Suspect arrested in Mendocino Pot Grower death

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Wuester was arrested in Willits and booked into the Mendocino County Jail about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday in lieu of $650,000 bail on suspicion of murder and being a fugitive from justice, jail records show.

One of the Passaic County men wanted in connection with the murder of their boss - who owned a commercial marijuana growing operation - was arrested Monday in California, authorities announced Wednesday. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office had been contacted by a Deputy United States Marshal who had been in contact with Wuester and convinced Wuester to surrender himself to authorities. Wuester was also found to have felony warrants out of New Jersey and Virginia, both for drug-related offenses. Authorities said the suspects knew Settler, 35, kept a large amount of marijuana near his bed.

Settler had hired the five out-of-state people to help him grow marijuana at the property, about five miles west of Highway 101 and up a dirt road.

Sheriff's officials have said they suspect Wuester and four others - who all worked for Settler - killed and robbed him.

The number of suspects and persons of interest in the robbery and homicide of an alleged marijuana grower has increased to eight, police said.

On Wednesday, police named two additional suspects: NY residents Jesse Wells, 32, of Binghamton and Michael Kane, 25, of Pleasantville.

Laytonville, a town of about 1,200, is 160 miles north of San Francisco.

Mendocino County Sheriff officials said the investigation is ongoing and detectives are still looking for the location of 27-year-old Frederick Gaestel, 34-year-old Gary Blank III, 23-year-old Gary Fitzgerald, 32-year-old Jesse Wells, 25-year-old Michael Kane, and 26-year-old Amanda Weist.

Deputies determined there are now two outstanding vehicles associated with the listed suspects; a 1999 Honda Accord, California License No. 7LPN823 and a 2005 Volvo XC70, California License No. 7TVT318.

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