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RPD: Bomb scares, stolen firearms, Reno murder all connected

Happy Valley explosives


This article has been edited to more accurately reflect the series of events. We also misidentified Joseph Lee Stauffer as being the person who was arrested for the murder of Patrick McDaniel. That information has been corrected.

A recently released report from the Redding Police Department paints a clearer picture about the connection between the burglary of a Shasta County Sheriff’s Office storage facility, a bomb scare on Lake Blvd., and explosives found in a Happy Valley home.

According to police, Patrick James McDaniel, 31, Joseph Lee Stauffer, 36, Justin Wayne Greene, 24, and Daniel Ray Kuykendall, 50, were the four men involved in what turned out to be a scheme to try and make money off items stolen from the storage facility and the Happy Valley property.

It all started with the murder of McDaniel on February 6, 2018. According to the Reno Police Department, when they arrived on scene they found Stauffer and arrested him for taking money from McDaniel while he was dying.

On February 13, 2018, detectives interviewed Stauffer who told police he was in the Reno area because he was there to sell firearms with McDaniel but during the deal, McDaniel was shot to death and the suspect, later identified as Mike Kizer, 34, stole McDaniel's car which contained all of the firearms, ammunition, magazines, and explosives they were planning on selling.

During the course of the investigation, police found a photo on Stauffer's phone of the items he and McDaniel were planning on selling which included rifles, shotguns, pistols, high capacity rifle magazines, high capacity pistol magazines, rifle ammo, shotgun ammo, pistol ammos, blasting caps, and C4 explosives.

Officials said Stauffer was eventually released from custody and returned to the Redding area. Kizer was later arrested and police recovered most of the items stolen except for some blasting caps, one brick of C4 explosives, and the two glock handguns.

Officials said upon further review of the photo on Stauffer's phone, they realized the rifle magazines in the photo were high capacity and labeled "SCSO". That's when the Shasta County Sheriff's Office was contacted.

On February 7, 2018, after being contacted by the Reno Police Department, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office confirmed their storage facility on Caterpillar Road had been burglarized.

On February 14, 2018, Detective Maul with the Shasta County Sheriff's Office spoke with Stauffer at his home in Redding. Detective Maul also requested Redding Police Investigator Jon Sheldon respond to the home.

Stauffer agreed to speak with Investigator Sheldon back at the Redding Police Department.

According to the report, Stauffer told police that a few weeks prior to McDaniel's murder, he had met a man in Reno who attempted to sell him a gun. Stauffer said he declined the purchase. Stauffer later came back to Redding and met up with McDaniel at his home on Oasis Road.

Stauffer said that's when McDaniel showed him a large amount of firearms, ammunition, explosives and magazines. Stauffer told police McDaniel asked him to help with selling the property and that's when Stauffer thought of the man he had met in Reno who tried to sell him a gun.

Stauffer said he sent a picture of the items to the man in Reno and began negotiating a price. Stauffer added he did know the items were stolen but did not participate in the theft of the items. Stauffer said after coming to an agreement on the price of the items, $3,500, he helped McDaniel store the items under his Oasis home.

Police determined the storage facility had been burglarized on February 5, 2018 by McDaniel and then Stauffer and McDaniel loaded up a vehicle with the items, except the glock handguns, one brick of C4, and some blasting caps, to drive it to Reno on February 6, 2018. Stauffer said the items they did not take to Reno were left at the Oasis home.

After determining the day the storage facility was burglarized, officials continued with their investigation to determine if there were any other people involved. That's when Kuykendall was brought into the picture.

Officials said Kuykendall and McDaniel were stopped in a vehicle on February 5 and call logs also showed communication between the two on the same day.

On February 15, 2018, Rusty and Mary McAlexander, who live on Hiatt Drive in Redding, reported finding a note on their door saying there were explosives hidden in a toilet and lawnmower in their yard.

During the investigation, Mary told police Greene could be responsible for writing the note or hiding the explosives.

Police continued to investigate the incident and spoke with a woman who was with the McAlexander's at the time they found the note. The woman told police she had been at Greene's home earlier that day and found a letter which mentioned explosives being hidden on the McAlexander's property.

The woman told police she took the note to the McAlexander's where the three of them found the explosives. The woman told police she also believed Greene was involved in some way but that he was being held in the Shasta County Jail.

On February 19, 2018, Investigator Sheldon followed up on Greene and learned he had been arrested by his probation officer on January 31, 2018 for a revocation of probation. Investigator Sheldon also learned Greene had several housemates who had been visiting him in the Shasta County Jail since his arrest.

Investigator Sheldon listened to audio recordings of several visits in which he found on February 10, 2018 that Greene admitted to his visitors that he had hid the items on the McAlexander's property. Greene also said during the visit, that the woman he was speaking with, could use the explosives to "blow up" the concrete wall of the jail so he could escape.

Investigator Sheldon also learned through listening to the jail house visits that Kuykendall had come to Greene's home after he was arrested on January 31 to find out where Greene was.

On February 20, 2018, Investigator Garnero brought Greene to the Redding Police Department for an interview. Officials said Greene admitted to knowing McDaniel as a drug addict and recognized Stauffer from a photo but did not recognize his name. Greene also admitted to knowing Kuykendall and said he was a drug dealer and a thief.

Greene told police that he had bought some tools from Kuykendall in mid-January after going with him to a home in Happy Valley to get them. Greene said when Kuykendall returned from the home, he had a wooden box that contained five bricks of C4 like explosives, two grenades, and a large amount of items Greene described as being bottle caps, possibly blasting caps.

Greene said after that incident, he was at the McAlexander's home fixing his car when Kuykendall showed up and was nervous because he felt law enforcement was following him. Greene said that's when he and Kuykendall placed the explosives on the McAlexander's property. Officials say these are the same explosives they found on February 15.

Officials then spoke with Kuykendall who admitted to knowing the three other men but when he was asked about how McDaniel got the items he had, Kuykendall asked for an attorney and walked out of the interview. Kuykendall was not arrested. It was learned through an interview with Kuykendall's wife that he got the items he had from his old boss who lived in Happy Valley.

This led officials to the home in Happy Valley where they found thousands of feet of detonation cord, thousands of blasting caps, hundreds of pounds of dynamite, TNT, C4, and a grenade. It was later determined that the property was owned by a former Shasta County Sheriff's deputy who was in charge of evidence and because the Sheriff's Office did not have storage at the time he was with the department, he would bring home the evidence.

Officials said based on all the information above, they found Greene and Kuykendall responsible for the burglary of the Happy Valley home, McDaniel responsible for the burglary of the Sheriff's Office storage facility, and Stauffer responsible for helping coordinate the sale of the items stolen from the Happy Valley home and the Sheriff's Office storage facility.


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