Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ACTION! keeping it updated w/links (6/23-6/27)

"FUCKING RUN! Its a WAR ZONE here right now! FEDS UP THE ASS!" Holy Shit, Batman, Feds Invaded Humboldt! Says Cannabis.com.

The story? The gist of it - Some 450 Federal and State agents targeted commercial pot growing operations in “Operation Southern Sweep.” serving search warrants and collecting evidence on "properties where “corporate marijuana growing operations” were suspected." Operating out of a Command Center in Fortuna's River Lodge parking lot, the motorcade drew alot of attention...

This investigation has been a cooperative effort between the FBI, BNE, Internal Revenue Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, California Highway Patrol, California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, United States Forest Service, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, California Department of Fish and Game, Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. CA DOJ/BNE task forces included the North and South Butte Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement, Glenn Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Shasta Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Siskiyou County Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, San Jose Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team, and the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team.”


Blog posts were coming fast and furious, most everyone has pics, these are from the Eureka Reporter...
Federal agents watch the progress of the raids on video monitors Tuesday morning inside a Tactical Operation Center set up in the parking lot of the River Lodge in Fortuna. An FBI Mobile Command Post was brought in to conduct a series of raids on marijuana grow operations Tuesday morning at the River Lodge in Fortuna. Vehicles containing an FBI Mobile Command Post and Tactical Operation Center sit parked outside the River Lodge in Fortuna Tuesday morning while agents work inside the lodge. Daniel Solomon/The Eureka Reporter

NCJ Feds: Real June 23, 2008 at 6:31 pm
heraldo Feds in Fortuna June 23, 2008 at 7:35
NCJ GO TIME Jun. 24, 2008 at 5:49 am
NCJ From The Sheriff’s Office Jun. 24, 2008 at 7:39 am
Eric FBI in Redway 7:56 AM
Kym Heraldo may have the Last Laugh? 7:04 am
NCJ FBI Spokesman on KSLG 8:07 am
Hank reports:
This is the culmination of a two-year investigation.
This is a bust of “large-scale commercial grows.” NOT medical marijuana.
Agents from a variety of federal and state organizations — including the IRS and the Postal Service –will be serving 27 warrants.
NCJ Bust in Sunny Brae 9:26 am
Kym Home in Salmon Creek Target of FBI 9:15 am
Anon.R jokes Arcata's only superhero taking day off, FBI zerg rushes. 10:23 AM
NCJ Down in SoHum 10:35 am
Eric Kirk is monitoring KMUD. Busts in Redway, including one witnessed by Eric himself. Also there’s apparently a good deal of action out near Whale Gulch.
☛ Eric says: I've got KMUD on, but KHUM and KSLG are also covering the action. And Hank has a growing display of photos at the blogthing.
TS http://www.times-standard.com/ci_9683779 10:57am
Kym IRS agents in Redway 10:58 a
ER Agents arrive in Humboldt to target marijuana grows 11:18 AM
NCJ ‘Multi-Day Operation’ 12:19 pm
ER Operation Southern Sweep to continue for a few day 12:42 updated at 1:05 PM
NCJ ‘Operation Southern Sweep’ 12:56 pm
LA Times Raids smoke out large marijuana operation in Humboldt County 12:59 PM (locates this as being in San Francisco. No, it is in HUMBOLDT COUNTY. Probably not Reiterman's fault.)
Residences and growing sites were targeted as federal and state agents serve 29 warrants on a commercial cultivation and distribution organization, authorities say.
NCJ LA Times Story 1:26 pm
and again on heraldo Medical pot busts may be next 2:10 pm
heraldo All warrants served 6:37 pm
A Dollar Short 6:49 PM (funniest comments award!)
Eric Operation Southern Sweep 7:32 PM
Pot Bust Blog Bustle
Cruel irony that (Hank’s trying to get out of town) taking his first vacation in years as one of the biggest stories of the year unfolds. 9:34 pm

ER Feds storm 25 locations in Humboldt County drug raids Jun 25 2008, 12:00 AM
ER Secret raids not too secret 12:12 AM
☛ This wasn't the first time: A surprise, nearly two-week-long marijuana eradication raid in July 1990, called “Operation Green Sweep,” by an estimated 200 California National Guard soldiers and Bureau of Land Management agents sealed off approximately 640 acres in the King Range National Conservation Area, according to archived Times-Standard articles.... The operation netted 11 arrests and 1,408 marijuana plants worth $4.2 million.

Another visit by the DEA in 2003 as part of “Operation Pipedreams” and “Operation Headhunter” targeted vendors who sold drug paraphernalia across state lines via the Internet, which led to the arrest of three Arcata businessmen who owned 101 North Glass Inc.

TS Fed raid rumors spark panic 01:27:10 AM (we're going by the second now?) Several local businesses, which asked not to be singled out by name, described a swift business in moving truck rentals over the last week -- apparently, in some cases, to move pot grows.
TS Feds launch massive pot sting 01:30:56 AM

The blogs are quiet this morning, so far. 7:33 AM
Eric All quiet in Redway this morning? (Update: not in Whitethorn!) 8:32 AM
heraldo Little new info on pot busts 9:23 am
Willits News Feds launch massive pot sting (with video) picks up the TS story 9:39:41 AM
Anon.R.mous FBI Party Van visits Humboldt County. 10:20 AM (nice rig!)
TS Feds prepare evidence seized Tuesday 10:50:03 AM
Marks Operation Southern Sweep recovery plan. 12:09 PM
Humboldt Hydroponics ad next to TS story on HUGE bust...
TS Authorities: Between $25 and $60 million in pot seized 12:29:40 PM
Law enforcement officers raided grow houses and residences in Shelter Cove, Whitethorn, Redway, Ettersburg, Garberville, Miranda, Phillipsville, Arcata and McKinleyville. They also secured and are searching almost 2,000 acres in southern Humboldt County and northern Mendocino County belonging to the targets of the investigation.
Over the course of Tuesday's activity, officers located around ten thousand marijuana plants estimated to be worth between $25 and $60 million on the street. They seized 30 firearms, including fully automatic weapons, one vehicle, and more than $160,000 in cash.
No charges have been filed and none of the targets of the investigation were arrested during Tuesday's raids. However, FBI agents arrested one man for assault on a federal agent during the execution of the search warrants.

heraldo Feds get into the Humboldt spirit 1:12 pm
heraldo Prop. 215 won’t protect targeted growers
quoting a KMUD interview - “Simply because they may have a 215 up doesn’t mean its’ still not illegal under federal law,” Schadler said. “For example, If they are part of this larger group [targeted by the investigation], and they are growing marijuana for non-medical purposes, which is outside the statute — even if they say they’re growing it under 215 — it still doesn’t negate the fact that it’s illegal under federal law. Just because we’re not targeting 215 doesn’t mean that somebody can hide behind that when they’re part of a larger investigation.”

The “investigation is about finding truth,” Schadler said, and added that people not involved in the alleged organization won’t be prosecuted. “Our targets are not people simply growing for medical purposes,” he said.
7:48 pm
ER Feds nab pot plants worth millions, continue search of large property 11:30 PM

TS Seized pot worth $25M to $60M 1:30:44 AM
Eric The latest on the Buddhaville bust 8:05 AM
heraldo Wednesday fed raid update 9:10 am
NCJ The “Joint” News Release and unanswered questions 10:03 am

ER Investigation into alleged commercial pot grow may take months 12:05 AM
ER Spiking the for-profit growers Jun 27 2008, 12:50 AM
TS Feds wrapping up SoHum pot operation 1:24:28 AM
heraldo Feds go home 7:41 am
Eric It's over - for now 8:39 AM

Is that the last word?
Nope, Kym has follow up...
Details Emerge from FBI Raids June 29, 2008 at 8:54 pm

TS Feds still sorting pot raids evidence 7/01/2008 01:15:23 AM
TS FBI counts up evidence 7/01/2008 01:41:21 PM

It's also on a buncha pot sites
breaking drug news latest 200 - http://www.drugpolicycentral.com/bot/
WeedTRACKER - http://www.weedtracker.com/forums

Some questions - who leaked the fact that the agents were coming? Does this have anything to do with Hedlund/Vilica?


  1. Re: that house in house in Sunnybrae.

    The folks that own that house own 12 other houses in Arcata. 9 of them all cleared escrow on the same day.

    The other three closed escrow the next year and also all on the same day.

  2. 1658 Virginia Way, Arcata

  3. Ownership of 1658 Virginia Way
    Robert S and Miu-Ling Elkins, who appear to be out-of-the area landlords (per RealQuest, the tax bills go c/o: Humboldt Property Mgmt)…

    Elkins, Elkins, hmmm… where have I heard that name before?

  4. I don't know. Where have you heard that name before??

  5. Wow! A long time coming, but finally, the Feds are taking note of the rampant lawlessness here in what used to be a peaceful, rural county. Guess, So-Hum and Arcata can only thumb their nose at the govenment for so long. Will be very interesting to see just how much PG squirms over this. I thought that the Gunderson mess and the Cheri Moore stuff would sink him, but bringing his malfesance to the attention of the Feds could be the best theater of the year!

  6. Cynthia Elkins, EPIC program director....

  7. If I'm not mistaken, Eric's blog said Cynthia Elkin's family is not from around here. But I don't know that.

    I enjoyed the Cannabis.com link--Good find, Rose!

  8. I thought it was funny, too, Kym!

    And, yes, someone said Cynthia's family is from Arkansas. I don't know if it is true either.

  9. By the way, Kym, you've got a great series of posts going - on this and on the fires. Highly recommended to all.

  10. i wonder if that white truck in the picture is available for sale to the general public? I bet u get great cell phone reception no matter where u are with that thing. i want one

  11. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/25/MNJ811EEAC.DTL

  12. This is hilarious. The dopers and their fans remind me of the bratty little kids that cause trouble, call names, etc, while hiding behind their momma's apron. Then, when they find out they are actually getting in trouble, they become hysterical and throw themselves on the floor in a fit! How come I get in trouble? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  13. Beowulf said...

    i wonder if that white truck in the picture is available for sale to the general public? I bet u get great cell phone reception no matter where u are with that thing. i want one

    6/25/2008 1:37 AM

    Oddly enough, I have posted about that before. That is a Freightliner Argosy on a LWB frame. So yes, you can by a used one, but the cabs are no longer made.

    It was the last Class 8 COE truck made in the USA, and as soon as those are gone, 53 foot long trailers won't be able to get into the area.

    You'll see a picture of another FBI party van on my website in a bit.

  14. Another Anonymous Says:
    June 25, 2008 at 10:14 am
    Seems to me there was another person busted a few years back from Fortuna who got off with a slap on the hand. Maybe he spilled a few beans to get let off easy. Could this be Eddie Shields aka Eddie Bagley? Heard he hasn’t been seen around lately. I wonder why???


  15. I think you are spot on about big bad ed. He talked a big game but when the chance to have a lover named BUBBA came along he wet his little panties and sang like a canary.

  16. That's odd - I saw the name BUBBA on one of the other blogs, I thought it was Eric's post from this morning, but I don't see it now.

    Who is Bubba? And who is this Eddie guy?

  17. Rose,
    Bubba is the roomie one gets during the expense paid "vacation" courtesy of your friendly federal/state judge.
    I never worked a snitch named "Eddie", but snitches are almost the only way to take down malreants since the rubber hose was outlawed. This is great theatre :o)

  18. OHHHH! THAT Bubba! Ohhhh. OK. I wasn't thinkin'!

  19. Marijuana is harmless compared to the scourge of crystal meth in Northern California. How about respecting California's Prop 215, and going after the methamphetamine labs instead? States Rights anyone? It's been reported there are as many as 50 meth labs near the mouth of the Klamath River, yet law enforcement never takes any action there.

    Excerpts from link above:

    According to the Del Norte Sheriff's Department, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department and Larry Hand of the California Conservation Corps (CCC), a CCC crew run by John Buttons discovered several large glass flasks used for cooking methamphetamine on Ohpah Creek, a tributary of the Klamath River just 21 miles from the mouth of the river. The flasks were found in the summer of 2002 and were left on Simpson Timber Company land above the Ohpah Creek Ranch. It now turns out the flasks were part of what is known as a "meth dump." That is where the unused residue and cooking utensils from labs are discarded. A Humboldt County Sheriff's Department official used a recent dumpsite at Colusa, to explain, "Mexican nationals had dumped their old chemicals and supplies into an irrigation canal."

    Two persons interviewed claimed there are five meth labs between Weitchpec and the river mouth. One of the labs is known to both civilian and law enforcement as the "Crystal Palace." When asked, one Siskiyou County law enforcement official said, "If the truth were know, there are probably 50 labs." ... The entire 41 miles of river between Weitchpec and the river mouth has no roads and is completely isolated from any civilization.

    There are dozens of documented cases of Mexican and Asian drug cartels using remote areas to both grow marijuana, and manufacture meth. These cases include the Klamath River area. This has resulted in concerns for the safety of all users; either national forests and/or Bureau of Land Management lands or those who simply explore for recreation.

  20. Am I the only one who thinks we can walk and chew gum at the same time?

    Who is to say they are NOT either getting ready to go after them or are going after them?

    And equating the homegrower who grows for himself to people who are selling nationwide, BIG business (I thought you guys were against all that) is - I don't even know the work, disingenuous doesn't cover it.

    Most of the squeals about the busts are from people who are living in some kind of dream world where even though they know it is illegal they want everyone else to pretend that they don't see it. Oh just let us grow, without us the economy will come crashing down, therefore just pretend you don't see us.

    Look. If you want it legal, make it so. Lobby for it. Shit, Ken Miller could have been putting his efforts where it could count. But, oooops, he made money of the 215 sham, so no activist efforts for you.

  21. all the busts link back to the Buddha ranch. 200,000 ac. of old Barum property.

    Not Steve S or that bunch, whole other bunch of other old boys, cutting up pot subdivsion lands. Just like they did back in the 70's and 80's large ranch cut up (illegally) and then everyone tells their freinds (other growers in the hills) "Oh I know of this New place we can mess up"

    and they go running out there and put in trailers and green houses and grow rooms with gen's and such.

    BUT what it looks like 2 years ago some one got poped and made a deal to give them "mr big"

    So what your seeing is all these "HOMES" all over being busted but more at being serached for info on who, how, what and why they bought property out there. Who did the transaction, what realtor, lender (if any = mostly privet owner fi) payment records.

    ie their (FEDS) not intrested in the MMJ or anything - they want to hit Barnum I mean who he sold it to or their cut out person. Mendez or who ever that did the sale for him.

    Though they maybe out of it way before this all happened, and its over in someone elses name.

    Yup its a Hedlend LIKE thingy - but NOT HEDLAND

    Chuckle I get such a kick out of you Rose. Miller? Gag? RS, SS all are petty pikers infact the OLD BOYS around here make them look like good clean guys!

    and NOTE the FEDS keep saying "NO MMJ effected, not grows, not shops not people"

    You know why? Because the "REAL GROWERS" (old boys and the wave that came up here after them) all think P215 is a JOKE and say 'why bother' and buy up HUGE PRACLES like this (that's 30 sq miles by the way) = makes Vilica look like a PIKER.

    So such is life - NOPE not Miller or Gag or Steve Sheck-myster or Salsman - just some of YOUR GOOD OLD HUMBOLDT COUNTRY BOYS - having a 'good time" sellin land to hippies and letting them grow the F* out of it.

    I told you that was how it went down back in the day - and you went
    (rose said: "well maybe but if it was going on I wasn't aware of it.")

    Well watch this one play out - and KNOW the only diffrence is IF (and I say IF) the FBI did its job - they will find the REAL person who made money off this SUBDIVION the land owner who took 10K or 20K Cash down - for each of the 40's, 80's or 160's - illegally and the realtors et al.

    Ain't miller or Gag or that bunch its OLD BOYS = your GOOD FREINDS Rose the ones you want to "save the county FOR" ---

    Wake up and smell the coffee I've been saying THIS is how it goes down for YEARS up here.

    Gag? - he's a JOKE compaired to people like Depolie and Renner - Farmer - nice guy - sweet hart - but still - NO OLD BOY did time under him ...

    I guess some how this will play BAD for GAG - fortunally he don't have to procute or maybe you'd (Rose) be blaming him for having to put some land baron in prision for selling pot growers land.

    Oh all the busts can be traced back to one factor = every home they busted had bought in the same subdivion, as I understand.


    sorry if I sound upset - I just been saying THIS is who is selling out the coutny and bring in the POT PEOPLE = its "THE OLD BOYS"

    cutting up family ranchs and timber lands - to sell to hippies.

    I know you'll say "its not their fault what the people they sell it to do with it"

    Ya we'll see if that flys in the face of 10K or 20K CASH down payment ... maybe they can explain it all good and LAWER to the FEDS.

    This isn't about the EYE and Arcata - its not about Medical Cannabis - its about pure greed and illegal land sales with intent to sell for criminal use period.

    The FEDS know - that the you can add up EVERY p215 rec_ that miller wrote - and every p215 grow in Arcata and the rest of the county and every grow house and it won't amout to a hill of beans compaired to what these 'out laws' do in the hills. Also NOTE their not talking Mex Cartell either.

    Hell the 'big boys' in the hills LAUGH at p215 and say 'why bother' with that crap! And this was 30 sq miles full of subdivided peices full of everyone 'doing their thing'.

    Again sure you can say "Oh the owner didn't know what was up."

    Yup sure - CASH DOWN - no payments untill AFTER FALL - wink nod ... wonder how much of those Cash downs went were reported - vs. just went into the pocket of the owner.

    Typical of the old days, like Hedland I am amazed someone would try this crap now ...

    Time was people held their mud, were afraid or smart or what ever. Now (2 years ago) someone went "you want Mr. Big - here's who's selling all this property"

    We'll see who it was once it shakes out - or at least their CUT OUT person.

    as always

  22. :) And as always, I understand more after listening to you.

    Good points.

  23. Interesting post anonymous, it was 2000 acres though not 200,000 (probably just a typo). Any word on whether the property was held by an LLC?

  24. I've seen it as 2,000, and 20,000, but it seems 2,000 is right... they're just gathering evidence so who knows where the chain will lead.

    If I was good at the humorous posts I'd do something along the lines of the Mastercard commercials, with the end line being "not having to worry when the Feds come to town... PRICELESS!"

    As I've told DT before, I've made sure my life didn't include any pot people, so it's just not a world I walk in, but the screams and howls this week have been interesting. Like no one knew it was illegal. They were just minding their own business (pun? not really intended but apropos), growing pot and rakin' in the dough and now, oh my god! Now it is a right, and they're the backbone of the entire county and how dare you!!!

    It's easier to be sympathetic to the Sun Valley workers and their families.

  25. Seems like more could be done to develop legit agriculture in Humboldt.

  26. Rose writes:
    "As I've told DT before, I've made sure my life didn't include any pot people, so it's just not a world I walk in"

    And as I always say - you just don't know who your freinds are Rose nor what they do. Also what was it, one out of every three dollers in Hum are from MMJ business.

    So your totally imersed in it like everyone else is. For sure its 2nd hand but like everyone in Hum. some how you touch the 'evil money from pot' or it touchs you.

    Bankers Lunch -

    Bruner: There is the big elephant that we haven't touched, gentlemen -- I don't know if you want to get into it.

    Cleary: Go.

    Bruner: Well, it's the underground economy.

    Journal: Ah! You know, I've tried to get answers from people about this. No one seems to know.

    Bruner: It's far more important than people realize, or want to realize.

    Cleary: Didn't one of your colleagues publish a number of, like, $200 million a year?

    Bruner: We kicked it around. I remember the sheriff was talking about, in one article, how he thought that one out of three, or one out of four people -- it was really high -- had some sort of play within the underground economy. Mostly marijuana cultivation, of course.

    That was one way to look at it. But then you can back in on the numbers. I'm told -- that we have more restaurants per capita than San Francisco in Humboldt County, which is a very strange thing.

    Cleary: Another stat, there ...

    Bruner: What's that?

    Cleary: Banks. In a time when the number of banks is shrinking rapidly around the country, we're getting new banks. You might want to put a call in, but I understand our bank deposits per capita are significantly higher than the rest of the country.

    Bruner: What did we say? $200 million? I think it's fair to say that it's as big if not bigger than the timber industry. Whether it's $150 million or $200 million, it's pretty damn big. I don't think there's anyone who's looked at it who says it's less than $150 million.



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