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Columbia returns to the Wild West

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Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:15 am, Thu Apr 5, 2012.

The community of Columbia is known for its restoration as a Gold Rush town. On Sunday, the Wild West returned to the Columbia Motel, where Tuolumne County Sheriff's deputies say they found eight handguns and drugs in a motel room.

Deputies responded to the motel after receiving calls about two or three gunshots being fired, according to sheriff's spokesman Jeff Miller. A .45-caliber cartridge casing was found in a drainage ditch in front of Room 44 at the motel. No one was injured.

Deputies arrested a couple after they searched the motel room and found eight handguns — several of them stolen — $620 cash, 19.7 grams of tar heroin, hypodermic needles, scales, packing materials and other materials related to drug sales, Miller said.

Sean O'Connor, 31, and his wife, Lisa O'Connor, 30, both from Columbia, were arrested on at least five felony charges and several misdemeanors, Miller said.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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