Reporting Maria Medina
ELVERTA (CBS13) – To call it a cache of guns is an understatement, and they were found along with hundreds of pot plants inside a home where children lived.
Detectives have reason to believe the suspects were associated with a group of white supremacists.
The suspect’s neighbor says he owned a well company, but investigators say he had a side job selling stolen guns and marijuana to white supremacists.
“He’s a law abiding citizen,” said neighbor James Stewart.
“It’s the answer you expect to get from a suspected criminal’s friends.
“He’s a real gentleman,” said Stewart.
Stewart says he knows his neighbor Steven Goodell is a good man, and he’s lived next to him for more than 30 years.
So does Stewart think his neighbor is a white supremacist?
“Oh no, no. I’m of Jewish heritage,” said Stewart. “I’m telling you, I live by that guy.
No one at the home wanted to speak about the rounds of ammunition, more than 100 stolen guns, and $2.5 million worth of marijuana plants investigators say they collected from Goodell’s home.
“You’re asking the wrong person,” one woman said, refusing to answer any questions. “You know what, I think you’re a pushy (expletive).
Stewart says he heard law enforcement surround Goodell’s home early Thursday morning on the ground and by air.
He described the scene like that of a military operation in Iraq, with one officer in a turret with a machine gun.
Investigators say they got information Goodell sold guns from his home, where his teenage kids live, and where he operates his business, Goodell Well and Pump Service.
“Children under the age of 18 that were present were in close proximity of loaded firearms,” said Dep. Jason Ramos, Sacramento Sheriff’s Department.
Also arrested was Cameron Sorenson for allegedly growing and selling the marijuana.
The allegations against the Elverta family man are outlandish according to Stewart, but the pictures taken by investigators paint a much a different story.
“I hope he gets a chance to prove himself innocent,” said Stewart.
Goodell is still in Placer County Jail. Meanwhile, his workers say they’re operating his business without him.
Goodell’s employees say the other suspect is also a worker, and has since been bailed out of jail.
Investigators say their arrests will likely lead them to other criminal cases.