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Former Yuba County Sheriff’s Deputy Convicted of Drug Trafficking

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — A former Yuba County sheriff’s deputy has been convicted of several drug charges and a federal firearms offense.

Christopher Mark Heath, 38, was found guilty of engaging in a conspiracy that trafficked hundreds of pounds of marijuana between Northern California, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The drug trafficking began in September 2014 and continued through January 2016. During that time, Heath was deputy sheriff in Yuba County, assigned as a narcotics investigator.

Heath and his co-defendants, who had previously pleaded guilty, grew marijuana on property in Oroville and shipped it through the U.S. postal service to several different locations, including post office boxes. Money to purchase additional marijuana was also sent through the mail.

In December 2015, Heath and his co-conspirators traveled from California to York County in two vehicles, transporting 89.5 kilograms of marijuana worth just under half a million dollars. Heath’s truck contained the entire quantity of marijuana as well as a loaded Glock firearm and his sheriff’s department badge. When Heath and his co-conspirators arrived to deliver the marijuana in York County, Pennsylvania, they were arrested by the York County Drug Task Force and Penn Township Police Department.

Heath was convicted of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, conspiracy to manufacture and distribute 100 kilograms of
marijuana, conspiracy to launder drug proceeds and an additional drug trafficking count after a two-day jury trial.