VALLEY CENTER, Calif. — Deputies discovered a marijuana growing and processing operation in Valley Center Sunday after a man shot at two people who were hiking by the property, a sheriff’s sergeant said.
Michael Steven Thyberg, 45, was arrested shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats, being a felon in possession of a firearm and marijuana violations, according to sheriff’s officials and jail records. He remained behind bars Mongay.
Sheriff’s officials said Thyberg was suspected of shooting at and threatening two hikers he accused of jumping the fence onto his property in the 27300 block of Kiavo Drive near Paradise Mountain Road. The victims told deputies they heard the gunshot and saw dust and debris flying from the roadway nearby as they tried to continue their “nature walk.”
Thyberg then allegedly followed the pair of pedestrians in his vehicle and made additional threats before turning around and heading back to the residence, sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Gallardo said.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the pedestrians’ report in a helicopter and demanded Thyberg exit the home, which he did, Gallardo said. He was detained and handcuffed as deputies conducted a “protective sweep” of the property, he said.
The indoor marijuana grow was found during the initial search, and Thyberg was arrested after being identified by the two victims, Gallardo said.
A subsequent search of the residence turned up 289 marijuana plants, 40 pounds of processed marijuana, a small hash oil extraction lab, around five grams of hash wax, a shotgun and ammunition, Gallardo said.