Drug Cops Kill Rancher

On October 2, 1992, a swarm of law enforcement officers descended upon the 200-acre Malibu, California ranch of Donald P. Scott. Scott, 61, confronted the deputies while armed with a handgun. He was shot and killed by Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Gary Spencer.

According to a report by Ron Sable and Carol Bidwel in the March 30, 1993, San Fernando Daily News, agencies involved in the raid included the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, which led the raid, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Park Service and the U.S. Border Patrol.

The Ventura County District Attorney's Office released a lengthy report on the raid March 30, 1993. In it, District Attorney Michael Bradbury harshly criticized the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, but decided not to prosecute the deputy responsible for the killing. Bradbury forwarded the report to Ventura and Los Angeles county grand juries for further investigation.

The entrance to Scott's Trail's End Ranch lies in Los Angeles County, but the ranch itself is entirely in Ventura County. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department did not notify Ventura authorities until after the raid.

On September 23, 1992, the DEA claimed after a fly-over that there were "approximately 50 (marijuana) plants ... growing around some large trees" near the ranch house. The fly-over was used as the basis for the October 1 search warrant, even though U.S. Border Patrol agents conducting a secret September 24 search of the property found no marijuana plants.

Nothing illegal was ever found at Scott's ranch.