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SWAT team comes to Foskett Ranch neighborhood

Two Lincoln residents arrested on drug, gang and weapon charges
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Lincoln’s Foskett Ranch residents were startled last Thursday morning and afternoon to see a SWAT team and a drug-sniffing dog in their neighborhood. Roseville’s Crime Suppression Unit officers arrested Eric Smith, 36, and Jennifer Mulhern, 31, last Thursday for drug possession, participation in a criminal street gang and numerous weapons charges, according to Roseville police department’s public information officer Dee Dee Gunther. Smith and Mulhern live in the Foskett Ranch neighborhood. Mulhern was released on a $50,000 bail bond and Smith is being held at the Placer County Jail on a $1 million bond, as of press time. Smith is due in court Jan. 31 and Mulhern is due in court Feb. 8. Gunther said a drug and gang investigation by the Crime Suppression Unit resulted in a search of the home on Turner Place, which is located in the Foskett Ranch area. Officers served search warrants at both the home on Turner Place and a self-storage unit on Joiner Parkway. Gunther said the Roseville Crime Suppression Unit obtained the search warrants in connection with their investigations of the residents for drug crimes and their involvement in the Vagos motorcycle gang. Lincoln Police Lt. David Ibarra said the Vagos motorcycle gang is similar to the Hells Angels. “They are known as an outlaw motorcycle gang, and they are known to be involved in criminal activity,” Ibarra said. Ibarra would not comment on the type of activity, saying he was not “as familiar” with the gang as he is “about the Surenos and Nortenos,” two street gangs present in Lincoln. Officers seized drugs and firearms, including eight military-style assault rifles, three grenades and several thousand rounds of ammunition from the two locations, according to Gunther. Roseville Police Lt. Mike Doane would not comment on what Mulhern and Smith were doing with the guns and grenades or how the investigation led to their arrest. “That’s part of an ongoing investigation,” Doane said. When asked if other Lincoln residents have the number of guns and grenades that were confiscated in the search, Doane wasn’t able to say. “I can say it’s something we don’t frequently see, that amount of assault rifles plus grenades,” Doane said. Eleven agencies assisted in the incident, including the Lincoln Police Department, which controlled street traffic during the operation, according to Ibarra. Other agencies included the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The News Messenger asked Gunther if residents should be concerned after last week’s events, especially since Mulhern is out on bail. “Well, everyone is entitled to post bail and the weapons have been seized so they’re safer now than they were before,” Gunther said. The News Messenger asked Lincoln’s interim Police Chief Paul Shelgren if residents in that neighborhood should be concerned after last Thursday’s incident. “I think everyone should always be concerned for their safety and report anything they see that’s out of the ordinary or that causes them concern for their safety,” Shelgren said. The News Messenger was informed of the incident after concerned residents sent e-mails and called last Thursday and Friday, reporting that they had either been blocked from entering their neighborhood or had seen police personnel, a bomb robot and a drug-sniffing dog. Witnesses said police were in the neighborhood from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Resident Kent Jobes sat perched on his porch, watching the day’s events unfold on Turner Place, which is a cul de sac located off of the street he lives on. “It was a show, believe me, it was a show,” Jobes said of the incident. Jobes said an unmarked police car first showed up, followed by a police car that blocked traffic onto his street. A SWAT team then pulled up, followed by a trailer carrying a robot, according to Jobes. “I was expecting to be told not to sit outside,” Jobes said. “After the robot came by, the police guy comes up and says ‘We’re going into the house and I just want you to be aware there’s a pit bull inside.’” The dog was retrieved by the SWAT team, Jobes said, and police shortly after arrested Smith. Jobes didn’t receive much information from police, other than being told the incident was “bomb related.” “It’s horrible. I don’t like to think of someone making bombs,” Jobes said. Paul Cavanagh lives across the street from the house where the search warrant was served, and at one point, had sharpshooters in an upstairs bedrooms. “It was an escalating situation and they had to get in quick,” Cavanagh said. “They told us to stay in the back of the house.” While sequestered to the back of his house, Cavanagh said he searched online to see if he could find any information about what was going outside his front door. Cavanagh was confined to the back of his house for at least an hour. “It was a pretty scary situation,” Cavanagh said. “It doesn’t make me nervous to live in Lincoln but concerned for the neighborhood.”