Alleged McKinleyville Marijuana Grower Could Lose Home to DEA

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is looking for a few good homes in the Emerald Triangle. They’ve filed court papers in an attempt¬†to seize two residences¬†raided on January 7.¬†At the time of the raid,¬†a spokesperson for the agency, Jodie Underwood, stated that this was “a multi-state enforcement operation in Oregon and California.‚ÄĚ But¬†the DEA refused¬†to answer any additional questions on this case then or¬†even now almost two months later because they say it is an ongoing investigation.

However, the court papers give us some indication of what the DEA believes occurred. According to the documents, the raid in January confiscated 346 marijuana plants, around 55 pounds of dried buds, a Toyota truck and a pistol at the McKinleyville home. Another 365 plants were allegedly taken from the Trinity County residence.

In 2014, the papers show, the DEA became interested in a series of deposits over a year and a half made to the accounts of five individuals. They allege that the deposits (over $2,000,000) were made in New York and Georgia as payment for marijuana grown here in Humboldt and Trinity Counties as well as in southern Oregon and then transported back east. The money was then allegedly withdrawn from the accounts and given to the owner of the McKinleyville home.

The agency has now filed papers alleging that two of these residences were the site of marijuana grows and purchased with money from the sale of marijuana. The agency hopes to seize the homes under asset forfeiture rules. The homes in total could be worth about a half million dollars. One home owned and occupied by a McKinleyville resident last sold for $330,000.

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The McKinleyville home that the DEA is attempting to seize.

The other¬†home in this case that the DEA wants to seize is¬†in Salyer,¬†owned but not occupied by an Oregon resident. It¬†was sold in August of last year for $190,000. If the DEA is successful in seizing the homes, they will most likely be sold. The US Marshal’s Service states, “[P]roceeds from sales are often shared with the state and local enforcement agencies that participated in the investigation which led to the seizure of the assets. This important program enhances law enforcement cooperation between state/local agencies and federal agencies.” The monies gained from sales can also go to victim restitution programs.

The documents not only show what the federal government believes happened in this specific case but also gives a glimpse into some of the ways cannabis becomes money in the Emerald Triangle. (See image below)

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Image from the court document filed by the DEA in an attempt to seize a home in Humboldt County and another in Trinity County.

It is important to note that though the government is attempting to seize the property and alleges illegal activity, no arrests have been made and no guilt has been found by a jury.

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