Thursday, September 10, 2009

Humboldt Marijuana News

102 lbs. pot, 4 lbs. hash, $50,000 seized in grow raids

September 9, 2009
Kevin L. Hoover
Eye Editor

HUMBOLDT – Law enforcement raided several illegal cannabis
cultivation sites in Arcata and elsewhere around Humboldt County last
week, seizing thousands of marijuana plants and stacks of cash while
creating a new crop of accused felons. For one of the accused, it was a
déjà vu experience.

Grow houses

Last Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Arcata Police Department, Humboldt County
Drug Task Force and Humboldt County Sheriff's Office served four
search warrants, concluding a two-month investigation into citizen
complaints of drug trafficking.

Search warrants were served in the 1100 block of Larry Street, 1000
block of Sunset Avenue and 1300 block of Beverly Drive in Arcata and the
1800 block of Fir Avenue in McKinleyville.

Larry Street, now and then

At the Larry Street residence, 33-year-old Kenneth Dru McCasland, of
Arcata, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana,
possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house.

Officers seized approximately five pounds of processed marijuana, 25
pounds of unprocessed marijuana, nearly an ounce of concentrated
cannabis (hash) and $22,000 cash.

The electrical wiring in the home had been modified to facilitate an
indoor grow. Building and Fire officials responded to the scene due to
the unpermitted modifications and hazardous conditions in the electrical
wiring. The electric meter was removed by Pacific Gas and Electric until
the home's electrical wiring is in compliance with building codes.

It was the second DTF raid at the Larry Street address in as many years
for McCasland.

In June, 2007, police raided the Larry Street house as well as a
residence rented by McCasland on Center Street. At that time, police
found 275 mature marijuana plants, two pounds of bud, two scales, a
loaded HK subcompact .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun and ammunition.
Another $35,950 in U.S. currency and a 2006 Toyota Tundra 4x4 were also
At McCasland's Center Street rental, agents located a huge grow with
2,230 plants and a loaded Remington semi-automatic shotgun.

For that, McCasland pleaded guilty to a single count of cultivation and
admitted the weapons possession. He received 120 days in county jail.

Though placed on felony probation for three years, that ended early at
McCasland's request on May 22 before running its full term, based on
good behavior.

Sunset Avenue

At the Sunset Avenue home, 35-year-old Jennifer Marie Sandoval was
arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale. Officers
seized four pounds of processed marijuana and $1,200 in cash.

Beverly Drive

At the Beverly Drive residence, 36-year-old Arcata Christopher Lee
Robinson was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana,
possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house.

Officers seized 25 pounds of unprocessed marijuana and $12,300 in cash.
Unpermitted modifications had been made to the home's electrical
system to facilitate an indoor marijuana growing operation.

Building and Fire officials were called to the home due to the
significant fire hazard. The electrical meter was removed from the home
by Pacific Gas and Electric.
Fir Avenue, McKinleyville

At the Fir Avenue home in McKinleyville, 27-year-old Paul Eugene Aragon
was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of
marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house. Paul Dunnigan, 24, and
Matthew Dunnigan, 28, both from Michigan, were arrested on suspicion of
possession of marijuana for sale.

Officers found a 2006 Dodge truck belonging to Paul Dunnigan in the
garage. They discovered 38 pounds of processed marijuana inside a hidden
compartment in the truck. Four pounds of concentrated cannabis (hash)
and $15,000 in cash were seized from inside the home. The truck was

Himalaya Drive, Trinidad

On Friday, Sept. 4, Trinidad Police Department served a search warrant
at a residence on the 100 Block of Himalaya Drive in Trinidad for
possible marijuana cultivation taking place at the residence.

With the assistance of CHP and State Parks ranger, Trinidad officers
made entry into the residence with Karl Francis Benemann, 32, and Esther
Lippross, 36, inside.

A search of the residence property revealed about 850 marijuana plants
ranging from startup to three feet in height inside the residence and in
a tool shed converted to grow marijuana.

About five pounds of processed marijuana was located along with
approximately $33,000 in cash, plus packaging material.

Benemann and Lippross were arrested and booked into Humboldt County Jail
on suspicion of marijuana cultivation, maintaining a drug house and
selling marijuana.

Willow Creek

CAMP personnel were in Humboldt County for one day this week, working
with Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies and U.S Forest Service
personnel off Forest Service Route 6 near Willow Creek. They eradicated
10,709 growing marijuana plants that ranged in height from six to eight

Police say evidence at nearby campsites confirmed the grow site was that
of a drug trafficking organization.

Deputies conservatively estimate the value of the marijuana to be more
than $3 million.

The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting will continue operations in
Humboldt County throughout the summer.


Another three pounds of hashish was seized in Tavern Alley last week
duing an alleged drug transaction.

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