Former SBC sheriff's Sgt. Mike Rodrigues is shown in court in this January file photo.

Rodrigues failed to turn over handguns when hit with restraining
Agents with the California Attorney General’s office Wednesday searched the home of former sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Rodrigues’ – who’s facing multiple charges of suspicion of rape – and confiscated two handguns and 700 rounds of ammunition.

A restraining order, filed by Rodrigues’ estranged wife and signed by a San Benito County judge, prohibits Rodrigues from possessing any firearms or ammunition.

No arrests were made, but state authorities forwarded the search results to the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office to determine if Rodrigues will face charges, according to a spokesman at the Attorney General’s Office in Sacramento.

“Mr. Rodrigues came up on our Armed and Prohibited Person Database when he did not surrender his guns after the temporary restraining order from his wife went into effect,” said Attorney General spokesman Abraham Arredondo. “We felt like he shouldn’t have these guns, so we came in and got them.”

San Benito County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Palacios declined to comment on whether Rodrigues would be charged in relation to the search.

The former 25-year San Benito County sheriff’s deputy was indicted by a grand jury in December 2007 with three counts of forcible rape, two counts of unlawful sexual penetration and one count each of spousal rape, attempted rape and domestic violence.

At his last court appearance May 27, Rodrigues’ former attorney Chris Miller asked Superior Court Judge Harry Tobias to move the upcoming trail out of the county, citing negative Internet blogs and press coverage as having swayed potential jurors unfairly against his client. Tobias denied Miller’s request, saying he was confident an impartial jury could be found in San Benito County.

At the same hearing, Rodrigues asked to be appointed a public defender, claiming he can no longer afford Miller’s services. Tobias granted his request and assigned the case to attorney Greg LaForge, who has since said he has a conflict of interest and likely won’t represent Rodrigues.

Rodrigues will be back in court Tuesday, when his new attorney will be confirmed.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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