Merced deputies arrest two in home invasion, theft of medicinal marijuana


The Merced Sheriff’s Office said it arrested two men Wednesday on home invasion and other charges in an alleged break-in involving a large quantity of medicinal marijuana. One suspect remains at large.

On Wednesday morning, the sheriff's office said it got a call about a home invasion in the Beachwood area of Merced.

Deputies were told that three armed robbers forced their way into a home, made the victim, a man in his early 20s, lie on the floor and demanded the victim's medical marijuana. The house was being used as a dispensary for medical marijuana, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie.

The robbers left with a large quantity of marijuana and several electronic items from the house, according to a sheriff's news release. A witness was able to get a partial description of the robber's vehicle. The sheriff's office said a vehicle matching the description was identified a few hours later in the 7000 block of Tokay Circle. Surveillance was set up on the house and shortly after, deputies saw the vehicle leave.

After stopping the car, they identified 31-year-old Augustine Singh inside, and discovered a large quantity of marijuana, the sheriff's office said. Deputies surrounded the house while a search warrant was obtained, and the sheriff's SWAT team was deployed about 5 p.m.

After searching the residence, deputies found a large-caliber semiautomatic handgun, which was seized and is believed to have been stolen, along with an AK47-type assault rifle and electronics, also believed to have been stolen.

Also in the house was Rafael Sandoval, 23. He and Singh are reported to be gang members. Sandoval remains in jail on $335,000 bail on suspicion of home invasion, kidnapping, using a firearm in the commission of a crime and possession of stolen property with gang enhancements, according to MacKenzie. Singh is in custody on $150,000 bail on suspicion of home invasion and burglary.

A third man remains at large, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department at (209) 385-7472.