Blocksburg Bust of Growers in the Permiting Process ‘Unique in Many Ways,’ Says Sheriff

Marijuana raid by Robin Collins

Marijuana raid [Photo by Robin Collins]

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On Tuesday, 08-09-2016 Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies assisted by Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) eradicated several open field marijuana gardens located in the Blocksburg area.

Prior to yesterday’s marijuana eradications, deputies conducted aerial reconnaissance in the Blocksburg area of Humboldt County on Wednesday, 08-03-2016. Deputies located what appeared to be a large open field marijuana cultivation operation on a parcel of property. Deputies through their investigation learned the owners name for the parcel of property.

The deputy then contacted the owner of the parcel via telephone on the evening of 08/03/2016.The owner of the property advised the deputy he was leasing his property. The owner of the property advised the deputy the subject leasing his property was growing marijuana. The owner said the subject leasing his property had advised him he had obtained the necessary permits from the County of Humboldt to cultivate marijuana on the property

The deputy then checked the weekly cannabis data extracts emails obtained by the Sheriff’s Office, regarding, CMMLUO permit application process.

The deputy discovered that a subject leasing the property from the owner had submitted two “Activity Registration Forms” on 07/28/2016 regarding the above listed parcel.

This is the lowest form of reporting, and submission of this form does not constitute a permitted cultivation operation. The form states, “The self-reported data from the cannabis registration forms is incomplete and not verified. Some parcel numbers provided are inaccurate or do not exist. Operation descriptions and business locations are not verified. Submittal of a registration form does not mean the operator has applied for required permits. User assumes all risk for use of data other than display.”.

Per the request of the property owner the deputy met with him at his residence on 08/04/2016 to discuss the situation and answer his many questions. At this time the owner of the property signed a consent to search form, and provided the deputy with a gate key and combination code for all gates located on his Blocksburg properties. The owner of the property stated based on his many conversations with the subject leasing his property he was under the impression that the marijuana cultivation operation was legitimate. The owner of the property urged the Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit to eradicate all marijuana plants if it was determined the cultivation operation was not legitimate.

The Deputy also met with an employee with a consulting firm, who had been hired by the person who was leasing the property. The consulting firm stated they had been hired to assist with the county permit process. The consulting firm acknowledged this was not the same as having a valid permit.

The deputy attempted to contact the subject who was leasing the property via telephone; however no contact was made. The deputy left a voice message on the telephone requesting correspondence regarding this investigation. The deputy spoke with the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department via telephone regarding the cultivation operation. They confirmed no permit had been issued at that time.

On Tuesday, 08/09/2016 Officers responded to the Blocksburg property and contacted several subjects on the property. The subjects were detained in handcuffs. Officers located and eradicated over 3300 growing marijuana plants on the parcel. Both subjects advised they were under the impression the operation was legitimate; however they confirmed they had not yet obtained a valid permit.

The subjects detained did not know how many marijuana plants were currently being cultivated on the property, or how much product would be obtained from the plants. The subjects stated all marijuana was being grown for medical purposes, and would be donated to a non-local dispensary.

They also confirmed they did not have the proper permits regarding the grading and land diversion he had already implemented on the property. The subjects could not provide a viable answer for where he was obtaining the water he was utilizing at the marijuana cultivation site. The subjects advised he employed numerous employees at the cultivation site; however they refused to identify anyone by name.

The deputy asked the subjects if it was a coincidence that they submitted their application the day after the Sheriff’s Office flew over his marijuana grow in a helicopter. The subjects stated it was not a coincidence, and that they submitted the application because they assumed Law Enforcement would be responding to the property and he wanted to appear legitimate.

Based on the subject’s inability to provide documentation in the form of a valid Commercial Cannabis Permit, as well the deputies observations while on scene, all marijuana plants on the property were eradicated. The subjects were then released from the scene after the deputies were finished with their investigation.

Sheriff Downey would like to reassure those seeking a valid permit or involved in the permitting application process that this incident was unique in many ways. In the past few weeks the Sheriff’s eradication team has verified and walked away from those cultivation sites that have been permitted or were in the application process with proper documentation. The Sheriff’s Office continues to respect the application ordinance process and is working diligently with the planning department to verify the status of those who have applied for permits.

The Sheriff will continue to aggressively pursue those who cultivate marijuana outside the confines of the Humboldt County Medical Marijuana Ordinance. As a reminder the cultivation of marijuana in the State of California is a felony and prosecutable by the District Attorney’s Office. Medical Marijuana is a defense only in regards to cultivation that is why it is imperative that those utilizing the Medical Marijuana ordinance have proper documentation.

It is acknowledged by those involved in the crafting and implementation of the Humboldt County Ordinance that there would be period of time where discretionary judgement would prevail. The Sheriff’s Office also encourages those interested in seeking a medical marijuana permit, issued by the County of Humboldt, to do so. Law Enforcement will continue to work with the planning department to insure applicants are in compliance with the Humboldt County Ordinance.

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64 comments

  • Like everyone said. Landowner had them raided…. probably after a big cash lease was already paid. Guys a crook.

    • Ignorance is ignorance not bliss.

      Guys a crook for not wanting lying crime commuting tenants? If his tenants had actually kept it legal like they promised and not applied for a permit just cause CAMP flew by this wouldn’t have happened.

  • Green road consultant said there were around 1000 plants….really over 3000. Some consultant.

  • So who is the landowner?

  • 3300 plants is kinda hard to miss from the air, dumb ass

  • Cbd. THC. Green jacket, gold jacket….who gives a shit. Poor them…come to find out they were never legal. And only tried to get permit after being flown. Suckas. Good luck to all with green road consultants. Yikes!!!

  • If u look at permits apps though….the ranch owners name is on there 3 times. Sure it wasn’t his farm!? How is he not responsible!?

    • Ignorance is ignorance not bliss.

      The land owner wanted his tenants to grow legally. Of course he’s on the application. The landowner didn’t choose for the application to be late, he was lied to and corrected the problem.

  • Food for thought

    So why don’t we hear any reports to confirm sheriff are visiting other farms to confirm permitting and then happily leaving…. might be worth looking into if that is their defence.

  • Since when does the HCSO contact a landowner about a potential bust on their property. Oh I guess when you have a HCSO as a family member and own 1000s of acres of land. These folks were trying to comply. I’m sure the lease was paid in advance. What makes this so hard to take is they flew over and drove by bigger grows than this one that are not trying to come into compliance! I am baffled by this. My faith in the county at all levels is at an all time low. you better really weigh your options before putting your name on a form with all your past grow info. The IRS is laughing all the way to the bank. Like a lot of people I was all for getting permitted. No more!!! As far as the landowner goes I think a law suit is in order. How about breech of contract. There are only a handful of permits stamped by the county. The rest of you that are waiting for the county are in deep shit

  • Cops lie to cover their ass? No way!

  • This press release contains a complete reversal of the Sheriff’s stated policy. It was made quite clear than anyone who was “in the permitting process” would not be raided, altho they might be inspected. There are 848 people who have started the process by filing notices of activity. Eight have permits. The sheriff’s new policy means the other 840 have simply created evidence to be used in court. I regard this as a major breach of trust, and it amounts to entrapment.

    Want to bet that what happened was this?: Deputy Holt told the landlord that the garden was illegal because it didn’t have a permit. “OMG “said the landlord, “then go get that illegal garden off my land.” In other words the Deputy created the complaint that he then acted on.

    I would remind the Sheriff and his deputies that community trust is the basis of all law enforcement that is not occupation; and community trust requires at a minimum that the Sheriff tell the truth and not change policies after people have relied on his word. This press release is a slap in the face of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Department, and the people of the county of Humboldt.

    We, and I think you will find that the Board of Supervisors and Planning Department are included in “we”, we thought the Sheriff was cooperating with the county in its effort to end the black market, and create a sound economy of legal cannabis cultivation in Humboldt County. Clearly we were wrong. We trusted the Sheriff, and this is what we get for it.

    Perhaps we need a new ballot initiative that prohibits Measure Z money from going to the Sheriff’s department. Why should we pay for our own destruction?

    • Still a notch in the greenbust belt for HCO and CAMP, and that’s all that matters to them.

    • I agree with you 100% Ed. You are a fine and respectable member of this community and have brought the only few bits of logic to these comment forums regarding this issue. Must be your law school training. Love your radio show BTW. And yes I 100% support your ballot initiative!

      However, the last sentence of the first paragraph on the Commercial Cannabis Activity Registration form says ” The information that you provide in this application may be released as required by law, judicial order, or subpeana and could be used in a criminal prosecution.” To me that statement is saving the HCSO a ton of money in flyover costs by creating us applicants easy targets. Meanwhile people who aren’t willing to come into compliance have their greenhouses lit up like Luxor, Las Vegas and are throwing the finger at all the “intending to be legit” people.

      Obviously if you are applying you should have as much paperwork done as possible by the time you put the notice of intent in. The paperwork is really not that hard to do, it just takes a bit of time. They even provide a checklist for us stating what we need to have done. All you need is permissions, a description, a plan a map and a few forms filled out. It could be possible that there are people filing out the registration form but have no intention of continuing on, making this year the go big or bust year.

  • All would be donated to a non local dispensary. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Priceless.

    • I believe that because of the “donation” terminology used in the cannabis industry, this was a misquote used to make him sound stupid.

  • Jaja bye bye permit process

    Don’t trust em! The HCSO is and has been corrupt for a long time. They change their mind about laws all the time only to have cases thrown out of court due to their ineptness.
    They only act on cases they want to, I know at least 5 people who had home breakins that sheriff’s actually responded to and said sorry can’t help u even if u have the weapon used to pry the door, etc. Didn’t even ask my address when I reported a break in at my home and then lost the report I went down and filed with serial numbers of my stuff. Again no address taken.

    Anyone in the permit process should pull out now or ur gonna lose ur land and someone will buy it at the next police auction. Lists with your name on it are being released publicly by other news outlets.

    There are some really really really horrendous grows out there, why all the energy into this and not grows where the newbies, usually bulgarian, sorry it’s true, who are strong arming and seriously threatening with weapons neighbors who’ve been there over 25 years? The bulgies musta “donated” a lot to the HCSO.
    Seriously don’t trust HCSO, they really could care less about you, they do many busts based on personal issues with people. They are terrifying when ur alone with them in the woods and they know they can get away with whatever they want. Ask any headwaters activist! Hanson has always been one of the worst.

    3000 is not much if it comes in under the appropriate square footage. If you think that’s a lot then u outta read what a permit allows and see if you agree with the permitting process.

    Hey HCSO bust some grows that really matter like the 20,000 plant scenes! Oh and good job keeping the guy there officially working on permit stuff in handcuffs for hours, am sure that’s won u lots of trust, not!!!!

    • I’d have to say I kind of agree regarding the applications. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You’re also exposing yourself to the Feds looking at things when they’re bored with whatever they are up to. Unfortunately, a 3,000 plant bust is much more sexy than catching a useless methamaniac who broke into a house. Then you’d have to do some work instead of simply walking onto a property and claiming “success.”

  • I wonder if the planning department will see lawsuits out of these types of busts. They admit they are backlogged and cannot get the permits issued. So if you apply and dont have it in hand then ur busted i guess. Even the dmv has a better system! So could someone sue the planning dept for not getting permits out fast enough? They’re slow as it is, it seems unfair for the county to ask them to process all these permits with no extra funding. The county legal team better start closely watching or the sheriff’s may end up costing us tons in legal fees.
    The cops did say in the past they know this and if you’ve taken steps to apply then you’re ok with them, which they obviously reversed here. I hope someone compiles the sheriff’s statements over the last year to see all the contradictions.

  • Would not be so many armed robberies, shootings, gang activity, and drunk driving going on if all the hours wasted on Pot raids was used by the Sheriffs to patrol.

  • Who fucking cares, there’s so much going on and all the media does round here is focus on weed. Frankly I’m sick of it. Fingers crossed it all goes legal and the bottom drops out of it . All the douchebags can pack up their shit and leave us in peace.

    • Humboldt county, it’s local economy, and in general is and always has been about weed. (well a lot more so after logging stopped). people moved here in the 60’s to get out of the citys and grow there own food, and pot plants. The county itself is WORLD famous for the amount of weed as well as the fantastic quality of the weed that comes from here. IF YOUR SICK OF WEED YOU GTFO AND LEAVE US IN PEACE. I think a lot of people around here care very much about weed, and even if the price does drop out you will still hear about weed because it’s not going anywhere, this is humboldt county, it’s what were known for.

      • Sure. You will be left in the dust by big ag. Nobody is going to care about your weed.

        • That’s like the same thing as saying that micro brewerys will not be successful businesses because there is such thing as budweiser. I’m a beer enthusiast and can tell you I’m not alone in saying any micro brew tastes better then budweiser. Even when big ag enters the game, there will be a healthy amount of folks who will refuse to buy corporate weed.

    • Then why are you commenting and reading a post on weed? This happens to be big news in regards to the new ordinances people are trying to follow. All the other sad news is still getting reported. Death, meth, armed robberies, car accident after car accident. I don’t think some articles regarding a HUGE screw up between the HCSO and the county is something to stick your nose up at. This is putting a lot of money into the county and this very event is probably going to scare off many people from continuing that process.

    • I agree. I am so sick of it.

    • Yeah, I bet people will stop smoking weed once its legal. /s

      Marijuana’s not going anywhere. If the price goes down and demand goes up, that means growers will have to grow MORE, not less.

  • ahhhhhhhh jeeeeeezzzzeeee

  • I would like to know who got busted at least some names of the property owner at least ,and I find it weird that Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deside s whose names get released or does not get released I find this very irregular no arrests and just let him go what the fuc 3300 plants o I smell something fishy in Denmark.

    • I said this on another comment but plant count shouldn’t matter now in “permitted” grows as it is based on square footage. From all accounts, they were within their square footage with no citations. So what the hell?

    • Glass property. Old Fearrien place he bought with his booty.lol

  • ” In the past few weeks the Sheriff’s eradication team has verified and walked away from those cultivation sites that have been permitted or were in the application process with proper documentation.” – So how is this considered not the ‘application process’ if they turned in there registration of activity? I don’t care if it was turned in the day before. IT WAS TURNED IN!!

  • I would like to know what a civil engineer has to do with growing dope

  • I don’t trust the Sheriff’s Department. I don’t trust the growers here. I don’t trust the consultant or civil engineer for Greed Road Consulting. I don’t trust anybody because they all stand to make money from telling us lies. And I am seeing everybody do this these days. We live in very corrupt times and amongst very corrupt people. I do know that 100 plants is not 3000 plants. And I know that applying for a permit (the very first step) on the day after a helicopter buzzing is an attempt to pervert/corrupt the intent of the permit system. I know people who claim to be growing medical yet then send the entire crop to the east coast for maximum profit. I know people who will say their crop is for CBD but know they are spouting bullshit and hiding behind the lie that they are helping sick people. It’s a shit show all around here. But I know most people outside of Humboldt have no clue and will believe whatever they read in the papers. And some people here too!

    • Don’t trust anybody. I don’t either. 1000, is not 3000, but the plant count does not matter in this case as it is a square footage grow. Plant count is just for shock appeal. They could have had a million plants in there, and it wouldn’t have mattered or made any difference, because it was based on square feet.

      • Go Home Green Rushers - YOU SUCK!

        THAT’S BULLSHIT! WAIT UNTIL THEY GO TO COURT. THE 3,300 PLANTS WILL BE A BIG DEAL WHEN IT COMES SENTENCING TIME.

        • Concerned Grower

          Nobody got arrested dude. Why do you think this is so weird?

        • Dude, a majority of these busts go un-prosecuted. There are stacks and stacks and stacks of unprosecuted busts. You read the sensational headlines but is there ever a follow up, a reporter in the court room wacthing one of these cases? No they are a chop and run crew. In most cases they obtained the warrant illegally or the prosecution has no case what so ever.

          There is a 400 acre farm in Garberville with over 20,000 plants. Plant numbers and square footage are irrelevant to pounds produced. Get a clue.

  • This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

    I think my name says it all….

  • “I know that applying for a permit (the very first step) on the day after a helicopter buzzing is an attempt to pervert/corrupt the intent of the permit system.”

    Amen.

  • Everyone is a Consultant

    So the “concerned engineer” did not actually have a comprehensive plan in place for his client. He simply shoved a half ass application into the county as if it would protect the client, then proceeded to make hasty accusations and played victim himself. An application with one agency does not get you anything. All permits and land use plans should be indicated or in place at the time of the application. The consultant did not do this because the permits are expensive and difficult?! Isn’t that why you are a consultant?? You would think a more holistic and comprehensive approach would be taken for these grows who aspire to operate as a legal business. Careful who you hire folks and have a plan to resolve everything on your site. Take it seriously and don’t just slam a half ass form into the county and think it’s good enough. Good job Greenroad Consulting. Real good advertising of your sub par services.

  • Real story****
    Glassy let those kids do all the work…now he’s all set up…he applied for permits same day as the ppl he had handcuffed!!?? Flats made. Soilss stock piled…hes a con artist. Too lazy to do any work his self. He’ll have another grow up soon. Do whatever when your son in law is a deputy. Inside job***

  • You said it, don’t leave out the part where he swindled millions out of the kids estate, total con man , couldn’t cut it in the real world.

  • Go Home Green Rushers - YOU SUCK!

    DON’T FEEL TOO COMFORTABLE. THE DEA REJECTED THE RECLASSIFICATION OF MARIJUANA. THIS MAKES BUSTING MEGA GROWS A TOP PRIORITY FOR THE FEDS THIS SUMMER. BE CRAEFUL. THEY ARE COMING TO GET YOU!

    GREEN RUSHERS GO HOME & TAKE THE LOUSY ENGINEERING FIRMS W/ YOU!

    http://www.npr.org/2016/08/10/489509471/dea-rejects-attempt-to-loosen-federal-restrictions-on-marijuana

    • That will drive the prices back up, so green rushers are going nowhere. Sorry, you still have to share your community with new comers.

  • he who talk loudly, and say nothing.

    Wow, lost in the vortex of details. Bottom line: God gave us all the plants on earth to use. All this drama comes from the control and profiteering of a plant. Growers want profit, government wants profit. Cannabis has the ability to save the world, hemp is our best hope to create a sustainable future, and “drug” cannabis is great medicine. Time to forget profit and start to see all that cannabis has to offer. Food, shelter, clothing, and medicine can all be sustainably created with cannabis. The human race never would have got to this point without cannabis, it’s God’s gift. Civilization was built with hemp…..fuck cotton.

  • Kym what is the story on the 36 convoy this am?

  • This county needs an enema!

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