Prather, California - Fresno County Sheriff's Investigators say they've uncovered an illegal marijuana grow in Prather and in the process arrested a felon who had more than a dozen guns along with ammunition. Fresno County Sheriff's deputies have booked 58-year-old Daniel Ferrell of Prather into the Fresno County jail. Investigators say this all happened at a home on the 32000 block of Whispering Springs Lane in Prather.
Investigators say the way this whole case came about was because the suspect was known as a felon with a firearm. When they served the search warrant it led them to guns, drugs, and an arrest they say will help them clean up one of their mountain communities.
"All these guns and magazines were fully loaded too, so. This was a bad guy who could've done a lot of damage based upon what he had," said Tony Botti, of the Fresno County Sheriff's Department.
At a home in the foothills of Prather, investigators arrested Daniel Ferrell finding 20 guns, ammunition, meth, and 3,766 marijuana plants being illegally grown.
"Prior to Prop 64 this would've been a pretty big deal. I would've been a felony for possessing this many plants, but now the game has changed. This is a misdemeanor. To have 3,700 plants which is way above the six threshold of what you can possess," said Botti.
Ferrell faces 18 felony weapons charges. People in Prather say it's a scary wakeup call.
"I have that mindset that nothing bad will happen to me, but you know that's not the greatest mindset to be in. I mean I should be more aware," said Holly, an area resident.
"It's not right. It should be closely watched a lot more than it is because that kind of stuff is dangerous and a lot of people could die from that right there," said Joe.
Joe has lived in this area for 50 years. He appreciates the effort from Fresno County deputies.
"I talk to them all the time. They are nice guys and they try their best you know. They are hard workers and do their best to keep things down up here, but like I said they are outnumbered 2 to 1. They have to work hard at it," said Joe.
Investigators say one of the best ways that residents can help them is by utilizing the Crime Stoppers hotline, that number is 498-STOP, you can remain anonymous if you believe there is illegal activity going on in your area.