SACRAMENTO — Twelve people were arrested in a drug raid that carried some disquieting echoes of the Oklahoma City bombing, officers said Monday.
A huge drug sweep Friday at five locations in Shasta and Trinity counties yielded drugs and weapons.
Officers also found the same sort of fuel oil and fertilizer mixture that destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City, said Agent Jacob Nehr of the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.
"I have no idea what they were going to do with that," Nehr said.
There was no confirmed connection between the alleged drug ring and terrorist groups.
But Nehr said some of the suspects have friends in a Trinity County militia organization.
Agents raided a laboratory in a barn that was used to make methamphetamine and seized illegal drugs worth an estimated $1 million.
The suspects allegedly used horse manure to mask the smell of the drug lab and rigged an elaborate video surveillance system to detect intruders.
Machine guns, assault rifles and dynamite also were seized Friday.
"What we're seeing in Northern California is they use rural Northern California as a haven to manufacture and then they transport the product to urban areas," Nehr said.
Michael Spruth, 31, of Palo Cedro and 11 other Shasta, Trinity and Del Norte county residents were arrested on investigation of drug, weapons and parole violations, officials said.
Spruth's brother, Irwin, escaped after seeing approaching officers on the video surveillance system, law officers said.
Drug agents were tipped off to the ring in February by Northern California pharmacists who received requests for large quantities of prescription drugs containing the ephedrine, which is a primary ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.