Father and Son Plead Guilty to Fatal Shooting Which Occured During an Argument Over Weight of One Pound of Marijuana


From left to right: Rodney and Vincent Ortiz

Press release from the Department of Justice:

Rodney Vincent Ortiz and Vincent Rudy Ortiz (collectively, the defendants) pleaded guilty today in federal court today… related shooting and murder on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in Humboldt County, Calif., announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The guilty pleas were accepted by the Honorable Richard Seeborg, U.S. District Judge.

According to the plea agreement, the defendants committed the shooting and murder following a dispute over a drug transaction that took place a week earlier.  Vincent Ortiz, 27, of Willow Creek, Calif., admits he sold what was supposed to be a pound of marijuana to Victim 1, a resident and member of the reservation.  When Victim 1 complained that the amount of marijuana was less than a pound, Vincent eventually traveled with his father, Rodney Ortiz, 54, to Victim 1’s residence to resolve the dispute. Rodney Ortiz admits he brought a loaded firearm to the residence; Vincent Ortiz admits he knew Rodney Ortiz brought the loaded firearm and that it was foreseeable his father would use the weapon to shoot Victim 1.  When the defendants arrived at the residence, they encountered a group of people inside.  An argument ensued between Victim 1 and Rodney Ortiz, resulting in Rodney Ortiz shooting Victim 1 and Victim 2 in the head.  Rodney Ortiz then shot Victim 3 in the head and shoulder before fleeing the scene with his son, Vincent. Victim 1 died as a result of the shooting, but Victims 2 and 3 managed to survive.  In his plea agreement, Vincent Ortiz admits he aided and abetted Rodney Ortiz’s use, carrying, and discharging of the firearm in furtherance of and in relation to the drug conspiracy and the resulting murder of Victim 1.  Vincent Ortiz also acknowledges in his plea agreement that he reasonably could have foreseen the shootings of Victims 2 and 3.

A federal grand jury indicted the defendants on December 17, 2015.  In the indictment, the defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(D), use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) and 2; and use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime causing murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j) and 2, obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(a)(1)(C) and (k), and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).  Pursuant to today’s plea agreement, the defendants both pleaded guilty to one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and one count of use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime causing the murder of Victim 1.

The defendants are next scheduled to appear before Judge Seeborg on May 2, 2017, for a sentencing hearing.  The maximum statutory penalties for use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime are life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years imprisonment, to be imposed consecutive to any other term of imprisonment.  The maximum statutory penalty for use of a firearm causing murder is life imprisonment.  Each crime carries a maximum term of 5 years supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Hopkins is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lance Libatique and Jessica Meegan.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Humboldt County Sherriff’s Office, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Eureka Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



  • Scumbags. Lock them up for life.

  • possible life in a california prison over a pound, no thanks

    • They plead guilty to Federal crimes as the violence occurred on an Indian Reservation. They will serve their time in a Federal prison.

    • nooo, browndwarf…”possible life in a california prison over a pound, no thanks”

      Rodney KILLED a wo/man and shot 2 others in the HEAD intending to kill them also…
      over a pound.
      that is some big-assed pride/ego that allows him to execute PEOPLE who say they got a light lb.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Terrible to see murder and overt terrorism rooting from the devil’s lettuce.

    Senseless, and shameful…

    It’s really time the Federal Government begins a full scale war to eradicate this evil plant, and bring to justice the terrorists that traffic in this open and accepted evil.

    Deploying tanks, all weather helicopters, and the power of Federal courts can turn this monstrosity around so future children may live in a world free of terrorism that marijuana spreads.

  • Looking forward to the weed market collapse and hopefully see lots of scum leave the area for pastures new .

  • lol@honeydew… the struggle is real! That worked in the past but with hash labs evoloutions they should double the effort!

  • This isn’t even about a pound, it’s about GRAMS! Come on, folks!

    The answer to just about every single problem someone might encounter up here is simple:

  • H. B. C.—- Love, Evil, and Hate comes the Heart not from plants.

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump

      The plants are grown and bred to spread terrorism and destroy communities.

      Most of these growers had a hand in 9/11 and have never been brought to justice for that.

      • Do us all a favor and go back under the bridge.

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        I don’t really think you know what you’re talking about on Kyms site other than to just troll for your own amusement. Do us a favor…..go away. Go back to school. Get off line. Find something else to do with your time.

      • To the bridge jumper, ancients grew the ‘devil’s lettuce’ (is that your made up?) for medicinal value in many cultures. It has survived centuries of bad press but comes out on top for healing and well being. Spreading terrorism and destroying communities? No, that’s just the downside of humanity. I agree with bungee for once

      • Lay off the meth, get some sleep and come back when you are coherent.

      • Never have commented on the opioid epidemic. How about those things HBC? You probably have a few scrips though…

    • should have been from the heart.

  • Just look at these two faces, I see no good whatsoever , two of the finest scumbags depicted here.
    Society had no need for them…

  • This is going to “weigh” pretty heavy on them for many years to come.

  • It’s too bad they can’t use bee’s to deliver some sort of psychotrophic to make these people behave or deliver a GMO to the lettuce!

  • The picture on the right looks like the Latino Hulk, Hulk Smash on how dare you say your pound was light

  • They have no place on earth anymore, its game over time.

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