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Cannabis field worker convicted of killing California deputy

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Posted at 8:15 PM, Apr 15, 2022

A marijuana field worker who shot and killed a Northern California sheriff's deputy has been convicted of second-degree murder. Juan Carlos Vasquez-Orozco was convicted on Friday and could face a life sentence.

Prosecutors say Vasquez-Orozco killed El Dorado County sheriff's Deputy Brian Ishmael in October 2019. Ishmael and three other deputies had answered a 911 call from the owner of land in rural Somerset about people possibly stealing plants at a marijuana garden.

Authorities say Christopher Ross actually rented land for the garden, and he was afraid the men who hired Vasquez-Orozco would take the plants without paying him. When deputies arrived, authorities say Vasquez-Orozco opened fire, killing Ishmael and wounding another deputy. Vasquez-Orozco is said to have then fled the scene.

Ishmael was a four-year veteran of the police force and a father of three.