A southeast-vergent ductile shear zone is exposed in the Cronese Hills in the central Mojave Desert. This shear zone formed under greenschist facies conditions and placed mylonitic metaplutonic and metavolcanic rocks upon folded Triassic(?) metasedimentary rocks. U-Pb zircon ages of prekinematic and postkinematic plutons constrain the age of deformation to between 169 and 154 Ma (late Middle or early Late Jurassic). We believe that the Cronese shear zone forms part of the southern continuation of the east Sierran thrust system. Mesozoic thrust faults may have controlled preservation of Jurassic arc-related rocks and may be responsible for structural stacking of Paleozoic eugeoclinal and miogeoclinal strata in the central Mojave Desert.