SoHum Woman Pleads Guilty to Excavating Federal Lands to Build Eleven Greenhouses

Press release from the Department of Justice about BLM bust:

US Department of JusticeMelinda Van Horne pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, to depredation against the property of the United States, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian Stretch and Nathan Mendes, Bureau of Land Management Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge.

In pleading guilty, Van Horne admitted to causing over $100,000 in environmental damage to federal lands in the King Range National Conservation Area through her marijuana cultivation operation.

As described in the factual basis for the plea agreement, in October 2007, Van Horne purchased a house next to Paradise Ridge in Humboldt County, California. Paradise Ridge is part of a congressionally designated National Conservation Area administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Commercial activity and development are prohibited on the land, which is to be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. In 2008, Van Horne proposed to trade portions of her private property for the federal conservation land, but the Bureau of Land Management rejected the trade based on the national conservation status of the land. Van Horne nonetheless decided to proceed with her marijuana cultivation operation. Van Horne admitted that, with her consent and knowledge, and later at her direction, vegetation was stripped from portions of the federally managed conservation area, land was excavated and graded, and eleven greenhouses and other structures were constructed on federal lands. The work was done in order to grow marijuana plants for sale.

Van Horne also used facilities that diverted water from the nearby Bridge Creek to water the marijuana plants. Van Horne further admitted that, in September 2013, when law enforcement executed a search on the property, agents found 1,654 marijuana plants that she had been growing on federal land and in the adjoining garage in the house. Van Horne admitted that she was continuing to use the land although it had been foreclosed upon by the bank.

Agents also executed a search warrant at Van Horne’s residence, where she had moved after the foreclosure, and found over 17 kilograms of marijuana at that location.

Van Horne further admitted that the bulldozing and excavation of federal land she orchestrated caused that land to become unstable and to erode into two rivers that provide crucial spawning and rearing habitats for threatened and federally protected salmon and steelhead. Bureau of Land Management engineers estimate the cost to repair the damage at $107,754.01, which Van Horne has agreed to pay as restitution in connection with her guilty plea.

Van Horne, 43, of Whitethorn, Calif., was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on November 17, 2015. She was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 846; possession with intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(vii); possession with intent to distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C); maintaining a place for manufacturing marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 856(a); and depredation against property of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1361.

Under the plea agreement, Van Horne pleaded guilty to the depredation against property of the United States. Van Horne is currently released on bond. Bail was set at $130,000. Van Horne’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 29, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., before The Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Court Judge, in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for depredation against property of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1361 is ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss generated from the operation, plus restitution if appropriate.

However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. Section 3553. Rita F. Lin is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Theresa Benitez, Rawaty Yim, and Marina Ponomarchuk. The prosecution is the result of a two year investigation by the Bureau of Land Management and Drug Enforcement Administration.

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108 comments

  • Pure greed she deserves all that’s coming to her throw the book at her now they need to do something about that big bust-up on island mountain with a CCv or whatever they call themselves. Buy the heartwood foundation hippie commune. ,but they probably paid off downy .

    • Heartwood Institute is an Non-profit educational facility deeply committed to the care of the land and education of the people. They have highly qualified educators living on campus, practicing what they teach. Programs exist and are being developed in Permaculture, Culinary, and Art. See HeartwoodInstitute.org for the amazing programs offered in 2016 – Whole Farm Planning; Regenerative Water Harvesting and Land Restoration Design; Documentary Film Making; Permaculture Design Certification Course (PDC) and 7 & 8 month Apprenticeship Programs in Permaculture and Culinary Arts. Absolutely none of it has to do with marijuana. Really should know of which you spout before pretending to inform others. Also, Island Mountain Road is not nationally conserved land, but Private Property.

    • Ccvh you mean? Had nothing to do with any big grows or busts. Ccvh board member speaking here and I can garauntee that was a bad rumor. Let’s not forget how hard we worked to get the environmental protection put into place at grows, were able to affect state leg, and moved the supervisors to create an ordinance in time for permits for this years season. Tired of the scapegoating. Let the truth be told!

      • Didn’t that guy who was gonna run for harbor commissioner have ties to CCVH? I think that’s the one being referre to the one giving speeches on courthouse steps…

  • I was wondering if you would have this story.

  • Greedy that’s all she is!

  • another sensemillionaire wannabe

  • concerned neighbor

    As it was not ok….and she should have to pay for her crime, i believe a $fines and community service forever….ive been watching some of the local court cases lately….we watched a cheer coach who had a relationship with a 13 year old boy walk away with probabtion and a violent man who attacked his friends get 6 years, or how about the guy who shot his wife in the back of the head because she had a few drinks supposedly, 13 years…..the system is wack and i hope she gets no time behind bars because there needs to be room for dangerous criminals. As long as this woman doesnt have a bull dozer she cant hurt the land again. Make her ass clean it up, she did so well at making it a mess.

  • Hey look, all the prosecutors are women, wondering if thats a conflict of interest? Watch her slide with no jail time, at the least. We have a double standard regarding prosecution and sentencing is this country, equality should mean women do the same time as men for their crimes. If she had been a predatory sex offender, we would never even be seeing this article…

    • She will get the time and fines. The Feds don’t screw around once you’re in their sights. And no sympathy here, a flagrant violation of common sense , respect and decency. Like so many others out there disrupting neighborhoods and violating nature. I’m disgusted.

      • I’m disgusted as well. What can we, as neighbors and/or community members, do about these crimes against nature and common decency when local law enforcement doesn’t act in even the most egregious cases?
        Bob Marley: “You think you’re in heaven but you’re living in hell.”
        Used to be paradise around here until greed took over…

    • Not all women, one male read more carfully

  • Meanwhile, peaceful protestors who cleaned out rats nests & mold, and put out fires on so called “public” land, are thrown into prison & charged with million dollar fines.
    Makes sense. Good thing she didn’t try to spread the virus aka constitution, or she’d never see the light of day.
    Oh, & before someone parrots the media & political propaganda, be warned there are videos & documents proving the opposite.

  • I was using Island mountain as a reference to where the bust .was it just so happens to be the communes next to it. I just find it screwed for us our Judicial System doesn’t bring charges on the most gigantic bust that I have ever heard of water bag s the size tennis court water division seems to me the government should be taking a look at those people CCv and there grow operation . That was in the area of island mountain. That was near the hart wood commune .

    • get it together

      The water storage found there is exactly what they are asking people to do for permitted gardens. Water captured and stored during rainy season rather than stream diversions and late summer pumping.
      The bust was done to show that if you attempt to follow their rules you will still get busted if they choose to. Even the fish and wildlife guy doing permit process said it was b.s and bound to deter folks from signing up for permits. He got it. Plus where’s your angst at cops spreading trash and taking poops in the coolers of the residents there.

      This case is important yet why aren’t the same things happening to the cartel grows on public lands???? Never hear about their jail time even when it includes human traffiking. Those grows make this look like a small garden, multiple grows of 100,000’s of plants with miles of drip line and huge poison piles with hundreds of dead animals around.
      Oh yeah the cartels are scary.
      We need some non wimp cops to take down the real problems which are these enormous scary grows on public lands as well as the method labs on public lands which pollute and toxify thousands of gallons of water each day.

      • I know her and her family very well, and they had put rain catchers on her tanks as soon as they purchased the land and had a catchment pool, and never once took a drop of water from the creek. By the way she didnt put them in the previous owners did,on BLM! and sold her it that way, don’t always believe what you read! And one more thing she had been paying insurance on the pool, from day one fully believing that it was her property! I highly doubt she would have done anything if she thought it was not her land. Shame on the folks who sold her a can of BLM worms! Yuck!Sorry she couldn’t afford a survey cuz they made her pay an arm and a leg for property that apparently wasn’t even hers in the first place! Now she’s the bad guy?

  • It’s really annoying to get busted by the Feds in Humboldt then you have to drive five hours each way to go to court in San Francisco. We have a Federal Magistrate here in Humboldt. Can’t he hear these cases or do the U.S. Attorneys in SF not want to make the same drive?

  • Yes, they exist amongst us yet most people here prefer to wear blinders, live in denial and believe that all weed is good weed and all growers are awesome and kind. If they can’t see evil and greed then it is even harder for them to see when they themselves start heading into that realm…our community honor has been terribly compromised over the years. But then- people think I’m a jerk for even saying such stuff!

  • Hey man! It was medical- for sick people! And it was only 11 greenhouses. Damn oppressive cops are brutally repressing medicine! And freedom!!!

  • Only individuals know who they really are the rest is left up to others assumptions and that makes an ASS out of U and ME

  • People really get worked up over some trees and dirt, she got a lighter sentence because it wasn’t that bad, considering the max is 10 years and a huge fine

  • HippityHoopenstinkle

    We’re all aware of Mindy Van Hoops

  • If you knew her you wouldn’t post such ignorant hate, she’s a good woman that good mixed up on the wrong side of the BLM and now she’s paying the unfortunate consequences. She’s no greed monger, I have a lot of admiration for her courage and her commitment to her family and community.
    I pray and hope for no prison, .that would help nothing. She’s paid enough with the fines and the stress, and the loss of land and income. We west side locals love you Mindy!

    • Speak for yourself!!!I am also a west side local.I dont care how nice anyone is,it is NOT nice to be a bad steward of the land,PERIOD!

    • She tore up Wilderness to build 11 greenhouses full of weed to sell. Im sorry, but that’s greed, and any reasonable local would agree.

      • no one's innocent

        What do you consider big biz then? Developers? Or the military?
        They destroy thousands of acres for their own gain everyday, ie McDonald’s and rainforest destruction, huge home building destroying what little non-toxic ag land is left, hell whoever built what you live in destroyed land and animals to get your house built so I guess we’re all greedy bastards. No one is innocent and hypocrisy is the disease of America. I’ve seen grows way bigger than this, she only got busted cuz she crossed onto public lands.

        • Got busted only cause she was on Public Land. Key being here it is public land for the enjoyment of everyone. If she is local she knew better. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Eleven greenhouses not greedy? Seriously.

        • Your logic goes something like this: Hitler was bàd an did bad things so we are all bad so she should go free. Else we are all hypocrites.

      • Why don’t you google earth it,11 greenhouses, wrong! Again a lie by the FEDS, really now how can you believe what your reading, she had one on the property line with 10 plants and a medical card to boot! I saw first hand! And a few more greenies by the house well on her land, can all be seen from air. Be leary of this new registration business, lies,control,money! I agree the plant numbers were high, but do you really believe the FEDS can count?

        • She pled to the charges. Why would she plead to a lie? She did it, she took responsibility for it. Don’t make excuses for her. The one admirable thing she has done, is take responsibility for her actions.

          • People plead to lies every day. The lawyers play on that. If a lawyer can get you to accept a plea bargain, it will keep the lawyer out of the hassle of a jury trial, & available for more cases.

        • Yep!!!! Thank you Truth Teller, for backing up what I said! One GH on BLM property line by complete accident! The Feds have twisted the truth! Surprise surprise! Nothing new here! So naive folks!

    • So illegal grading and water diversions for 11 greenhouses and more than 1,000 plants annually doesn’t count as “greed mongering?” You must be on her gravy-train come harvest time.

      • Have you seen a cartel grow in the natl forest? Or many on private lands? Unfortunately no this is not a big grow. At least she had only one property, the areas east of Arcata are full of huge grows with certain folks owning 10 or so parcels who put at least 10 greenhouses on each parcel. If you think this is greed you’re barely skimming the surface.
        The Bulgarian grows are horrendous! !!!!

        • You said the “B” word. Don’t here much talk about them, but they are taking over this county, buying land all over. Seems like every time I go to the mountain store the guy in front of me is wearing a track suite, and speaking eastern European.

    • Sorry, but good people don’t go using land that doesn’t belong to them without permission, especially after they have specifically been turned down by the owner. She is no better than a Mexican cartel grower. She got greedy and got busted. The size of her grow relative to others is immaterial. She shouldn’t have had any greenhouses on Federal land. What was she thinking?

  • Oh no 14 green houses thats not greedy a bit . Being very sarcastic .

  • the federal goverment does not own that land the people do and the feds are the management of that land.look at the constitution.feds owning land is a direct violation of the Constitution.

    • What does that mean? That since the people own it, any person can go on there at any time and build, dig, alter the land in any way they want? Um, there are 319 million people in this country… we can’t all do that; why should she?

  • She’s a good hearted woman that would give you the shirt off her back… Love you mindy.

  • This isn’t a crime to be locked away for a decade. It’s a crime where she should be paying paying paying and that’s it. She’s a productive member of society w potential to pay pay pay pay.
    Best of luck Mindy.

    • I’m with you. If it’s all about money , then fine her lots of the same money.

      • As you can tell from this article and all the comments, people have made up their minds. It is so easy to draw conclusions about people when its coming from one side. The Federal Gov’s job is to send out a press release to make things sound as bad as they can be. Yes, Mindy made a mistake. a big one. but to write about what really happened would be a long story, to long for the comment section. All I can say is that it doesn’t show who she is as a person. Mindy has been my mom’s good friend for years. Shes worked her butt off trying to make a living for her and her daughter, and greed is not in her blood. You can ask every single person in our community (Whale Gulch, Whitethorn) and they will tell you about the times that she has helped them.

        • Yes, all the good people bulldoze Federal land to put up illegal grows. Errbody knows that.

          • @thedude Really! she NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER!! would have done that if she knew it was on federal land, she was paying insurance on the freaking pool that was right next to the one and only greenies that was on fed land. They have taken this press release out of context and made it look as horrible as possible. That’s what they do “Errbody” knows that! Why don’t you look up the sale and comps and apraisal for the year she bought the property(all public record),and Google Earth it and you can see for yourself that if the pool was included on the property when bought, along with watertanks and outbuildings so would the greenhouses they claim to be on fed land, and by no means we’re there 11, and I personally know she had only 10plants in the one that unknowingly WAS built on blm, and there are fed photos to prove it. I hope you do not have a glass house or have ever made a mistake,but if you have and are human, like most of us, that you would plead guilty and take full responsibility for your mistakes as well as paying restitution for all repairs, and be brave enough to face 10 years in prison all while not narking on who actually put, grew and brought this story to the news. Mindy is taking all of it on her back,no one else! Now that’s an example of true strength, she knows it was a huge mistake takes full responsibility for it all! What more can you ask for? Let it go dude!

  • Damn. It’s SO hard to root for the Feds, but in this case, so hard not to. af

  • Look in the mirror before you point fingers. She is a kind, good person, mother, neighbor and friend.

    • Should Have Known

      Who lacks common sense or isn’t that smart. Too bad she didn’t have any friends to tell her she should not be dozing, building and growing on Federal land. Not rocket science.

      • She’s a smart women, maybe too trusting, but kind,fair and hard working,worked at our schools for over18years, saved every penny to by her over inflated dream home, from people she thought she could trust, they showed her the property stakes, blah,blah, and her biggest mistake was to trust them, and not get her own survey. She also hired the best bulldozer driver in the county and artfully and with fire safty and love for her dream home in mind was creating a masterpiece, not a mess. It’s not rocket science yes, but sometimes trusting a so called “friend” comes from the heart not head, she has lost it all anyway and takes full responsibility for what she has done and what others have done, let her pay the restitution and get off her back!

        • Should Have Known

          Thank you for the insight. I wasn’t trying to be on “her back”. Reading “11 greenhouses” and all the other shit they said was on BLM land and then everybody defending her had me scratching my head. Sorry this happened to her. I hope she can get back track.

  • She should repair the damage she caused. Some folks have no shame and ruin it for everybody.

  • I have know Mindy since she was 2 years old. She is one of the finest humans you could ever hope to meet. We, Southern Humboldt, have a lot to answer for, when it comes to the break between the way we live our lives, and the way we conduct our business. It is a very long, and complicated story, how the community raised it’s children in the midst of a drug war, and the fall out from being raised with fear, and secrets that could ruin your family. Now that things are “quazi” legal it is a different playing field, but the disorders of our past are evident in our community. I am not excusing Mindy, and I doubt she is excusing herself, but the story is so much larger then one woman.

  • I have NEVER commented on anything in this blog / news site, frankly I find most of the discussions to be filled with ignorant rants from people who obviously are hiding behind an anonymous veil that allows them to spew hate, anger, and most importantly hurtful remarks that are in no way necessary nor have any purpose whatsoever. However, I am compelled today, to stand up for Mindy. She is one of the kindest, most gentle, dearest, GENEROUS, people in SoHum. I have known her and her family for nearly 40 years. She MAY have made a mistake but she in no way deserves this borage of hurtful and ignorant comments! I find it so disturbing that so many people are so quick to judge and slander others. The credibility of this blog is being compromised by the constant ignorance and hate allowed in these unedited comments. I am a believer of freedom of speech but I cannot support this public slander allowed over and over, day after day. I ask you, Kym Kemp, what is the purpose of these slanderous hurtful remarks? I ask all of you to think more critically of law enforcement. Historically they twist truths and are full of hypocrisy. Hang in there Mindy, know that you have a HUGE amount of love and support backing you and people that know the real truth. Know that all of these hurtful comments mean nothing, shrug them off and discard them for you deserve only support from the community that you have served selflessly for your entire life. We love you!

    • Life Resident, I’m sorry you think my credibility is undermined by the comments of people with a variety of opinions. But I feel the harm of denying people the right to speak is outweighed by the harm of people speaking what they feel. I think it should be pointed out that people think and say these things anyway (though rarely in the face of the person they are talking about.) My erasing the comments doesn’t make the sentiment go away.

      Though I personally think that if you aren’t willing to put your name on negative comments about someone then you probably shouldn’t post the comment unless you fear some serious consequences for doing so, I also think that a variety of opinions helps us all make better decisions. If people don’t hear that many in their community disapprove of their actions, then they might not make changes.

      • A sentiment is one thing, in writing on the Internet is another. Calling a person evil among many other nasty comments written above and below is slanderous and has no purpose other than to hurt, spread hate and gossip. This press release has so few facts and is largely fabricated to make the Federal Governments case. I appreciate your work Kym, thank you for that. But I’m very disappointed and saddened to see this unfolding in this way…. I do understand you have guidelines.

        • I have to point out the Ms. Van Horne pled guilty. She said she did these things. Now, people have been known to plead guilty to things they didn’t do but once they’ve pled guilty, it generally makes me believe they’ve done those things.

          I also want to say very gently that you are also anonymous. You are offering up opinions about Ms. Van Horne without giving even the backing of your name. I understand the need to be anonymous but you can’t expect people to give you more belief than any other anonymous commenter.

          When you know someone–or even love someone–that is convicted of doing something illegal, it is hard to bear the way we as a society shame the person convicted. Maybe the place to begin is to look at the way we treat those who do wrong. Maybe we need to figure out a better way.

          • Maybe, just maybe she plead guilty because yes she dozed the corner of her land and BLM, but if you actually knew about the case (I was in the courtroom)you would see that she believed it was her land, because she is an upstanding person she is taking full responsibility for it, and pleading guilty. I’m not sure if you have ever had to deal with a plea but they are written by the prosecution, and you must agree to each and every statement, while some are true, some are not. There is no wiggle room in federal court, and they don’t change things if they don’t want to. They offered a plea because there evidence of the grow was sub par. They wanted the money for the obvious mistake on BLM. Sometimes it’s just too much for the defendant to bare going to trial with a federal manditory minimum of 10 to 25 years and the risk too great, with courts and juiors that are out of humboldt county and no tolerance for medical marajauna. Maybe she plead guilty because she unknowingly graded public land, and does feel badly about it, she is agreeing to pay and fix it, but to be locked up for 10 to 25, I just might plead guilty while being innocent. Cant risk that many years. For an honest to Heavens mistake!

      • I post anonymous because there are professional thieves. The cops have been proven dirty. (The DA was his best friend). The DA protected him . They can shoot you and say anything, you are dead. In addition I am a nobody (life’s aim) . We can give credit to the ones with names . If you help people wile using you name then that is your reward, if you do it anonymous they wont feel obligated and maybe hold out hope

    • Should Have Known

      Ok, so she is a good person who was growing cannabis. Nothing wrong with that. Where was her intelligence, or friends to help her stay out of trouble. I don’t care the size of operation or how much money she has made. I’m not one yelling “greed”. I hope she has millions in cash, i really do. But who thinks it’s ok, wise, or a good choice to have a grow scene on Fed land?? This is bigger than a “mistake”. Really, you call this a “mistake”? Now, if she thought she was on private property, that would be a mistake. 11 hoops on Fed land is no mistake. Sucks she got busted, but what did she think was going to happen. I’m not throwing “hate” or “anger” out there, but she should have known better.

      I know cops “Historically they twist truths”. I’m game, was she knowingly growing on Fed land? A simple yes or no

      • She had no idea it was not her land! She was paying taxes and insurance on structures/buildings/watertanks and only found out it was federal land when it got busted,(she actually still has never seen a survey) she’s not stupid, this is a mistake of epic proportions, and I’m sure by losing her land, money, car, facing hundreds of thousands in fees to lawyers and BLM, and facing 10 years in federal prison has taught her and hopefully all of us to protect ourselves, know our property lines, get our surveys, she’s human a good old country girl how many of you out there have bought property and not known your property lines, or even ever had it surveyed. Think about it. Can you give the girl a break, she’s paying to have someone else’s mistake fixed! Maybe even from prison! I seriously doubt she has done anything but better that land anyway, remember when Matt the Knife owned it, seriously now, give her a break!

    • Ernie Branscomb

      Dear lifelong resident
      I am a fifth generation resident, and as you might have noticed, I sign my real name to everything that I post. I don’t say many things that I sometimes feel like saying to try to be conciderate of other peoples feelings. I’m sure that Mindy is a wonderful person, however I love this corner of the world. I have seen many destructive forces damage it, both natural (fire, flood, and earthquake) and manmade, (overpopulation, logging, and recently rogue marijuana cultivation). logging has mostly been stopped except for some minor second growth logging, mostly to built marijuana garden fences.

      Loggers now work in some pretty well-defined and strict rules. They don’t go into national parks and log just because there are trees there. And as nice a person as Mindy may be she is seriously stepping on toes that don’t deserve it.

      If Mindy has been here her whole life, and you have also, it is time to be more conciderate of our environment.

      Oh, and Kym is doing a great job of reporting the news. Don’t kill the messenger just because your friend screwed up.

      Some advice:
      Use your real name when you give others advice.
      Start accepting some responsibity for your actions
      Stop trying to kill the messinger because you don’t like the message.

      • She is probably one of the cleanest, safest folks I know, the article is not saying she spilled gas, or fuel, or used chemicals, it’s saying that a road and it’s dust could potentially be dangerous to the fish population. What they fail to write in the report is that BLM actually gave the dozer operator a map of old skid and logging roads, and those are what were cleared,they were originally cut way back in the 30’s, so its hard for me to blame Mindy for killing the fish population today, frankly we have all contributed in some way or another in our life time. She being old school and original from here probably even more so loves this land and community having lived here 41years, working at every job imaginable,and a family and child here has added more beauty and love to this place than most.

    • Haha… Ramblings from another anonymous poster. Your also slanderous remarks hold ZERO value. Nice try though.

    • Thank you @ life resident, you are right on, and I could not agree with you more, thank you for your voice and compassion and view of this situation, I know my friend Mindy appreciates you speaking YOUR truth, THE truth in such a kind and positive manner, I also have known her family for years and several generations of them and know they are ALL great stewards of this land and founding folks in our community, it’s sad, heartbreaking and a shame to witness this, something that could have happened to anyone of us. I also have felt compelled to coment,on Mindy’s behalf she cannot and probably would not stand up for herself, but I know she is struggling with her decisions, and in every way possible wants to make it right, even if she were to have to go to prison for 10years! I know she would. And those of you who know her at all know, what she has already lost and what she would be leaving, I cannot imagine what stress and pain and strength she must be gathering just to get our of bed each day,and face those unfortunately bad decisions she made. She is one of the strongest lady’s i know!

  • If Garberville had a mayor I’d vote for kym kemp . My name is Mark Olsen ,and I am not in fear of any of my comment’s, or of any one .the only reason I use and alias is because I use my wife e mail I don’t have one . And if I could figure out how to put up my pic icon I would ,so everybody would know who they are dealing with.

    • This is the link to avatars. http://en.gravatar.com/emails
      I hate saying this I had a 69 gtx gas guzzler 440.stupid automatic that lit the tires any gear any time. In fact I had to get rid of it because risk of getting tickets. I mean you really could not keep from doing it. I sold it for 900 bucs, now I see the car is worth over 30 grand, never would have guessed that. Mark do you remember the Roadrunner that came into Paoli Brothers in 69? Orange and yellow maybe black, Six pack out of the hood? I think there was a Super Bee in the same show room? if my memory serves me right. Those were some cool cars. (If you like muscle cars)

  • I read whole story…This person deserves to go down hard. I hope she gets hit with the maximum penalty for all charges. Also read a few other peoples comments defending this person, and that’s fine I honestly don’t know her at all and even if she is a great person, there is ZERO excuse for why she destroyed land that wasn’t even hers in order to build 11 greenhouses. Say all the nice things you want about her, but I don’t see how you couldn’t admit to her being greedy.

    • The fact is only one of the greenhouses and a small portion of the plants found was on BLM land. The “destroyed land” was a small road and small clearing done properly by a local heavy equipment operator that is known for his work. The problem is even though it seemed to be within her curtilage as it was right next to the home, it was not, BLM is not to be messed with when it comes to these types of circumstances. Again, quick to judge and zero critical thinking about this press release. One very short and largely fabricated side of the story on here. I’m sure her plea is a bargain…. Really?!? You hope she spends 10 years behind bars for this mistake? Shame on you. You know not of what you speak or whom you speak of? And no, trying to save her land that she had lost her shirt on in the overpriced real estate market is far from greedy! Your assumptions are hurtful.

      • If only one of the greenhouses was found on federal land, then this press release is in error. It says, “eleven greenhouses and other structures were constructed on federal lands.” Ms. Van Horne should get her attorney to help her get it corrected.

      • Hear hear. You speak the truth

      • Too bad there aren’t google earth pictures of before and after, for proof. How can the BLM charge fines without proof of before & after?
        Take this video, for example, which shows proof of innocence or guilt. A shootout means that both sides were shooting it out. Slow-mode video of a shootout. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=uH4PInHFfOc

      • @Life resident – I might be misunderstanding what you mean but it sounds like what you said was she basically did this because she couldn’t afford the land she bought hence “lost her shirt over in the overpriced real estate market” well if that’s the case, it’s called don’t bite off more then you can chew, if she couldn’t grow enough on the land that was actually hers to afford it then that’s her fault. Bottom line is, I’m sure she knew exactly where the property line was and even if your right and it was only 1 green house that wasn’t on her land, it still makes me feel zero pity for this person. She knew that what she was doing was wrong, time to pay the piper.

    • Geesh, it wasn’t 11 greenhouses google earth it! Feds find funny ways to count, add,subtract, and contradict many things.they need numbers to be crazy and high to even make it a federal case, so they make that happen. Google Earth can go back several years if you have the good app. I can clearly see 4 greenhouses and 2 small buildings but unsure if those are green houses. People I know her personally and she is a stand up human, who will and does take responsibility for her mistakes.

  • “Set aside for future generations”.
    Our generation is still American. The future ones not so much.
    Google “the globalization of California”

  • feds lie ask Judi Bari

    If the heavy equipment work was done in the wrong way it would have failed, which it didnt. I have seen so many worse situations where folks drive thru waterways and put roads in that fail. The feds love to exaggerate, pray you never have to deal with them. Mindy must not have had other land or really nice things for them to seize and sell for them to go after her. Have seen atrocious environmental situations at grows that are entirely on public lands with no charges files, as well as horrible grows on private land where the owner forfeited their parcel to feds in exchange for no charges.

    If they applied the same rules to everyone it would be easier to accept, but they dont. Are there pics available of the roadwork she’s accused of doing? I think many commenting here would eat their words if they saw how minor this damage was. Hell the forest service punches roads thru fragile ecosystems constantly, they live the forest fires cuz that’s when they get to put such roads in under the guise of “fire roads”. The logging in natl forests is off the hook and waaaaaaaaaay more detrimental than any private grow. Look it up, really.

  • Thank you Ernie branscomb and like you my great grand mother was Mabel beer bower, Marshall ,so you see how far back my family goes ,and you took the words right out if my mouth .

  • CCVH Did Get Busted Growing On Island Mountain

    First of all CCVH did get busted on Island Mountain. The information was revealed in the newspaper. 2 board members got caught w/ 1500+ plants. 2nd of all the lady in the article that got busted growing on Federal Lands deserves what is coming to her. She did get greedy growing 11 greenhouses on one property. She did get busted w/ over 1600 plants. 11 greenhouses and 1600 plants is a COMMERCIAL GROW. She knew what she was doing when bulldozed sacred spawning habitat. She was obviously in the hole & needed the money. The article says the property was in foreclosure, so obviously she had money problems. She was doing what so many of the people do in Humboldt when they are in a tough financial situation, she was trying to grow her way out of it. I have no sympathy for someone who was warned not to grow on federal land, but went ahead and did it anyways. She was caught up w/ the greed associated w/ the weed race. There are soooo many weed millionaires now & soooo many big grows that everyone has become delusional. 100 or 200 pound harvest is small now. 20 years ago that would have been a fat harvest, but not anymore. People are now bragging about their 600, 800, 1000 lbs+ harvests. They are more common now than you would think. In order to keep up w/ the Jones’s people are growing huge harvests. Looks like the person in this article got caught up in the rat/weed race. The problem w/ getting busted by the Feds is mandatory minimums. She is looking at some very long prison time. She got busted federally w/ 1600 plants. You should read the mandatory sentencing for getting caught w/ that many plants. As far as people defending her goes I think it makes more sense for her to take full responsibility for her actions & admit what she did was wrong. Anyone defending 11 green houses on federal land after being warned not to is delusional.

    • After legalization, a lot of this behavior will fade into history as most weed will be grown in large factories elsewhere… in places like Fresno and Merced. Better brush up on your macrame and redwood burl skills.

  • Thank you now I finally have someone know something about island mountain it just dropped off the radar ? It’s like what’s really going on .I wish I knew ,but is interesting to read people views on this matter .

  • I certainly don’t know any of the facts of this case, but I don’t trust BLM, so I hope she had some type of legal counsel. I’m not picking on the BLM, it’s just that I don’t fully trust any government agency.

    • It’s cool with me if you pick on BLM. The folks in the Arcata office are good but are the exception to the rule. BLM lies all the time and then forces it down your throat. I didn’t want to side w/ the kooks out there in the Oregon standoff but then I did not trust a word BLM said about it. They misrepresent. So I don’t fully trust this press release either. My distrust w/ the BLM is from experience in real life, not because I choose it.

    • She had no idea it was not her land! She was paying taxes and insurance on structures/buildings/watertanks and only found out it was federal land when it got busted,(she actually still has never seen a survey) she’s not stupid, this is a mistake of epic proportions, and I’m sure by losing her land, money, car, facing hundreds of thousands in fees to lawyers and BLM, and facing 10 years in federal prison has taught her and hopefully all of us to protect ourselves, know our property lines, get our surveys, she’s human a good old country girl how many of you out there have bought property and not known your property lines, or even ever had it surveyed. Think about it. Can you give the girl a break, she’s paying to have someone else’s mistake fixed! Maybe even from prison! I seriously doubt she has done anything but better that land anyway, remember when Matt the Knife owned it, seriously now, give her a break!

      • You say it was just a mistake, that she thought she was on her own property. This article says that in 2008 she attempted to trade a part of her land for a part of the BLM land. They declined her offer and she proceeded to build greenhouses on that part of the property anyway. Are you, and anyone else defending her actions, saying that that information is false? I’m just curious about that because it seems like an important part of the story that none of you have mentioned.

        • Her property butted up to BLM on the ridge top to the south, and then crossed the s. c.county road on the other side to the west, the previous owners had put watertanks, pool and structures on the ridge top side of her property on BLM, THEY THE (previous owners) had aporoched BLM about the property swap, and informed her that BLM was interested in this swap when they sold her the property! She knew her property was butted up to BLM,but not that her watertanks and pool were built on BLM! She believed her land extended another 200 feet in all directions from her watertanks, pool etc. She was told that BLM was interested in the land swap for the purpose of putting in another down hill mountain bike trail that would not have to cross the county road or go thru her property. What she would get from the land swap was more ridgetop beyond her house,watertanks and pool, that in hindsight hadn’t been hers in the first place. So after purchasing the property she had gotten a yes from BLMs head office, but they needed to so some “frog”, and environmental impact studies(that would take years, I might add) on the land before the trade could begin, and unfortunately just days after that meeting, Mindy had some very unfortunate life and death situations and scares. So both parties BLM and Mindy decided to table the whole swap business until she and her family were out of harms way. I have seen the paperwork provided by the local office, and am disgusted, and disappointed that they would claim that they refused the land trade, when they knew full well they wanted to and had begun the process in the Arcata main office and the local whitethorn office as well.
          So to make the point VERY clear she knew she bordered BLM, but was lied to about how close the border was, she believed she had around 200 more feet in all directions, she was shown the property line stakes before purchasing, she had it apraised,and was paying insurance and taxes on what she believed was HER property, all she wanted to do was eventually trade for more ridgetop, and not have her property border so closely to BLM. Never once did she believe she was over her lines, before or after purchase! She just didn’t want her property to cross the county road, and to be a good neighbor to BLM and let them get the lower piece of her land that they desired. Trust me I know this story and case very well, and with some digging there is much evidence to prove these statements. It just makes Mindy look like she was stupid and blaintly doing what she wanted which was not the case at all. I guess the stupidly was in not getting it surveyed, and like I’ve said before most of us have made big bad missteps in that area, we and she are human!

          • It sounds to me like you do actually know some facts. Reading that part of this story led me to think that this person must have a bloated ego. Perfect example of why we can’t believe everything the media tells us. Having to deal with government agencies, especially in court, can really turn your life upside down. As long as she truly wasn’t doing anything to cause a serious negative impact on the earth or her community then I have absolute sympathy for her situation. I also made the mistake of not having my own survey done on my property and for two years now I’ve been trying to fix my fuck up. Word of advice to any property owners or anyone planning to buy property…….GET IT SURVEYED!

            • Thank you, @dumboldt,hope it doesn’t end up in court for you, we were rase to trust and believe our neighbors, many of our parents bought land together back in the hippy day and it has made for so many problems in this day and age.Good luck! So neighbors can be so ruthless with there property, and feeling of ownership, do we ever really own it anyway? Can’t take it with us, that’s forsure. SO please be careful, when buying, selling property jump thru the right hoops, and also be just as careful in who you have live, work or caretaker the property, because all that being said, it was actually someone who was working and caretaking(who failed to tell her he was still on felony probation!shame on him!) that brought this property line to light, in the end it was Mindys fault for her choices but trust and believe it was not intentional. You are so right you can not believe all you read, but trust your gut,and go through the proper channels and protect yourself as best you can.

    • I followed the case and you shouldn’t, they are one in the same. They provided false documents,lied to judges, stole personal items, falsified dates and who actually even provided them. They work hand in hand, starting every spring doing google earth surveys to start there marajauna eradication in the name of saving the environment, public lands, blah, really it comes down to money.

  • Those that know Mindy know the truth!!..to all the others that don’t ..keep believing this B’s artical and keep you’r HATEFUL mouth running…you obviously have nothing better to do..

    • Did you just call Kym a female dog? Or am I misunderstanding your comment? You might not like all of her articles and reports, but just wow. You are no local of So Hum if are really calling her that.

  • One thing I have noticed through the years is that if you know some first hand info about a news release, you can pick it apart. That said, when we read a news release without any first hand info, we tend to believe what we read.

    • The REAL question is how come no one is talking about the groovy surf dude who brought the FEDS up to her property in the first place, he happened to be on FEDERAL PROBATION at the time, surly being watched, public records show they had a search warrent for him at his house at 7am and a search warrent for BLM at 7am and then SOMEHOW they got directions to Mindys private residence at 2pm, no warrent, no paper work on hand, hardly an idea of who she even was, not usually how they roll, they usually come prepared unless tipped off right? Why is everyone keeping quite about the talking stick that started all this? Look into it, be safe, know your neighnors, and neighborhood. Talkers are gonna walk.

      • well, maybe he had a family to take care of. Who knows what choices we make, where we are coming from. Everyone has a story. Mindy has one, and she made her choices. They are different than the one I would have done but I can’t blame her, and I can’t blame surfer guy.

        • @notme, I agree with you fully,it sucks anyway you slice it, we have to protect eachother,and sometimes in the secrecy of the businesses we conduct, we are un aware of who we are working with,and the character a person has, but when or if the crap hits the fan, bottom line is we need to stick together, and if ever in this type of situation, we must not squawk to walk, and we must also take responsibility for the situations we created. Two sides to each truth. Both human, both hard situations, and both could have been handled very differently. No judgment, just do better, and hopefully this is the end of it for all of them.

      • Cell phone gps I phones track where every picture and call are made .You think you have that turned off think again .This method was used on a so hum boy went to every property all off his I phone

  • Mindy is the most giving woman I KNOW. She has done a lot for her community, friends and people in general . Most of u are so hateful like you all are mistake free. Let’s keep it real and have some empathy for a hard working mother who made a mistake. There’s a lot details left out. Love u Mindy.

  • Since I don’t have a crystal ball to look into the past, I don’t know what she did when she bought the property but I know what you’re supposed to do, and that’s get title insurance. And the insurance will cover and show any liens, provide the county assessor’s plat map and there should also be a verbal description on the deed of the property boundaries.
    When I lived in eastern Humboldt/western Trinity I did a lot of property searches and I’ve seen a lot of deeds and I’ve seen title insurance papers.
    For those who are considering buying property or who already own but aren’t sure about what they have and what their rights are, there is a great book FINDING AND BUY YOUR PLACE IN THE COUNTRY. Author is Les Scher who is a lawyer and bought his place in the Honeydew/Petrolia area. The cover of the book (unless it’s changed) is a scene from the area.
    Tells you how to look things up, what to avoid, what to ask for and more. It was published by NOLO Press which also sells the paperwork for other legal stuff (wills, etc.)
    Even if you don’t own or don’t plan on owning it will be useful because you’ll know what your neighbors’ rights are…
    And if the sellers of the property misdeclared the property lines/boundaries and there is title insurance, then she could sue them for causing the problem through lying.

    With so much else going on in the larger area, makes me think someone snitched on her and it was easier for the Feds to roll with that (perhaps the snitch received a lesser sentence or who knows what…), you know when you go to pick peaches you always go for the closest, ripest ones…So busting someone like her is good for their record and they can keep working on other cases. People in charge are greedy and want the next promotion and the next and the way they get those is to keep working toward bigger and bigger busts…while still bringing in the small ones while they can.

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