MARIN COUNTY -- A San Rafael teenager accused of shooting at a couple in Mill Valley and stealing a celebrity chef's Lamborghini was charged as an adult Tuesday as additional details surfaced about his alleged underworld of impersonation, weaponry and high-tech gear.
Max Michael Wade, 17, was arrested Saturday after a mix of canniness and luck led sheriff's investigators to his rented storage container in Richmond, where they discovered a dismantled AK-47 assault rifle, another assault rifle, shotgun shells and electronic equipment for jamming cellphones and radios, according to court documents.
Investigators also found false identification cards for California, Florida and New York, local police scanner coordinates and a full San Francisco Police Department uniform with a badge and duty belt, sheriff's Detective Greg Garrett said in an affidavit.
The storage container also included the stolen Lamborghini -- a $200,000 yellow 2008 Gallardo Spyder convertible belonging to Guy Fieri, a Bay Area restaurateur and Food Network host -- as well as the motorcycle and gun suspected of being used in the Mill Valley shooting this month, Garrett said.
Wade, who turns 18 in August, made a brief appearance Tuesday afternoon before Judge Paul Haakenson in Marin Superior Court. The teen is charged with two counts of attempted murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, commercial burglary, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Barry Borden.
Wade could face 30 years to life in prison under the charges, Borden said.
Wade's lawyer, Charles Dresow, asked that the arraignment be delayed until May 10 so he could have time to read the available documents.
Wade's bail is set at $2 million. Although he is charged as an adult, he is in custody at Marin County Juvenile Hall.
The Mill Valley shooting occurred April 13 outside a residence on Evergreen Avenue, where a motorcyclist pulled up to a parked pickup truck and pumped it with five shots from a handgun, investigators said. The occupants of the truck, Landon Wahlstrom and an unidentified 17-year-old girl, ducked and were not struck by the gunfire.
The motorcyclist, dressed all in black, fled down Miller Avenue and escaped a police search. A neighbor subsequently told investigators that a motorcyclist was waiting outside the residence before Wahlstrom and the girl left the house and got into the truck.
Investigators determined that Wahlstrom, a 2011 Redwood High graduate, and the girl "dated occasionally," but neither victim could identify the shooter or say why anyone would want to kill them, Garrett said.
Soon after news reports of the attack, a man called investigators to report that he saw a black-clad motorcyclist shortly before the time of the shooting at the Chevron in Strawberry. An investigator went to the Chevron and asked to look at the surveillance tapes, which showed the motorcyclist apparently stopping for gas.
The video showed a "Bilt" logo on the motorcyclist's helmet, which was matte black with a visor. Garrett said he knew that Bilt products were mostly sold online or at Cycle Gear retail stores, so he and Detective Ryan Petersen went to the nearest Cycle Gear store, which is in San Francisco.
A store employee told the investigators that the style of helmet in question was relatively new, and the store had only been carrying it since April. The employee was able to find a recent transaction record of a man buying the particular style of helmet, along with the kind of a black leather vest, black gloves and black face-and-neck protector seen on the Mill Valley shooter and the Chevron customer, Garrett said.
Cycle Gear was able to produce a surveillance image of the customer making the transaction. The investigators then showed the image to the shooting victims, one of whom recognized the suspect and identified him as Max Wade. The victim said Wade was known for supplying fake California IDs to many high school students in Marin, and also known for driving a yellow Lamborghini, the affidavit said.
Meanwhile, as the investigation continued, Garrett was standing in the courthouse hallway last Wednesday when he spotted Wade walk past, according to the affidavit. Investigators placed him under surveillance and followed him when he left the building, trailing him to a residence on Marina Boulevard in San Rafael.
Detectives placed the house under surveillance. On Saturday, a sheriff's detective saw Wade get into a black Crown Victoria and followed the car to CSI Mini Storage on at 855 Parr Blvd. in Richmond.
Wade was seen entering a storage container. Half an hour later, he came out driving a yellow 2008 Gallardo Spyder, and the detective noted the presence of a black motorcycle inside the storage container.
Investigators trailed Wade as he drove through Marin and were waiting for him when he returned to CSI Mini Storage. When detectives moved in to arrest him, Wade started running down Parr Boulevard while struggling to pull a gun from his waistband, the affidavit said.
Detectives arrested him, finding a loaded Glock in his waistband and ammunition in his back pocket, Garrett said.
The suspect's wallet contained $1,500 and a false driver's license in the name of "Frank Agnello Gotti," an apparent reference to Frank Gotti Agnello, a reality television personality who is the grandson of the late New York mobster John Gotti.
Detectives sought a search warrant for the storage container, and Judge James Chou signed it. Investigators found the trove of weapons, electronics equipment and gear -- as well as Fieri's Lamborghini, which police said was stolen from a San Francisco dealership in 2011 after someone rappelled from the roof in an overnight caper.
Sheriff's detectives are still investigating numerous angles in the case, including the source of the weapons, the motive for the Mill Valley shooting and the potential involvement of accomplices, said sheriff's Sgt. Mark Hale.
Dresow, the suspect's lawyer, said Wade is innocent until proven guilty.
"My client is a (17-year-old) who stands accused as an adult of sophisticated and extraordinarily serious crimes," Dresow said. "It is worth noting that some of the allegations related to the car occurred when he was 16.
"This is an incredibly complex case and the government bears the entire burden of producing credible evidence which proves these allegations beyond a reasonable doubt."
Contact Gary Klien via email at firstname.lastname@example.org