Investigators in Amador County believe a man suspected of burglary and embezzlement also has ties to a Mexican drug cartel.
Authorities uncovered a marijuana cultivation site consisting of 448 marijuana plants and a hidden firearm while executing a search warrant last week at a residence in Pine Grove, the Amador County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. The Northern California grow site was being leased from the homeowner, 55-year-old Douglas Keeter, and tended to by the Mexican cartel, authorities said.
While searching the residence, deputies discovered numerous tools, clothing and other items from a Tractor Supply Company store in Jackson, most of them in their original packaging, the Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators determined Keeter worked as an assistant manager at the store and the items were likely stolen, authorities said. A subsequent search uncovered two trailers full of stolen merchandise.
The Sheriff’s Office said more than $30,000 in stolen property was recovered. Investigators are still looking into Keeter’s eBay account and other bidding platforms, saying they suspect Keeter has sold about $18,000 worth of merchandise.
Keeter has not been arrested, but the Sheriff’s Office said charges of embezzlement, burglary and possession of stolen property will be forwarded to the Amador County District Attorney’s Office when the investigation is complete. The Amador County Combined Narcotics Task Force’s investigation into the illegal marijuana grow is also ongoing, authorities said.