Marijuana bust in El Paso County leads to suspected stolen vehicle chop shop

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Marijuana bust and suspected chop shop were on adjoining properties.

Investigators in El Paso County checking on a suspected illegal marijuana grow uncovered an alleged stolen vehicle “chop shop” on an adjoining property.

At about 1:20 p.m. on Friday, members of the sheriff’s office executed a search warrant for illegal cultivation of marijuana in the 5200 block of South Yoder Road, according to a news release.

During a search of the property 104 marijuana plants were seized. The marijuana investigation is ongoing and criminal charges are pending.

While investigators were serving the marijuana warrant several vehicles in various stages of disrepair were spotted on a property to the south, the sheriff’s office said. Two license plates, in view through a wooden privacy fence, on vehicles came back as stolen when queried, the sheriff’s office said.

Multiple verbal commands were given over a bull horn instructing people inside a residence in the 5300 block of South Yoder Road, where the reported stolen vehicles were parked, to come out. No one complied with the exit commands and investigators procured a search warrant.

Investigators, with a warrant, went into the residence and found two men who were questioned and detained. Two guns, a Taurus .22 and a .410 combination rifle, were found on the property. A third vehicle also came back as stolen when an identification number was queried, the sheriff’s office said.

The stolen vehicles identified are: a gold 2005 Ford truck, a 1999 maroon Chevy truck, and a white 2002 Ford truck.

Gonzalo Adrian Gonzalez-Gomez, 37, was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a weapon by previous offender and three counts of felony first degree aggravated motor vehicle theft.

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