Location: 19100 Block of Road 204, Porterville

Incident Date: 12-5-14

Incident Time: 1855

Case Number: 14-60829

Victim: State of California

Posted by: Media Relations

S1: Phillip Anthony Ruiz, 20 of Woodlake

166, 460PC: Attempted home invasion robbery

246PC: Shooting at an inhabited dwelling

12022PC: Possession of a Firearm


S2: Cesar Meza Hernandez, 39 of Porterville

S3: Yessenia Meza, 37 of Porterville

11358HS: Cultivation of Marijuana

11359HS: Possession of Marijuana for Sales

12022PC: Possession of a Firearm

273(a)PC: Child Endangerment


On 12/05/2014 at approximately 1855 hours, Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff Department’s Porterville Substation responded to an address in the 19100 block of Road 204 in Porterville for reports of shots that had been fired at a residence. During the investigation, Deputies located evidence that showed someone had fired multiple shots in the area of the residence however no suspects or witnesses were identified. The homeowners, Cesar Meza Hernandez, 39 and Yessenia Meza, 37 were uncooperative and did not reveal much information.

At approximately 2130 hours, Deputies were called out to the scene again for additional shots that had been fired at the same residence. During this second investigation, Deputies detained Phillip Anthony Ruiz, 20 of Woodlake who was located hiding in a grove and who was in possession of a loaded assault rifle. He was taken into custody without incident. Deputies then re-contacted Hernandez and Meza and located additional evidence which lead them to call Detectives who executed a search warrant for the residence.

While serving the search warrant, Detectives located over four-hundred (400) pounds of processed marijuana which had been packaged for sales, digital scales and records indicating the ongoing sale of marijuana. Detectives also located a large amount of US currency in excess of $50,000.00.

Had the marijuana been allowed to be harvested, it would have had a street value of over $500,000.00.  

Hernandez and Meza were booked into the Tulare County Jail pursuant to the cultivation of marijuana for sales, possession of marijuana for sales, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and child endangerment. Ruiz was booked pursuant to the charges of an attempted home invasion robbery, shooting at an inhabited residence and the possession of an assault rifle.  

The case remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Department STEP Team.  Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective J. Gardner at (559) 733-6218 and information can also remain anonymous through tcso@tipnow.com.