Saturday, November 15, 2008

Recommended Gundersen charges stem back to old investigations - UPDATED TWICE


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


☛ TS

Current Trinidad Police Chief Ken Thrailkill said Wednesday that his department is recommending Gundersen face charges of embezzlement, violating a court order, four counts of felony grand theft by a public official and four counts of evidence tampering.

Thrailkill said he started investigating the case when the District Attorney's Office turned up Trinidad Police Department evidence while searching the Blue Lake Police Department's evidence storage facility after Gundersen's Feb. 8 arrest on suspicion of spousal rape.

The investigation has spanned months, Thrailkill said, and the recommended charges stem from a pair of cases Gundersen investigated almost a decade ago in Trinidad.

In August of 1999, Gundersen arrested John Glenn Benson, who was later charged with selling marijuana and brandishing a firearm in a rude, angry or threatening manner, according to court records.

After Benson's sentencing, Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen ordered that all the firearms in the case, except for two, be labeled a nuisance and confiscated for proper disposal.

According to court records, the two remaining guns, a MK4 303 rifle and a JC Higgins .22 caliber rifle, were ordered to be returned to the Trinidad Police Department.

According to Thrailkill, that never happened.

Even after Gundersen left the Trinidad Police Department to take the same position in Blue Lake in late 1999, he was still tasked with providing law enforcement for the sea-side town, as the two cities entered into a contract under which the Blue Lake Police Department covered Trinidad.

That contract was in place in April of 2000, when Gundersen investigated and arrested Floyd “Jim” Sharum, a former Trinidad city councilman and mayor.

”When we showed up to arrest (Sharum), he had a bag of marijuana and meth and a loaded .45 caliber handgun in a shoulder harness,” Gundersen told the North Coast Journal at the time.

Sharum was later charged with passing false checks, grand theft and possessing methamphetamine, firearms, hashish and a destructive device, according to court records. In January 2001, Sharum pleaded guilty to grand theft and possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to spend more than two years in prison.

At the sentencing hearing, a Humboldt County Superior Court judge ordered that, because the terms of Sharum's plea prohibited him from owning guns, the firearms in the case be turned over to the Blue Lake Police Department -- save a pair of .22 caliber rifles that were ordered to be turned over to a third party.

According to Thrailkill, that too never happened.

Grand theft charge dismissed against former Blue Lake police chief


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012



  1. Seems to me that since Gundy was essentially both the Blue Lake and Trinidad PD at the time, they can't charge him with anything other than poor handling of evidence, if that.

  2. Jim Sharum?! Terry Farmers first or original campaign manager! And DA's office administrative assistant once Farmer won?

    Don't you just love politicians.

    Isn't Chief Thraikill the only law enforcement officer that was on the "215 task force" that came up with the counties lame, and excessive marijuana guidelines!

  3. I totally agree Fred. In that they are still at blpd makes it impossible. If our dumbass da falls for this I forsee it being thrown out by the first judge that hears the evidence. And that is not even dealing with the statute of lim problem. Yeah, I know he is a public official but, there has been no theft or embezzlement here. What in the hell has gotten into thraikill?

  4. Let me get this correct:

    1) BLPD and TPD in 1999 are both run by Gundersen - 2 guns ordered returned to TPD are not but left in the BLPD evidence locker.

    2) 2 guns from Sharums case are ordered released to a third party who does not claim them so the guns remain in BLPD evidence room.

    What the f#ck - sorry folks but there ain’t no crime here. Not embezzlement or anything else. Neither were converted to personal use but remained at the BLPD evidence room. Now I am no gundy fan, but this is more ridiculous than the earlier case.


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