On Oct. 16, 2018, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) served one search warrant to investigate illegal commercial cannabis cultivation in the Southern Humboldt area. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit and the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department assisted in the service of the warrant.
One parcel was investigated during the service of the warrant. The parcel, located on the 30,000 block of Alderpoint Road in the Larabee Creek watershed, did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially.
During the service of the warrant, deputies eradicated approximately 1,518 growing cannabis plants. Deputies seized and destroyed over 85 pounds of processed cannabis and over 618 pounds of cannabis trim.
Assisting agencies found evidence of unpermitted grading, causing sediment pollution into Larabee Creek. Larabee Creek is an important breeding stream for salmonids, particularly steelhead salmon. While surveying the creek for sustained damages, environmental scientists located a foothill yellow-legged frog, which is an at-risk species currently protected under the California Endangered Species Act.
Assisting agencies found the following violations:
- Two stream crossing violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Two water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Commercial cannabis ordinance violations (up to $10,000 fine per day)
- Building without a permit violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Grading without a permit violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Streamside management violations
No arrests were made during the service of the warrant. Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies.
Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.