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5 people have been arrested in California desert killings, sheriff's department says

This aerial image from video provided by KTLA shows law enforcement vehicles where several people were found shot to death in El Mirage, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024.
KTLA
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via AP
This aerial image from video provided by KTLA shows law enforcement vehicles where several people were found shot to death in El Mirage, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Five men have been arrested in the investigation surrounding six bodies found last week at a remote dirt crossroads in the Southern California desert in a dispute over marijuana, sheriff's officials said Monday.

Authorities discovered the bodies in the Mojave Desert outside El Mirage after someone called 911 and said he had been shot, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Warrick said. Five bodies were found late Tuesday and a sixth the following morning.

Five suspects were arrested after deputies served search warrants Sunday, Warrick said at a news conference.

"We are confident that this appears to be a dispute over marijuana," he said.

The area, some 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is so remote that the sheriff's department called in help from the California Highway Patrol's Aviation Division to find the scene.

Overhead footage from TV stations last week showed a dark blue SUV with a passenger window blown out and another door open, with part of the image blurred. The footage also showed numerous yellow evidence markers in the scrubby desert.

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The Associated Press
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