News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: July 3, 2019

Drug Enforcement Unit serves search warrant in Rancho Sequoia

Various trash discarded on the ground, in background a black water tank

On July 3, 2019, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) served one search warrant to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the Rancho Sequoia area of Southern Humboldt County. The following agencies assisted in the service of the warrant: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit and Humboldt County Planning and Building Department.

One parcel was investigated during the service of the warrant. The parcel did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially.

During the service of the warrant, deputies eradicated approximately 600 growing cannabis plants.

Assisting agencies found the following violations:

- Four water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Failure to establish a Hazardous Materials Business Plan ($5,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Failure to report a hazardous materials release (up to $5,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Aboveground storage tank in operation with no Spill Prevention Countermeasure and Control (SPCC) plan ($5,00 fine per day, per violation)
- Failure to provide secondary containment for aboveground tanks ($5,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Failure to prevent a hazardous waste release (up to $70,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Failure to make a hazardous waste determination ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Unauthorized waste storage ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)
- No EPA ID number ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Failure to label hazardous waste (up to $70,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Hazardous waste accumulation storage time limit exceeded ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Failure to close hazardous waste containers (up to $70,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Improper storage and removal of solid waste (up to $25,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Commercial cannabis ordinance violations (up to $10,000 fine per day)
- Grading without a permit violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Building code violations
- Streamside management violations
- Unapproved sewage disposal system violations
- Junk cars violations

Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies.

This is fifth time in the last year that the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has served a warrant on this parcel for unpermitted commercial cannabis production.

No arrests were made during the service of the warrant

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.

Metal poles and various garbage scattered on ground, in background unpermitted gradingPlastic tote full of oilGenerator leaking fuel onto the groundOil containers discarded on the ground

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