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Rural man allegedly fires at nature walkers; pot operation discovered

Rural man allegedly fires at nature walkers; pot operation discovered
Authorities say they found 289 marijuana plants, like the ones seen in this file photo, on the property of a San Diego County man on Sunday. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

An incident that began with a man shooting at two people who were on a "nature walk" near his rural San Diego County property on Sunday ended with him being arrested on drug and weapons charges, authorities said.

Michael Steven Thyberg, 45, of Valley Center, was booked into county jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, growing marijuana for sale, making criminal threats and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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San Diego County Sheriff's deputies received a call early Sunday about shots fired at two people out for a morning stroll.

A deputy in a Sheriff's Department helicopter used a public address system to order Thyberg out of his home, where he was handcuffed while authorities searched the property.

Thyberg protested that he was merely firing to scare off trespassers, the sheriff's department said.

A search of the property found 289 marijuana plants, 40 pounds of processed marijuana, a small lab to extract hashish oil, five grams of hash wax, a shotgun and ammunition, according to the sheriff's department.

Thyberg is being held in lieu of $345,000 bail.

For news as it happens in the greater San Diego area, follow @LATsandiego.

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