The Main Stream

May 2, 2012 1:53 PM

Arson fires and arrest lead to marijuana grower in San Manuel

SAN MANUEL - A San Manuel man, victim of an arson, is arrested after officers find marijuana plants growing inside his home.

45-year-old Tydel Ray was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ray was arrested after Pinal County Sheriff deputies were investigating three separate emergencies involving active fires during the early morning hours of April 12 within the city limits of San Manuel.

The first call came in at 3:00 a.m. for a vehicle fire in a driveway at a home in the 200 block of South Ave A. When the deputy arrived, he found a 1983 Chevrolet El Camino fully engulfed and the owner, Tydel Ray, trying to douse the flames. The deputy advised Ray to back away from the fire as the fuel tank could explode. The San Manuel Fire Department responded to put the fire out.

Approximately 20 minutes later, a concerned citizen pulled up to the scene and told the deputy of a second fire that was burning in a field behind the Minit Market between South Ave A and West Main Street. While there, the deputy and responding firefighters saw a third fire burning in an alleyway behind a home located in the 100 Block of Park Place.

In each case, investigators determined the fires were intentionally set. Damage to the vehicle and a residential fence was estimated at $1,280.

On April 20th, deputies in San Manuel were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was located and the suspect, a 16-year-old juvenile, was driving. During questioning, the juvenile admitted to setting all three fires. He also admitted there was a dispute at the first fire.
Deputies returned to speak to Ray and while there, noticed several marijuana plants inside the home. Ray told deputies he did not have a medical marijuana card. After a search warrant was served, 10 marijuana plants were seized along with a few bags of marijuana and multiple items of drug paraphernalia. Ray also admitted to growing marijuana.

Pinal County Sheriff Babeu stated, "The deputy assigned to these cases did an outstanding job investigating and solving all three. Thanks to his due diligence and thorough attention to details, we have an arson suspect and a producer of drugs off the streets."

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