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A former Bay Area junior college basketball player and his friend have pleaded no contest to charges related to trading illegal assault weapons for pot to some guys who turned out to be undercover cops. The Mendocino County DA says Matthew Williams and Christian Alcantar entered pleas this morning to four felony charges with sentencing enhancements relating to three separate gun deals between January and April in Mendocino, Sonoma, and Alameda Counties. Williams, said to be the main player in the crimes, will be sentenced August 4th to likely 11-plus years. Alcantar, who was only involved in one gun deal, will be sentenced August 18th to likely one year in jail and five years probation. The bust involved several agencies including the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Ukiah Police and the CHP.

Work to clear brush from some Ukiah waterways is being done by inmates supervised by Cal Fire. The Daily News reports 11 inmates from Chamberlain Creek Conservation Camp were working along Orr Creek this week to remove vegetation that could otherwise end up clogging the creek. It also helps reduce fire danger and Cal Fire Captain Patrick Crow tells the paper it’s good training for the inmates that work on fires, when they have to rapidly remove vegetation to create firebreaks. Cal Fire runs the inmates crews as a nonprofit, low-cost option for cities and counties for similar projects. Earlier this year Ukiah had crews cleaning out vegetation in Riverside Park and they sometimes also work along the railroad tracks.

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