Ganja and Gunfights: Another Grower Dies in a Mendocino Garden

Today, in an incident disturbingly similar to one three weeks ago, another grower was killed in Mendocino.  The man, Hispanic and in his 20’s, apparently “displayed” a weapon and was fatally shot.  And, within the hour, at a nearby garden, law enforcement reported that 4 armed men shot at other officers.  The officers returned fire but all the suspects escaped.

A blog in the area, Emerald Triangle News, believes the gardens were on private property.  According to that source a warrant was being served in the early morning hours by a team of 60 officers when the unknown suspect “appeared and displayed a rifle….”  At that time three deputies shot at the man who was pronounced dead on the scene.

No officers were hurt but five officers were put on administrative leave following this shooting which is normal procedure.

The previous incident referred to happened in the early morning hours of  July 27th. Apparently while it was still dark, Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies and officers from U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, entered a marijuana garden on forest service land close to the Glen County line in the Covelo area. A Hispanic man in his  20’s, Angel Hernandez Farias,  and another suspect entered the garden about quarter to seven.  According to law enforcement, Farias, age 24, pointed a gun at them.  An unidentified officer fired back, wounding the suspect who attempted to run but was brought down by a K-9 unit.  Farias died in the garden and the other suspect fled.  11,635 plants were taken from the gardens. Farias was described as “easy going, soft spoken and well mannered.”

As is noted in the Mendocino County Independent, a normal raid is carried out with a large official presence often including helicopters etc.  These later raids have been quiet, dawn forays which may have led the suspects to believe that they were dealing with rip-offs not officers.  However, this last one did have a solid wall of officers.

The Mendocino community is split with some calling the raids “confrontational.”  The Emerald Triangle News blogger represents many of the growers’ points of view when he asks, “Why is the Mendocino Sheriff sending out clandestine teams of  armed men in the middle of the night, clad in full camouflage gear, armed with fully automatic assault rifles to eradicate simple marijuana gardens?  Who made the decision to perform these clandestine “Blackwater CIA” style raids on our local growers? How many 20 year old kids will be shot when caught by surprise by unannounced men wearing camouflage and military fatigues. Of course there is the question as to whether the man actually leveled or pointed the gun at deputies, but we all know these officers will stick together and get their story straight, ensuring no charges will be brought against the shooter or the leader of the black ops operation in which a civilian were killed.”

However, many in the Mendocino community are increasingly worried about cartels taking over parkland.  Some residents claim they have been shot at while traveling in the back areas.  One has offered to form citizen patrols saying, “”There seems to be a feeling of almost resignation here that, hey, in the summertime don’t go into the national forest because you might get shot…That’s unacceptable. It’s public land and it belongs to everyone. It’s time to tell them (drug cartels), no mas.'”

Others want the county to declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard. Just yesterday, the County decided not to declare a state of emergency.

Will this latest violence change their minds?

Other Sources:

Press Democrat

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15 comments

  • Sad, when in a few short months it will be legal.

  • The usual pattern is for raiders to come in with overwhelming force and plenty of advance notice, giving time for the gardeners to flee into the brush.
    In the Lake and Mendocino County incidents however, law enforcement chose to infiltrate on foot at dawn, perhaps desiring to capture and interrogate the growers.

  • The usual pattern is for raiders to come in with overwhelming force and plenty of advance notice, giving time for the gardeners to flee into the brush.
    In the Lake and Mendocino County incidents however, law enforcement chose to infiltrate on foot at dawn, perhaps desiring to capture and interrogate the growers.

  • It makes me sick to think of these young men dying and the officers involved dealing with these deaths for the rest of their lives over a plant that should be legal.

  • It makes me sick to think of these young men dying and the officers involved dealing with these deaths for the rest of their lives over a plant that should be legal.

  • I’m wondering if legalizing pot will stop the Mexican cartels from growing it here?

    I’ve mulled this over some, and I can think of at least one scenerio where they would keep growing pot (just not on public lands) after legalization. Private land, purchased through intermediates, could work – and selling the pot would be easier than ever before if it was legal. Sure the price goes down, but on a big enough scale…who knows?

    • I’m not convinced yet that we are dealing with cartels. The violence that has been happening is troubling me though. Whatever is the cause, young men with impulse control or officers too quick to shoot, drug cartels with a culture of violence, we need to figure it out and figure out how to work to solve it.

  • I’m wondering if legalizing pot will stop the Mexican cartels from growing it here?

    I’ve mulled this over some, and I can think of at least one scenerio where they would keep growing pot (just not on public lands) after legalization. Private land, purchased through intermediates, could work – and selling the pot would be easier than ever before if it was legal. Sure the price goes down, but on a big enough scale…who knows?

    • I’m not convinced yet that we are dealing with cartels. The violence that has been happening is troubling me though. Whatever is the cause, young men with impulse control or officers too quick to shoot, drug cartels with a culture of violence, we need to figure it out and figure out how to work to solve it.

  • Fiance here:

    From what my research has turned up most cartels are operating in southern and central California. I am sure there are some in Humboldt, but as the recent “Update” proves these are AMERICANS hiring illegals in an effort to “pass the buck.” Its a problem and a big one. I think some of you are delusional thing that Prop. 19 is going to make in difference in what’s happening up there, if anything I think it will get worse not better. You guys just think you’ve had a massive influx of new “growers” in the last few years. With this Prop you will be innundated with just these types of people, out looking for an easy dollar. You are already living in a war zone and without some major changes you will all need to be armed to the teeth just to survive. Good Luck……..

  • Fiance here:

    From what my research has turned up most cartels are operating in southern and central California. I am sure there are some in Humboldt, but as the recent “Update” proves these are AMERICANS hiring illegals in an effort to “pass the buck.” Its a problem and a big one. I think some of you are delusional thing that Prop. 19 is going to make in difference in what’s happening up there, if anything I think it will get worse not better. You guys just think you’ve had a massive influx of new “growers” in the last few years. With this Prop you will be innundated with just these types of people, out looking for an easy dollar. You are already living in a war zone and without some major changes you will all need to be armed to the teeth just to survive. Good Luck……..

  • I think some of you are delusional thing that Prop. 19 is going to make in difference in what’s happening up there, if anything I think it will get worse not better. You guys just think you’ve had a massive influx of new “growers” in the last few years. With this Prop you will be innundated with just these types of people, out looking for an easy dollar.

    What the hell are you talking about? California is merely the first domino to fall.

    Crazy armed growers are doing up 100,000 plant grows because weed is valuable in California. When weed is cheap here nobody will bother.

    People who illegally cross borders, illegally squat on foreign land, and are ready to illegally shoot and kill others do not give a fuck about pot laws. The only thing pot laws do is give the criminals a reason to commit crimes.

    The reason so many people have moved up here is to grow pot to sell illegally. Their entire market will be fucked when pot is legal in California. Portland and Seattle don’t need our shit, they have plenty of growers… not to mention Canada being around the corner.

    Mexico is debating legalizing weed more than they have already. Do we really think Mexican gangs are going to smuggle people across the border from one place where weed is legal into another place where weed is legal to illegally squat with mountain lions?

  • I think some of you are delusional thing that Prop. 19 is going to make in difference in what’s happening up there, if anything I think it will get worse not better. You guys just think you’ve had a massive influx of new “growers” in the last few years. With this Prop you will be innundated with just these types of people, out looking for an easy dollar.

    What the hell are you talking about? California is merely the first domino to fall.

    Crazy armed growers are doing up 100,000 plant grows because weed is valuable in California. When weed is cheap here nobody will bother.

    People who illegally cross borders, illegally squat on foreign land, and are ready to illegally shoot and kill others do not give a fuck about pot laws. The only thing pot laws do is give the criminals a reason to commit crimes.

    The reason so many people have moved up here is to grow pot to sell illegally. Their entire market will be fucked when pot is legal in California. Portland and Seattle don’t need our shit, they have plenty of growers… not to mention Canada being around the corner.

    Mexico is debating legalizing weed more than they have already. Do we really think Mexican gangs are going to smuggle people across the border from one place where weed is legal into another place where weed is legal to illegally squat with mountain lions?

  • Fiance here again:

    What I was saying is that Prop. 19 isn’t the be all end all. It does nothing to change federal law. It will just entice more illegal growers and no matter what Mexico legalizes they still have to get it across the border. They grow here because of Cali’s lax laws and so they don’t have to cross the international border with it. The price won’t drop that much with the enacting of Prop 19. They will keep coming.

  • Fiance here again:

    What I was saying is that Prop. 19 isn’t the be all end all. It does nothing to change federal law. It will just entice more illegal growers and no matter what Mexico legalizes they still have to get it across the border. They grow here because of Cali’s lax laws and so they don’t have to cross the international border with it. The price won’t drop that much with the enacting of Prop 19. They will keep coming.

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