Gruesome Multiple Slaying in Mojave Desert Linked to Marijuana Dispute and Cartel Activity

Los Angeles, California – Five men have been taken into custody following a brutal multiple homicide in a remote area of the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County. The violent incident left six men dead, with four of them suffering severe burns, in what authorities describe as a gruesome crime scene scattered across the desert landscape.

The motive behind the killings is believed to be related to a marijuana dispute, according to investigators. They are currently exploring possible connections to cartel activity in the area.

Following the slayings in the community of El Mirage, authorities carried out search warrants in Apple Valley, Adelanto, and the Los Angeles County area of Piñon Hills. Five suspects were identified and arrested in connection with the murders – Toniel Baez-Duarte, Mateo Baez-Duarte, Jose Nicolas Hernandez-Sarabia, Jose Gregorio Hernandez-Sarabia, and Jose Manuel Burgos Parra.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus stated, “The moment we started this investigation, we started to receive strong leads,” during a press conference held Monday evening. The investigation was initiated after a 911 call was received at 8:16 p.m. on Tuesday, where the caller reported being shot but was unsure of their exact location.

Law enforcement officers were able to track the coordinates of the call to an area near Lessing Avenue and Shadow Mountain Road, revealing a crime scene with multiple victims and two vehicles. Later, deputies discovered the bodies of six men, four of whom were identified as Baldemar Mondragon-Albarran, Franklin Noel Bonilla, Kevin Dariel Bonilla, and one victim whose identity is being withheld.

Dicus highlighted the issue of illegal marijuana grows in the region, stating that while recreational and registered marijuana grows are legal in California, the black market for marijuana is a significant cause of violence. The investigation is ongoing as authorities work to determine whether any of the eight firearms recovered at the scene were used in the slayings.

The suspects, arrested on suspicion of murder, are being held without bail pending a review of the case by the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office. The incident has sent shockwaves through the community, raising concerns about the presence of cartel activity in the area and the potential dangers associated with disputes over illicit activities like marijuana cultivation.