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Alleged Marijuana Growers From Mexico Arrested In Healdsburg Murder

HEALDSBURG (CBS SF) - A man was shot and killed near Healdsburg early Sunday morning, and authorities have arrested three alleged marijuana growers in connection with the murder.

Healdsburg police informed the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office around 2:15 a.m. Sunday of a possible shooting in the 4000 block of Chemise Road in unincorporated Sonoma County west of Healdsburg, sheriff's Lt. Glenn Lawrence said.

Sheriff's deputies found evidence of a crime scene but did not find a victim, Lawrence said.

Around 7:15 a.m., the sheriff's office a 911 call about a possible dead body in the 5900 block of Mill Creek Road west of Healdsburg, Lawrence said. Deputies responded and determined that the report of a shooting and the discovery of the dead body were related, Lawrence said.

The victim was identified as 24-year-old Gabino Lopez Santiago, who is from Mexico but was living in Healdsburg, sheriff's Sgt. Carlos Basurto said.

Santiago was shot at least once in the upper torso, Basurto said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.

Within several hours, deputies located and arrested Sidonio Santos Cruz, 35, and Agustin Zepeda-Onofre, 23, near the shooting scene on Chemise Road, Basurto said.

A third suspect, Ramon Velasco Lopez, 28, was located in Healdsburg, Basurto said.

Basurto said the three men were cultivating a marijuana garden near Chemise Road, but it is still unclear whether the shooting was directly related to the marijuana grow.

Cruz, who was living in Santa Rosa; Zepeda-Onofre, a Windsor resident; and Velasco, who was living in Healdsburg, are all originally from Mexico, Basurto said.

They were booked into the Sonoma County Jail for murder, conspiracy, being an accessory to a crime, cultivation of marijuana and destroying or concealing evidence, Basurto said.

They were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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