last word on the bandit??
Posted by ... on August 13, 2004 at 19:35:57:
Found this on the NPS "Morning Report" from last week:
BLM ranger Dave Brenner found an early model Chevy pickup flatbed in the Johnson Canyon area of the park on July 22nd that he had reason to believe was being used by a man nicknamed the “Panamint Bandito,” a suspect in several felonies, including marijuana cultivation. The man had unloaded a quad from the truck and driven off. A rifle and case, a metal detector, a stolen wallet and five marijuana plants were found at the site and were seized. Brenner and NPS ranger Ed Derobertis tracked the quad to the Shoshone area, but did not find him. Ranger Kelly Cole joined in the search on the 24th along with another BLM ranger, Pat Shields. The search began south of the Furnace Creek Wash and was conducted with the aid of a CHP aircraft, but the man was again not found. On the 25th, Shields saw a man fitting the suspect’s description on Highway 127. He was at a call box and carrying a gas can. Shields checked the area and found tracks matching the quad’s. BLM and NPS rangers resumed the search, again with the assistance of a CHP aircraft. Brenner soon spotted the man under a camouflage tarp inside a wash near the call box. The rangers moved toward his location, identified themselves as officers, and told him to drop the .22 caliber rifle he had in his possession. The man instead shot himself. Under the tarp, rangers found a quad, a sleeping bag and articles of clothing; around the camp were cans of food, garbage bags and gas cans; on the back of the ATV were bags of potting soil. Confirmation of his identity is pending.