Murder investigation leads to numerous arrests for alleged drug trafficking, child pornography; murder suspect identified
Photo: Dylan Rice | Butte County Sheriff’s Office
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrests of multiple people after a murder investigation uncovered an alleged drug trafficking and child pornography ring.
It began on December 21, 2019, when deputies found the body of 27-year-old Jacob McArthur on the 700 block of Craig Access Road in Oroville. Investigators soon determined the murder was connected to the illegal sales of marijuana, reportedly leading to the discovery of a large-scale drug trafficking operation.
Beginning in early January of 2020, authorities began serving search warrants. The first two arrests were 39-year-old Shaina Burnette of Chico, whom authorities believe was the leader of the operation, and 30-year-old Christopher Mack of Concow.
An examination of electronic devices seized during Mack’s arrest revealed child pornography on one of them, investigators say. Evidence seized during the search warrants include the following: over 3,000 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale, 10 firearms, around $140,000 in cash, $30,000 in silver coins, phones, and computers. A vehicle and a generator were also found, believed to have been purchased using money from illegal drug sales.
This month, July 2021, investigators identified Dylan Rice as the primary suspect in Jacob McArthur’s murder. Rice, who by now was out of police custody, was arrested again on July 9 and booked on suspicion of murder.