Two Arrested After Investigation Into Start of the Democrat Fire
Press release provided by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office: Please remember all individuals are considered innocent unless they are proven guilty.
On August 25, 2015 at approximately 2:00pm the Democrat Fire off of West Democrat Road in Weaverville started and burned over a hundred (100) acres of private land. Fire units that initially responded to the scene located a female deer which had been shot near the origin of the fire. Also near the origin of the fire was a large marijuana grow site and items showing butane honey oil had been processed in the area. Investigators from the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, Cal Fire and California Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene.
In early June of 2015, the Trinity County Narcotics Task Force had conducted a search warrant on this particular property near where the fire originated and had eradicated over 2,000 marijuana plants. No suspects were located at the time of that search warrant in June of 2015.
Trinity County Narcotics Task Force went to the property off of West Democrat Road on August 26, 2015 and located the marijuana plants that were again growing in large quantities and found again it was a trespass grow. The land owners who are from out of the area, had previously been contacted and did not know of the marijuana cultivation on their property.
Trinity County Sheriff’s Deputies eradicated over 700 marijuana plants on the property near the origin of the fire. Deputies also located 50 pounds of processed marijuana and numerous cans of butane. Deputies contacted and arrested Cidnee Dunkelberger when she drove onto the property off of West Democrat Road and was found with processed marijuana and a butane honey oil lab in her vehicle.
Further investigation lead to the contact and arrest of Cidnee Dunkelberger’s boyfriend, Kevin Perrine at a Weaverville Hotel. Perrine admitted to Investigators to shooting the deer and running away when he later saw the fire. Both Dunkelberger and Perrine are previously convicted felons.
Dunkelberger and Perrine were arrested and booked into the Trinity County Jail. Dunkelberger is still currently in custody on $500,000.00 bail. Perrine is still currently in custody on $75,000.00 bail.
The exact cause of the fire is unknown and is still under investigation.