Disturbance Call Leads to Arrests and Discovery of Weapons Cache in Niland, CA
Originally Published by: Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, Facebook
“On October 22, 2023, at approximately 4:28 PM, Imperial County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received multiple calls of a disturbance on Tank Road in the Slabs near Niland, CA. One caller reported hearing two gun shots, and a second caller reported seeing suspects Latoya Rodgers DOB 9-27-78 and Darnell Mercer DOB 11-13-87 shooting at people in the area.
Deputies responded to the camp and began giving commands to the suspects, ordering them to come out of their trailer. Rodgers was uncooperative and initially refused to exit the trailer. Deputies established communication with Rodgers and negotiated with her for approximately one hour until she agreed to exit the trailer. She was then taken into custody. Rodgers stated that Mercer was not in the trailer. Deputies conducted a search of the trailer in an attempt to locate Mercer. During the search, deputies located several firearms, high-capacity magazines, crates of ammunition, and military-grade ordnance.
Deputies continued their search for Mercer and located him hiding in a makeshift septic tank. Mercer was taken into custody. Rodgers and Mercer were later booked into the Imperial County Jail for charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Brandishing a Firearm, Resisting Arrest, and Negligent Discharge of a Firearm.
United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel responded to the scene and assisted in removing and taking custody of the military ordnance. The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank United States Navy EOD personnel for assisting with this call for service.
It should be noted that Rodgers and Mercer had fled from deputies in their vehicle on October 1, 2023. Deputies later located the unoccupied vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed a .22 caliber revolver, several cell phones, several high-capacity magazines, live ammunition, brass, and suspected methamphetamine. The vehicle was stored at that time.”