows travel path of bullet (least graphic). Willful, intentional and deliberate murder."

3 arrested in Placerville grocery store heist

PLACERVILLE, CA - Two men and a woman were arrested on Tuesday for their suspected parts in the robbery of the Grocery Outlet at 1426 Broadway Dr. in Placerville.

According to witnesses on scene, the men entered the store around 7:32 p.m., filled up a shopping cart then ran out without paying, assaulting a store employee along the way.

Sgt. Carl Bialorucki of the Placerville Police Dept. said the men got into a gray Ford Ranger pickup truck being driven by a young girl and the three fled the scene. An ensuing investigation revealed one of the men assaulted another individual while leaving the area, said Bialorucki.

Based on information obtained from witnesses, police were able to identify and arrest the female driver and one of the men involved about an hour after the heist. The getaway truck was also located a short distance away on Broadway Dr.

COURT BLOG: Placerville principal shooting trial

PLACERVILLE, CA - Opening statements began Wednesday morning in the trial of a school maintenance worker accused of killing a Placerville elementary school principal.

John Luebbers is accused of shooting Louisiana Schnell Elementary School Principal Sam LaCara on Feb. 2, 2011. The shooting happened at the school, and prosecutors say it was over an employment dispute.

RELATED: Placerville principal fatally shot at elementary school

Read our News10 court blog of what's happening at the trial:

Close of day: Court will begin on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Judge: We are lightyears ahead in this case. It may not even be three weeks.

2 home burglaries thwarted by Placer Co. deputies

PLACER COUNTY, CA - Six people were arrested in two separate home burglaries Monday.

Around 8:50 p.m. the Placer County Sheriff's Department got a call from the owner of an unoccupied home on Clipper Gap Road about three unauthorized people inside. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found a trailer full of stolen property from the inside the home, department spokesperson Dena Erwin said.

Three suspects were spotted breaking out the home's windows and two sliding glass doors with a golf club, Erwin said.

Zachary Forest Lackett, 20, of North Highlands, Christopher Elliott Walker, 18, of Sacramento, and Zeth Andrew Stuart, 23, of North Highlands, were arrested and booked into Placer County Jail for burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and vandalism, Erwin said.

Later Monday, around 3:10 p.m., three other suspects were arrested after a deputy saw them loading property from the home into their vehicle, which was backed into the home's driveway.

Owner pleads not guilty to Placerville mine charges

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- The co-owner of a gold mine in the Sierra foothills has pleaded not guilty to operating the mine illegally and causing environmental damage.

El Dorado County prosecutors said Joseph Hardesty entered the plea during his arraignment Tuesday.

Hardesty, who is 55, is charged with grading the Gold Rush-era mine near Placerville, which is about 45 miles east of Sacramento. He also is charged with operating heavy equipment without permits, causing air pollution and allowing hazardous fluids to reach a nearby creek.

His attorney, William Brewer, did not immediately return a telephone message.

The mine's co-owner, Rick Churches, 44, faces similar charges in a 24-count complaint. He did not show up for Tuesday's arraignment.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Pizzuti said the judge told prosecutors to prepare an arrest warrant for Churches.