Ghost Ship fire 2016: Master tenant Derick Almena could return to jail for violating probation

In 2021, Almena pleaded no contest to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the lives lost during a dance party at the unit.

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ByDan Noyes via KGO logo
Thursday, September 15, 2022
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Derick Almena, the master tenant of the Ghost Ship warehouse during the deadly 2016 fire, could end up back in jail after he violated his probation.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Derick Almena, the master tenant of the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland during the deadly fire in 2016, could end up back in jail after he violated his probation, according to Alameda County prosecutors.

In a recent search of his Ukiah home, investigators found one 38-caliber bullet, a machete, 10 bows, and more than 50 arrows. Under his probation, Almena is not allowed to own "firearms, ammunition, or any deadly or dangerous weapons."

RELATED: Remembering the Oakland Ghost Ship Fire victims

Almena's attorney, Tony Serra tells ABC7 News that Almeda is being harassed by authorities. He says the bullet was likely put out by Almena's wife as part of an altar display, but she doesn't remember where it came from.

A hearing will be held Friday to determine whether Almena violated the terms of his probation.

Almena, the master tenant of the building, was accused of turning the unit into a deadly fire trap, inviting people to live in a space zoned for storage with no sprinklers nor exit signs.

RELATED: Ghost Ship Timeline: How the investigation into the deadly fire unfolded

Almena was jailed in June of 2017. A jury deadlocked over his guilt in 2019. Last year, Almena pleaded no contest to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the lives lost in a fire during an unauthorized dance party at the warehouse in East Oakland.

36 people died in the blaze, the deadliest fire in Oakland history.

See more stories on the Ghost Ship Fire here.

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