A report of smoke from an illegal fire summoned CDF firefighters and lead to the arrest of a Columbia-area man on weapons violations and possible drug related charges.
Tuolumne County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Roger Dittberner says firefighters were called to the Saw Mill Flat Road around 8:30 this morning to investigate smoke in the area.
They found an illegal burn barrel at a home on the 22-thousand block of Saw Mill Flat Road. Fire crews say 37 year old David Dutra was uncooperative and quickly left the area in a pick-up truck after putting several large black garbage bags in his truck.
Minutes later Sonora police stopped Dutra on Highway 49 near Shaws Flat Road. Dittberner says officers found a loaded firearm in the truck and arrested Dutra.
The Tuolumne Narcotics Taskforce was called to the home to investigate the report several mature marijuana plants – five feet tall and 4 feet in diameter in size — allegedly being found.
TNT officers remain at the residence on Saw Mill Flat investigating the case.