On July 23, 2018, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and wardens with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served four search warrants to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in Southern Humboldt. The following agencies assisted in the service of the warrants: CDFW Watershed Enforcement Team, Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit, California State Water Board and Humboldt County Planning and Building Department.
Four parcels were investigated during the service of the warrants. The parcels did not possess nor were in the process of actively obtaining a commercial cannabis permit with the County of Humboldt. One parcel investigated was located on the 1000 block of Kimtu Road in Garberville. Three parcels investigated were located in the Rancho Sequoia area.
During the service of the warrants, deputies eradicated approximately 6,752 growing cannabis plants. Deputies also seized and destroyed approximately 384 pounds of processed cannabis. Deputies seized three firearms, one of which had been reported stolen out of Idaho.
Between the four parcels, assisting agencies found the following violations:
- Five water diversion violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Six water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Four failure to file a report of discharge into state waters violations (up to $5,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Four commercial cannabis ordinance violations (up to $10,000 fine per day)
- Two dredge or fill waters of the United States violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Two improper storage and removal of solid waste violations (up to $25,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Multiple grading without a permit violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Multiple building code violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Timber conversion violation (up to $8,000 fine per day)
- Failure to label hazardous waste violation (up to $70,000 fine per day)
- Open hazardous waste container violation (up to $70,000 fine per day)
- Three stream management violations
- Junk vehicles violation
No arrests were made during the service of the warrants. Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies.
Anyone with information about these cases or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.