Staff writer

Sunday, December 29, 1996

SAN RAMON-An investigation into a gunshot inside a labor training center last week has led to the arrest of a San Ramon man on suspicion of possessing illegal weapons and possessing and manufacturing methamphetamine, police said. His wife was also arrested.

Police searched the couple's Medelia Place home at 9:45 a.m. Friday. They confiscated six rifles and three handguns. They also found marijuana, a small amount of methamphetamine and chemicals. A county Narcotics Enforcement Team found that some of the chemicals are those used to make methamphetamine, also known as speed.

Craig Thomas, 36, and his wife, Erica Thomas, 38, were booked at County Jail in Martinez.

On Dec. 16, a shot was fired in the cafeteria area of the Laborers Training Center on Westside Drive in San Ramon, where people are trained in a variety of skills, said Sgt. Jeff Wells. Police determined that Craig Thomas, a trainer there, was the suspect.

Thomas had denied he shot the semiautomatic handgun. The bullet ricocheted off the floor and into a wall and did not injure anyone, police said. In Friday's search, police confiscated what they said was the same handgun.

"We believe it was accidental," said Wells of the shot. "The next question is, why does he have a weapon on him at work? We haven't figured that one out yet."

Paul Mountain, task force commander of the Central Contra Costa County Narcotics Enforcement Team, said they found a jar with two gallons of what they believe is methamphetamine oil, which is used to concoct the drug. They also found a filter with methamphetamine residue, along with other chemicals used to make the drug, he said.

"The rest of the stuff are items that can be used in that process, but are also common household products, like Iye and acetone," he said. Mountain said a lab test would tell the concentration of the liquid, but added that the chemicals would not have produced large amounts of the drug.

Craig Thomas was booked on suspicion of possession of firearms by a convicted felon and possession and manufacture of methamphetamine. Erica Thomas was booked on suspicion of possession of marijuana and possession of non-narcotic drugs.

They remained in custody Friday night in lieu of $60,000 bail for Craig Thomas and $10,000 for Erica Thomas.

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