By Steve Large

AMADOR COUNTY (CBS13) — It is a brazen combination of alleged criminal activity, including embezzlement, burglary and a connection to a Mexican cartel.

Amador County Sheriff’s deputies say it’s all tied to an investigation of a Tractor Supply Company store assistant manager in Jackson.

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Deputies served a search warrant at the store manager’s home in Pine Grove last week. That home is now the target of a wide-ranging criminal investigation.

No one answered at the home when a CBS13 crew arrived.

The sheriff department says the owner, who so far has not been arrested, is under investigation for leasing property to a Mexican drug cartel and also using his property as a storage site for stolen merchandise from his employer.

“As far as merchandise,” Amador County Undersheriff Gary Redman said, “this is the biggest case I’ve ever seen in Amador County.”

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The sheriff’s office released photos of the wide range of allegedly stolen items discovered on the property. Generators, gas cans and kayaks were among the wide range of merchandise. All of it is under investigation as stolen items from the Jackson Tractor Supply Company where the homeowner worked as an assistant manager.

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“From our initial estimate, it looks like he sold about $18,000 of Tractor Supply items on eBay,” Redman said.

The illegal marijuana grow, suspected to be a Mexican drug cartel’s, and the other side hustle, all allegedly on the same property, sparked fear from neighbors.

“I didn’t expect this,” neighbor Paul Sorrenson said. “I don’t think anyone in the neighborhood did.”

“It’s amazing how people get away with it,” neighbor Walter Finley said. “And it’s amazing how people get caught.”

Undersheriff Gary Redman says the decision to release the details of their ongoing investigation before making an arrest came down to public safety.

“I think the significance of the case,” Redman said.

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Undersheriff Redman says he does not consider this homeowner a flight risk, saying so far he has cooperated with the investigation. The sheriff’s office says the man has been fired from his job.