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Report: Councilman shooting suspect tended opium
Report: Suspect in shooting of councilman tended opium while living for months in Calif woods
By The Associated Press

FORT BRAGG, Calif. (AP) ' Authorities say a suspect in the shooting of a Northern California city councilman had been tending opium poppy plants while living for months in the woods.

Mendocino County sheriff's officials told the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa on Monday (http://bit.ly/n7RX4V) that 35-year-old Aaron Bassler was the sole tender of about 100 opium poppies.

Bassler is suspected of shooting 69-year-old Fort Bragg City Councilman Jere Melo on Saturday. He remains at large.

Melo, a forest land manager, was shot in a rugged area outside Fort Bragg while searching for marijuana farms with a friend.

Sheriff's Capt. Kurt Smallcomb said Melo was unarmed when he was shot several times in the torso. His friend had a weapon and returned fire before escaping aboard a passing train.


Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com

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