Death investigation turns into drug bust

PERRIS – A man who called 911 to report the death of his brother was arrested today when sheriff’s deputies found illegal drugs on the men’s property, just west of Perris, a sergeant said.

John Rodriguez Jr., 55, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale during an unattended death investigation at the siblings’ residence in the 21500 block of Mountain Avenue, in an unincorporated community known as Good Hope.

According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Chaffin, deputies went to the location, along with paramedics, around 7 a.m. after Rodriguez reported finding his brother dead.

As they were walking around inside the house, deputies spotted 20 marijuana plants and ”paraphernalia associated with the cultivation and sales of the same,” Chaffin said.

”Deputies also located approximately 12 pounds of processed marijuana in a nearby outbuilding,” he said. ”Mr. Rodriguez and his brother reside alone at the location.”

Authorities did not immediately release the dead man’s name or age. Chaffin said an autopsy was pending.

Rodriguez was released from custody at the house. Results of the investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office, Chaffin said.

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