Mendocino Police Release Photo of Suspect in Former Mayor's Killing

Aaron Bassler – WANTED FOR MURDER – ARMED & DANGEROUS

This afternoon, the Mendocino Sheriff’s Dept released a photo of the man suspected of killing  Jere Melo (a popular former mayor and current councilman in Fort Bragg.)  Saturday morning, Melo and another forester were inspecting the property of Campbell Timber Management. According to the Press Democrat,

The two men apparently encountered Bassler, who was living in a compound on the property, allegedly growing marijuana and possibly other drugs, said another source close to the investigation.

The other forester was able to escape and call for help on a cell phone.  A commenter on this post stated that he was injured (though not shot). He was able to flag down help from Skunk Train employees.

Police have been using helicopters and combing the hills looking for Aaron Bassler, a transient identified as the suspect.  Residents in the area have received a reverse 911 call telling them to stay indoors and watch for a man wearing all black clothing.  They were also told they would receive a reverse 911 call telling them when it was safe.  They have not yet gotten the second call.

The Mendocino Sheriff’s Dept. released the following information.

Aaron Bassler is wanted for the murder of Jere Melo on August 27, 2011 just east of Fort Bragg. Suspect Bassler was last seen with a firearm. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 463-4086 or (707) 467-9159.

UPDATE 7:30:  The SF Gate has more information including,

In 2009, Bassler faced federal charges after allegedly throwing packages into the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on four occasions, bringing out the bomb squad each time. The packages contained drawings of red stars and writings that referred to the “Martian military” and Chinese weapons designs, authorities said.

Bassler completed a pretrial diversion program and the charges were dropped….

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30 comments

  • Cannabis is not a victimless crime…unfortunately even if California makes it legal….we will be the growing location for traffickers. I feel for his family and I feel for foresters who will find themselves in these situations too many times.

    • The Law Enforcement officers found Poppies not Pot. Arron Bassler is a nut, he was one of those people if you saw him on the street you wanted to get on the other side.
      If it were legalized, strait across like alcohol, it would take out the violent element. Demand would go away. You would still have greedy big grows, but the violence and attraction of quick big money would severely reduced.
      Look a all of the things that happened historically with alcohol prohibition.

      • William Gray (Redding)

        That’s right, make marijuana legal, and make open carry of firearms legal, and shooting an assailant dead legal, as all this stuff was legal once. The government has no right to tell you what you can do either way.

  • Cannabis is not a victimless crime…unfortunately even if California makes it legal….we will be the growing location for traffickers. I feel for his family and I feel for foresters who will find themselves in these situations too many times.

    • The Law Enforcement officers found Poppies not Pot. Arron Bassler is a nut, he was one of those people if you saw him on the street you wanted to get on the other side.
      If it were legalized, strait across like alcohol, it would take out the violent element. Demand would go away. You would still have greedy big grows, but the violence and attraction of quick big money would severely reduced.
      Look a all of the things that happened historically with alcohol prohibition.

      • William Gray (Redding)

        That’s right, make marijuana legal, and make open carry of firearms legal, and shooting an assailant dead legal, as all this stuff was legal once. The government has no right to tell you what you can do either way.

  • Concerned, I’m not aware of any time vineyard workers at Robert Mondavi have shot at people on the property. Are you?

    Legalization will change many things, and make no mistake, it will reduce the violence associated with cannabis.

    Not that the level of violence is that high, given that the nation’s #1 cash crop is an unregulated industry left to the black market.

    Can’t believe you’d blame this on cannabis not prohibition.

  • Concerned, I’m not aware of any time vineyard workers at Robert Mondavi have shot at people on the property. Are you?

    Legalization will change many things, and make no mistake, it will reduce the violence associated with cannabis.

    Not that the level of violence is that high, given that the nation’s #1 cash crop is an unregulated industry left to the black market.

    Can’t believe you’d blame this on cannabis not prohibition.

  • He must have been identified by stuff he left in his camp.

  • He must have been identified by stuff he left in his camp.

  • With Bassler’s record, he should have been incarcerated long ago. Another violet criminal slips through the cracks.

  • With Bassler’s record, he should have been incarcerated long ago. Another violet criminal slips through the cracks.

  • Used to love the redwood forest!

    How about we blame the guy that pulled the trigger!

  • Used to love the redwood forest!

    How about we blame the guy that pulled the trigger!

  • With almost every felon arrested there is a long rap sheet of crimes that ” should” of sent them away for life, yet they are found loose on the streets and armed in the woods, thanks to this wonderful judicial system not to mention the open border drug cartel invasion. There were two good men murdered in almost as many weeks, lives cut short and a sense of safety in their community broken forever, both were out in areas where they thought they were safe, areas they had been in many times before. It is time for honest citizens to arm themselves when in any area where a dangerous felon might be. The Second Amendment is what all rural residents live by where I am, talking to a neighbor who is armed or while armed is the norm. The govt. is simply reactionary and will do litle to defend the people but will respond after the fact usually when someone calls after the incident after the felon is gone.

  • With almost every felon arrested there is a long rap sheet of crimes that ” should” of sent them away for life, yet they are found loose on the streets and armed in the woods, thanks to this wonderful judicial system not to mention the open border drug cartel invasion. There were two good men murdered in almost as many weeks, lives cut short and a sense of safety in their community broken forever, both were out in areas where they thought they were safe, areas they had been in many times before. It is time for honest citizens to arm themselves when in any area where a dangerous felon might be. The Second Amendment is what all rural residents live by where I am, talking to a neighbor who is armed or while armed is the norm. The govt. is simply reactionary and will do litle to defend the people but will respond after the fact usually when someone calls after the incident after the felon is gone.

  • with the price of marijuana going sky high… the growers hire the homeless …. and in this economy there are lots of homeless…. they give them guns, food and no money…and just leave them there…. so there are hundreds possible thousands of armed homeless people guarding million dollar marijuana fields in the middle of no where… and if someone walks in or close to this farm… they are usually shot and killed…then go missing…mendocino has one of the highest missing persons per capital …. because of this

  • with the price of marijuana going sky high… the growers hire the homeless …. and in this economy there are lots of homeless…. they give them guns, food and no money…and just leave them there…. so there are hundreds possible thousands of armed homeless people guarding million dollar marijuana fields in the middle of no where… and if someone walks in or close to this farm… they are usually shot and killed…then go missing…mendocino has one of the highest missing persons per capital …. because of this

  • This was not a drug-related crime. Bassler is insane and violent, with paranoid delusions, according to his father in Fort Bragg, as reported 8/30 in both the SRPress Demo and the Ukiah Daily Journal today. The dad said he had been trying to get help for his son for years but none was available.

    We can now lay the shooting of Jere Melo at the feet of Ronald Reagan, who as governor eliminated funding for California mental institutions and turned the crazies loose.

  • This was not a drug-related crime. Bassler is insane and violent, with paranoid delusions, according to his father in Fort Bragg, as reported 8/30 in both the SRPress Demo and the Ukiah Daily Journal today. The dad said he had been trying to get help for his son for years but none was available.

    We can now lay the shooting of Jere Melo at the feet of Ronald Reagan, who as governor eliminated funding for California mental institutions and turned the crazies loose.

  • We can now lay the shooting of Jere Melo at the feet of Ronald Reagan, who as governor eliminated funding for California mental institutions and turned the crazies loose

    Well I’m not about to defend Ronald Reagan, but to be fair there have been lots of governors and state lawmakers and voters since then who could have reversed those policies, so there are lots of folks who share the blame for allowing mental health needs to go unfunded and unaddressed.

  • We can now lay the shooting of Jere Melo at the feet of Ronald Reagan, who as governor eliminated funding for California mental institutions and turned the crazies loose

    Well I’m not about to defend Ronald Reagan, but to be fair there have been lots of governors and state lawmakers and voters since then who could have reversed those policies, so there are lots of folks who share the blame for allowing mental health needs to go unfunded and unaddressed.

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