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Federal indictment filed against men connected to El Dorado County deputy’s death

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Federal officials announced an indictment against the four men who were arrested in connection to the death of El Dorado County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Ishmael.

U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott detailed the federal marijuana and gun charges against the men, which are in addition to the local charges they face.

“If you get the sense I’m angry today, I am angry, I am angry because we have illegal aliens in an illegal marijuana grow who killed a cop. That is bad,” Scott said.

Christopher Ross, Juan Carlos Vasquez, Ramiro Morales and Jorge Lamas are all accused of being behind the illegal marijuana grow where Deputy Ishmael was shot and killed.

“When Ross called into 911, he said he had a legal marijuana operation,” Scott said. “Well guess what, it wasn’t a legal marijuana operation. So, the fig leaf of legalization gives cover for those who operate in the black market to do their business.”

The night of the shooting, Ross called 911 saying men were stealing from his marijuana garden. Law enforcement later learned that Ross was in business with Vasquez, Morales and Lamas, agreeing to let them grow marijuana illegally on his property.

When Deputy Ishmael arrived to check out what he thought was a theft authorities say Vasquez, who is the country illegally, shot and killed him.

“I’m here to tell you today that what happened to my deputy was predictable,” said El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini.

Sheriff D’Agostini and the U.S. attorney said the legalization of marijuana and California’s sanctuary law both played a role in the killing.

“If you allow criminally minded, illegal aliens to infiltrate our communities with more protections than our average citizens, they will take advantage of that and victimize our communities,” the sheriff said.

They called on the state Legislature to take action.

"Fix these issues,” D’Agostini said. “To do so will make our state a safer place for all of us.”

The gun used to kill Deputy Ishmael was purchased legally in the U.S. 35 years ago. It is still unknown how Vasquez got ahold of it.

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