One shot in suspected Craigslist pot deal in Chowchilla, 3 arrested

rparsons@mercedsunstar.comMarch 10, 2014 

— An apparent marijuana deal orchestrated through an online classified advertisement ended early Monday in Chowchilla with one person shot and three teenagers behind bars possibly facing attempted murder and robbery charges, the Madera County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

Erica Stuart, a department spokeswoman, said one victim, described only as a man from Fresno, suffered injuries but was expected to recover.

The Sheriff’s Department described the shooting as a “drug deal gone wrong.”

Stuart said three suspects were arrested, two Chowchilla boys, ages 17 and 14, and 19-year-old Jaleel Johnson of San Rafael. Johnson was booked at Madera County Jail and the juveniles were booked at Madera County Juvenile Hall, all on suspicion of attempted murder and robbery.

The juveniles moved to Chowchilla less than a month ago, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Deputies said the suspects used a Craigslist advertisement to arrange a pre-dawn marijuana deal. The victim was shot at least once just before 4:30 a.m. in an area just east of the upscale Greenhills Estates neighborhood in Chowchilla, off Avenue 26.

Authorities did not say whether the incident occurred inside a building, a vehicle or on the street.

Another man was with the victim during the incident but was not shot, Stuart said. She said it was too early in the investigation to comment further on either man’s identity, including their ages.

It was unclear if any weapons had been recovered or whether investigators suspected any gang connection.

The Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team assisted with the investigation, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Madera County Sheriff’s Department at (559) 675-7976. Callers can remain anonymous.

Staff writer Rob Parsons can be reached at rparsons@mercedsunstar.com or (209) 385-2482.

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