Originally reported June 25th 1998 in the Eureka Times Standard, a raid by the DEA in conjunction with the now defunct Humboldt County Drug Enforcement Unit netted 12,448 cannabis plants. Most interesting, the grow – located on a ridge near Berry Summit – was disguised to look like a family home.
Outside, planter boxes with fake flowers hung beneath fake windows, children’s toys and a trampoline strewn throughout the yard, and balconies with fake ornamental trees. However, inside, no rooms, no kitchen, no bathrooms, no windows, just three stories (nursery upstairs) with 250 (what appear to be) thousand watt lights hung over raised beds of 9,594 plants – in an adjacent building another 30 lights and 2,854 plants. The whole facility power by a pick up truck sized 125-kilowatt diesel generator – enough to “easily power a whole neighborhood” as Sheriff Steve Knight said. As always seems the case – whether fact or police generated – the generator was leaking fuel into a nearby creek.
Knight stated that authorities became suspicious of the building after 5,000 plants were discovered on nearby Forest Service land the previous year. A previous helicopter patrol gave authorities the evidence they needed for a search warrant but no details were divulged.
Knight disclosed his thoughts on the motive for growing indoors. He said the reason the facility had been constructed was due to “pressure [authorities] put on outdoor [operations].” He said growers “are going indoors.”
Photo of an AK-47 provided by By Allatur, CC BY-SA 3.0 via wikipedia.com
Originally reported May 13th
2009 in the Eureka Times Standard, a high-speed chase took place after a black market cannabis deal gone wrong. The chase ended in shots fired from an AK-47, one-man shot in the face (still alive), and one man dead. The scary incident began in McKinlyeville (CA) and ended on State Route 299 somewhere between Blue Lake and Willow Creek.
According to police, eight people met to exchange 14 pounds. Two of the individuals were buyers, 19 and 21 years old. Pulling an Ak-47 and a handgun, the buyers ordered the sellers to the ground while they stole the 14 pounds.
Fifteen years ago – originally reported March 30, 2001 in the Eureka Times-Standard – five years after Prop 215 was voted into California state law, Sheriff Dennis Lewis defied Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson’s order to return Chris Robert Giaque’s (of Garberville) medicinal cannabis. One ounce of Giaque’s medicine was seized during a traffic stop in April 1999. Deciding to exercise his rights, Mr. Giaque took the case to trial. Judge Watson ruled in his favor, ordering the Humboldt’s Sheriff’s Department to return his ounce of weed. However, when Mr. Giaque went to pick up his stash, the Sheriff’s Department refused to return it.
As a result, Giaque’s attorney insisted Sheriff Lewis be held in contempt of court. He issued this statement: “The sheriff’s intransigence appears to be rooted in political distaste for the type of property ordered returned, and the legislation (prop 215) which compels it … These are not valid reasons for refusing to obey court order … No one is above the law, and it is particularly important those charged with enforcing the law uphold it themselves.”