To get sense of what is happening in the tug of war between cannabis growers and law enforcement, we’ve put together a list of the known marijuana enforcement actions in Humboldt County so far this year.
We’re going to start off with a report of a raid led by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on a relatively large grow in the Thomas Road area of Salmon Creek that had been served a search warrant by Humboldt County’s Marijuana Eradication Team just six weeks earlier on May 15. On the same day, DFW also served a warrant on Fruitland Ridge and one in Redcrest.
According to Janice Mackey, Information Officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, “During the week of June 29 [we know the date was June 30], the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, served three search warrants in Humboldt County. The parcels were located at Thomas Road in Miranda, Johnson Lane in Redcrest and Kelsey Lane in Myers Flat.”
The Thomas Road parcel we know was in the permit process with the County. We are unsure of the other parcels. According to Mackey, “A records check confirmed that none of the parcels were licensed by the state for commercial cannabis cultivation.”
On May 18, the MET team said they found over 14,000 plants at the Thomas Road parcel* and over 1,990 pounds of processed cannabis.
Undeterred by the MET raid in May, the optimistic folks on the Thomas Road property rushed to replant. When the Department of Fish and Wildlife arrived at the property on June 30, they say they discovered an estimated 46,791 illegal marijuana plants.
The DFW says they located around 3200 plants total on both the parcels in Redcrest and Myers Flat.
Though DFW would only speak in general terms about the three parcels, we believe around ten suspects were detained on the Thomas Road property but then released. However, it is possible that some of those were located on the other two properties.
Mackey says, “Criminal charges will be filed with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for consideration….Criminal charges are pending and these are ongoing investigations.”
Below are all the rest of the enforcement actions we know of with brief summaries and links to more complete stories if we have them.
Known Humboldt County Marijuana Enforcement Actions So Far in 2020:
- On Monday, April 27: Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) Served Search Warrant in the Mattole Road Area
- On Wednesday, April 29: Indoor Grow Raided Today
- On Thursday, April 30: Marijuana Enforcement Team Served Search Warrant in Garberville Yesterday
- On Friday, May 8: 878 Plants Eradicated in Redway Bust
- On Monday, May 11: Over 17,000 Plants Eradicated at Miranda Property Today, Says Sheriff’s Office
- On Tuesday, May 12: There wasn’t a press release but our request, Karges was able to gather some details for us. She told us,
…[D]eputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served two search warrants to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the Cathy’s Peak area of Honeydew. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife assisted in the service of the warrant.
Two parcels were investigated during the service of the warrants. The parcels did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially.
During the service of the warrants, deputies eradicated approximately 2,000 growing cannabis plants.
Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies.
No arrests were made during the service of the warrant. The case will be forwarded to the DA’s Office for review.
- On Wednesday, May 13: Citizens’ Complaints Lead to Marijuana Bust on Wilder Ridge, Says Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office
- On May 14, Karges said a search warrant was served in the Dinsmore area. At this point we haven’t received information on what MET discovered. We will request information again.We will request information again.
- On Friday, May 15: Over 14,000 Plants and Nearly 2000 Pounds of Marijuana Found at Salmon Creek Grow, Says HCSO MET Team
- On May 20, Karges confirmed that there were search warrants served in Southern Humboldt but she hadn’t been able to gather details at the time we requested information. We have reports that at least one warrant was served in the Weott area. We will request information again.
- On May 26, MET went to a Large Indoor Grow in the Weitchpec area–18,690 Plants and 818 Pounds.
- On May 27, MET Served three search warrants on parcels without any permits in the Dinsmore area.
- On May 29, MET eradicated approximately 58,395 growing cannabis plants on a Blocksburg property without any permits.
- On June 3, MET eradicated about 353 plants as well as 62 grams of meth and prescription pills packaged for sales. The grow–in the area of Tobacco Road, Petrolia–did not possess any permits. One woman was cited and released. One person fled.
- On June 4, MET served four search warrants in the Alderpoint/Rancho Sequoia area. Deputies eradicated approximately 10,299 growing cannabis plants and confiscated a ghost gun.
- On June 5, we had a report of a convoy in SoHum but no further information. We will request information again.
- On June 17, MET served two search warrants in the Blocksburg area. “One parcel did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially. The second parcel did not possess the required state license to cultivate cannabis commercially.” One person was cited. In addition, one trespass grow was eradicated.
- On June 22, a law enforcement convoy went to Fruitland Ridge and to Eel Rock Road. We will request information again.
- On June 24, MET “served two search warrants to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the Mad River drainage area of Dinsmore…[D]eputies eradicated approximately 10,735 growing cannabis plants.”
- On June 25, MET served two search warrants in the Mattole River drainage area of Honeydew. “One parcel possessed the required county permit but did not possess a state license to cultivate cannabis commercially. The other parcel investigated did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially…[D]eputies eradicated approximately 7,930 growing cannabis plants.”
- On June 30, a convoy went to Holmes Flat in Redcrest, then to Fruitland Ridge in the Kelsey Lane area, and returned to a Salmon Creek watershed property. See lead story above.
- On July 14, MET served one search warrant at a parcel without any permits in the Shively area and eradicated approximately 2,600 growing cannabis plants. Also, “MET deputies served one search warrant at a parcel in the Honeydew area. The parcel did not possess the required state license to cultivate cannabis commercially. “[D]deputies eradicated approximately 6,900 growing cannabis plants.”
- On July 15, MET served a search warrant at a Briceland farm that had a County permit but not a state permit and “eradicated approximately 2,000 growing cannabis plants….MET deputies also visited an additional cannabis cultivation operation in Briceland. Upon contact with the parcel owner, deputies learned the parcel had just received its state license and verified that it was in compliance with current state and local orders.”
(*Note: This property is near the home of this reporter)