Trimmers Sought as Suspects in Laytonville Homicide, According to Mendocino Sheriff’s Office

Amanda Wiest

Amanda Weist 

This is a press release from the Mendocino 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 11-11-2016 at 3:39 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were summoned to a reported man who had been murdered on a remote property located in the 49000 block of North Highway 101 in Laytonville, California.

The property was a rural parcel approximately 5 miles from Highway 101, on a dirt road that traveled in a westerly direction.

Deputies responded to the scene confirming there was a male adult who was obviously deceased as a result of what appeared to be a violent assault.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives were summoned to the scene, along with Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and Criminalists from the California Department of Justice.

During the investigation it was determined the deceased male adult, Jeffrey Quinn Settler, was operating a commercial marijuana growing operation on the property.

In the early morning hours of 11-10-2016 (Thursday), multiple subjects who had been recently employed by Settler as marijuana trimmers returned to the property in the middle of the night with the intent to commit robbery of processed marijuana.

The investigation has revealed the subjects knew the marijuana was stored in the same structure where Settler slept and the subjects violently assaulted him during the robbery, causing his death.

The subjects were believed to have fled the property in at least two vehicles and were believed to have stolen over 100 pounds of processed marijuana. The subjects are believed to possibly be fleeing to Southern California or out of state.

One of the vehicles is believed to be a blue 2017 Volkswagen Golf 4-door sedan displaying Virginia license plate number VHR5611.

Zachary Wuester (WITH SUNGLASSES)

Zachary Wuester (WITH SUNGLASSES)

Sheriff’s Detectives have obtained a murder/robbery felony arrest warrant for Zachary Wuester, who was identified as being one of the subjects involved in this case.

Frederick Gaestel

Frederick Gaestel

Sheriff’s Detectives have also identified Frederick Gaestel, Gary Blank III, Gary Lynn Fitzgerald and Amanda Weist as being participants in the robbery/murder.

A statewide Be-On-The-Look-Out (BOLO) was disseminated for all the subjects and Sheriff’s Detectives will be seeking arrest warrants on the remaining subjects in the near future.

The investigation has shown no evidence or inference that the marijuana growing operation was for medical purposes and Sheriff’s Detectives believe it was solely for the purpose of commercial gain.

Any persons with information about this incident, or the current whereabouts of the named suspects are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit at 707-463-4421 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

Earlier Chapters:



  • I wonder if the perps knew the victim and were invited there or if the perps were hired off the streets.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Just a pure guess, I would say hired off the street. Out-of-State addresses and you would have to have seven local people, friends, willing to kill this guy as a reward for hiring them. For a hundred lbs. of weed? Could happen, yeah, but I’m just sayin’. If you are in a long-time, locally connected family, you can goddamn grow your own poundage. You don’t have to kill people. Gawd, it’s 2017.

      Anyway, Trump has the nuclear codes and Jeff Sessions III awaits word from God as to our disposition. Oh, pul-leaze, let me wake up.

  • …And it will continue. 5 against 1. I say give em all the electric chair, oh wait were a Liberal state. 200k divided 5 ways = 40k each.( chump change) I bet several roll on each other to avoid life without parole. Condolences to the wife, her children and rest of family.

  • Honestly this is why the trimmigrant gamble sucks. I’m not saying there all bad people, but some of them are. Before anybody hires people off the street I would strongly encourage you to at least consider all other options, because it really is a big gamble.

    • Back in the day, 30+ years ago, it was unthinkable to have street people in your house doing the trimming. Trimming gigs were hard to get and the growers hired the same reliable people every season.

      • Back in the day growers had tens of pounds to process, not thousands, either.

        • There you go, a by-product of the current greed-based grow scene…..more, more, more.

          • Lost Croat Outburst

            What you call “greed” is basic market economics in market-driven, de-centralized economies. The market will support expanded production until a glut occurs and prices will stabilize or drop. That’s what happens in all industries, factories, agriculture, you name it. Cannabis is agriculture. You can look it up.

            So, no, I don’t go. There you go, but I am not sure where to.

    • All trimigants are scrodes. They are begging, stealing, dirty annoying pieces of crap. It sucks this guy got killed. Hopefully locals will wake up and quit hiring these people. So they leave.

  • For 100 lbs of weed these fools are looking at life behind bars.
    Grow & trim your own. If you grow more than you can trim yourself….it is too damn much.

  • Someone commented on the original post about the girl and kid being safe, someone knows where she’s at

  • This is so horrible.
    I’m having a hard time keeping up with the changes and regulations now. So, with a commercial operation, what is the restriction with firearms?
    If you are a commercial grower said to be in “good standing”, are you legally able to defend your home and property with guns?
    Since as 215 holders we aren’t supposed to have guns, it’s really confusing, or maybe I just haven’t read up enough on it.

    • No, and as of Jan 1 anyone having anything to do with marijuana will not be allowed to possess a firearm.

      • Only i answered yes and they sold me my gun… They dont gaf in liberal cali… It asks if ur addicted or depeendant to drugs aside from marijuana. I just got my gun a few months ago… And i have a 215. I obviously was given a background check. I call bullshit and everyone says this shit, im not denying what im reading, just telling you what i went through… zero fucks given

        • It clearly does not say aside from marijuana. Update draft specifies ‘marijuana is illegal under federal law’ for people who think it’s all good. The store is at best in a grey area and in the eyes of the ATF in the wrong by selling a smoker a gun.

      • it has been law for over 5 years already

    • Your Friend to the End

      Id say if humboldt continues progressing as it has been tesla speed, all foreigners kick rocks unless they rent or lease property. Buck mountain is full foreigners with a new policy that only allows out of country folk who barely speak english. wah wah said get some BRAINS and hire PEOPLE who contribute to the economy is ot that difficult? I hear chumps say Americans cant work like them europeans but we are europeans dum dums. Plenty of people with sufficient DNA that create solid work ethic. It is genetics, not culture, that instill good ethics. Weed out the lazy twits and you are left with the rest. Maybe even help your fellow veterens who sacrificed their life and are the reason you can even fucking breath with ease and have duffle bags of benjamins. Maybe use your brain and understand simple research can save a life by not allowing cartel to slip a spy through the curtain and cost you a loved one. Maybe, just maybe, humboldt can still enjoy boat loads of cash but should prioritize safety of life over dollar dollar bill yoyo homeslice then nobody’ll get sliced….JUST a little thought from your fellow NEIGHBOR. OH and to my homeboys who trashed skunk rock on buck mountain suck a fat dick. I wonder who gets the last laugh…

      Saint Johnald Mc Donald and the Trumpet.

    • You are legally allowed to protect yourself and your property any way you see fit. If they are trespassing or stealing you can defend yourself by shooting.

      • Can you site your source for that? I don’t think you are correct.

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          Cite your source? Just helpin’ out like always. Hey, was that Jeff B. Sessions III that just flew over in his Chariot of God or just Santa out for drill? Anyway, Trump has the nuclear codes so keep chillin’, chillun.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        I agree with Kym. “Any way you see fit” does not sound like legal language. Recently, a homeowner allegedly saw fit to shoot a dumpster diver fatally while said diver was rummaging through homeowner’s dumpster. Shooter was arrested.

        Wasn’t the story covered here?

  • I personally think there are
    Plenty of locals who could use the work. Keep the money in
    Our local community. Why should we pay non local folks
    To go travel the world.. there’s plenty of people locally that need it for raising kids etc…..
    There is no other local work here that pays enough for family’s to survive.

    • Your words are my thoughts about this.

    • If I could thumbs up your comment I would.

    • Or people from outta this country, straight fuckin immigrants. Barely speak english from europe.

    • “You obviously aren’t a golfer.” If they were enough locals to process the shit in a reasonable amount of time we wouldn’t need outside help. Ain’t waiting around all winter for some dirty lazy complaining local wooks who only work when they want to.

    • Your joking right? no locals want to work. LMAO @Trump2016 – completely true

    • Yep, I can’t afford to drive into town for minimum wage and still afford the high rent and food cost here. It makes me sad to show up at a job with outsiders talking about using this money for travel when I just want to work hard and pay my bills. Locals have a lot to lose, a house, their social life, etc. They rarely steal because they could lose all they built for themselves locally. I’ve heard of trimmigrants stealing and being bad house guest all the time but until people stop being greedy and growing more than their friends can trim then these POS trimmigrants will keep flooding the streets. No locals might not want to work for Saucy because of her mentality but I know many locals that depend on and love the opportunity to trim.

  • My heart goes out to everyone who was friends or family with the guy. Nobody deserves this to happen.

  • Thought the lady’s name was Ashleigh. That’s how my friends who know them have known her. Been around for two years now. Wtf!!?!

    • 2 years? Well, then she knows about more scenes and where those people stash their pounds. And she can always find more stupid thugs dressed like hippies to go with her to steal it. This is how amateur hour works. For all the new stupid people pulling off scenes and being sloppy- there are certain protocols that you are blatantly disregarding to the detriment of your own safety.

    • Ashleigh and Amanda are two different people.

  • Bay area with family. Victoms wife and kid? They’re safe. Rott in hell thieves! Geeezz.

  • Sad story over greed. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    • Two lefts do though

      • No. Two lefts make a reverse…

      • Three lefts make a right. Two lefts make a U-turn.

        I’m a bit confused about whether Amanda is the mother who fled to the Bay Area with a child? Is she the wife/girlfriend of the deceased? Is she AKA Ashleigh? The same person reported to have been here 2 years? Did she know the trimmers? Did she participate in the robbery/homocide? Am I conflating multiple woman as a single individual?

  • They think that since they come from the east coast they are invinsable no one will remember our names or faces right?

  • it’s unecessary and insulting in a case of human tragedy like this, and not even really true, to highlight that the grow operation was strictly for profit. 100+ lbs. of marijuana will inevitably be consumed by people who need it medicinally, often in other states where medical marijuana isn’t legal. poor taste on the part of the police to rub in politics over a ridiculously prohibited plant. nationwide, the supply still isn’t even close to matching the demand.

  • Here’s a Zachary Wuester mugshot (WITHOUT sunglasses)

  • This is disgusting. Killing someone for pot?! Trust no one growers.

  • What,now the land owner’s have to hire armed security?geeze.crazy world we live in!Condolences to the family god bless you

    • Yes. And install cameras too. It’s coming

    • “now the land owner’s have to hire armed security?”

      Such businesses already exist and more are in the planning, here in California and in other states where cannabis is legal in some way or another.

      An example:

      They’ve expanded their services and states served.

      “Oregon, Washington and California…award winning security services. Beginning in November 2016, we are proud to offer our OLCC-licensed Oregon customers secure cash and product transport, product storage and guard services through CannaGuard Transport.”

  • I always wonder when I go into G-Ville who the hell hires all these non local trimmers and foreigners? Hiring male trimmers is asking for trouble.

    • It’s a-holes with multiple properties and way too much weed to trim.

      • Yes i agree, But this guy had 2 kids one new born was renting a property and working his ass off like no other. Trust me i listened to their trucking going up and down the mnt all day and night. Never met him personally but word
        was he was a nice guy. Not your A typical multi property greedy asshole.

        • He wasn’t. He helped many many strangers off the street. He was the nicest, hardest working child I had. I went with him to The Green Door and many other medical dispensaries in San Francisco and know for a fact he sold it for medical use. He was not greedy and would give you the shirt off his back.

          His brother Bradley says:
          “He liked to go around Cali and help people any way he can. He helped people get homes and find work. He was loved by many people and had just started up a family. He thought of himself as a medicine man of sorts. He truly believed in what ever he was doing and he loved music and history. The story’s of the past and tried to learn from them.Yeah he was very passionate about what he cared about and very energetic in ways..
          He was probably about to do the same for the people that killed him like he did for many others.”

          I, Greg Settler, his dad know first hand he felt he was a medicine man and he was growing medicine. He is of Native American ancestry. Yakima and Nes Perce Indian. He was a wonderful human being and a beautiful soul. May he rest in peace.

    • Hiring anyone to trim that you don’t know VERY WELL is asking for trouble IMO.

  • There’s always someone new around in Myers Flat.

  • I realize this occurred in Mendocino county, but I’m wondering, what’s the current number of Humboldt homicides so far in 2016? How does Mendo compare?

    I can’t imagine the weed related killings are going to go down after the legalization. If anything, I could see them rising. I’m not trolling here, but it just seems like more weed=more greed and more killings.

    • Because of prohibition farmers are forced to be unarmed.Thieves know this.Even with legalization it’s still federally illegal to participate in second amendment rights.As usual gun restrictions only work in favor of crime.

  • Only big pharm gets to profit off medicine?

  • If I was sitting on a 100 pds they would be met buy a 400 hd lbs 6 ft 4 inch monster packing a AK 47 for home defence it’s what world gas come to come get some rip off scum .oh the chick typical grow ho

  • Virginia Losers……….this is the west was all west coast family till you tools showed up claiming your hypocritical amazon local bull shit. These people are losers and should leave west coast for their bullshit don’t work here Playa…’ll learn….eventually…….

  • I know its north mendo…same bullshit clear lake bull…hahahahahaha

  • Violence is NEVER the answer hypocritical amazonhumboldt east coasters….Hope you learn your lesson….Keep the Peace…..and keep it groovy hippies….know you love the socialist ideal…but forget to live by it…you are forgiven..God forgives you…CHERISH that fact…He died for your SINS…

  • Thanks for PhotoSHoppping my comments…Snowden would say thats treason….negligence…..or MASS Media BIAS on a comment BLOG WEBSITE…HOPE you are profiting from people TRUMP I MEAN HILLARY IMEAN HYPOCRiTICAL AMERICA. WISH YOUR NEIGhBOR SUCCESS ONLY TO SHITON THEM LATER…GODBLESS>>>AT LEAST GOD JUDGES IN THE END>

  • Why’s there not a picture of Gary Blank ||| or is that just a typo?

  • Nasty little freaks. Class and loyalty sadly are a long lost trait.

  • It’s all part of living that life!

    • I call it the “Nothing Life” No home, no job, no true friends, no respect for family, anyone, anything or even themselves. No hope for their futures as long as they tread down that path. Molly, ex, acid, ketamine, whip its, weed, alcohol, cocaine party party on. WOO HOO!!! No job no schedule, no purpose. Too many lost souled youth crawling around out there. Tragic on all levels, senseless.

    • Shut up and get a life yourself [edit]!!!You obviously don’t have one if your posting opinions about something you know absolutely nothing about!!!This comment isn’t just for the 2 of you it goes for all you other idiots who didn’t know Jeff or this industry too.

  • Wow, she’s wearing a Flower of Life shirt, maybe it will transform into an orange Flower of Life in Prison jumpsuit.

  • Is there going to be a workshop for the farmers as there was for the trimmers. You know, the one that was teaching innocent, fragile trimmer girls how to be safe in the wild mountains of Northern California? The farmer seems to be the one with more to lose and fewer ways to defend themselves.

    • It used to be more like apprenticeship. Learning from those with more experience in the field. But then a horde of kids showed up who obviously knew everything already! I guess High Times and TV shows and rap songs and loud talkers had educated them properly so they insisted on pushing in and making this scene in that image. It was called The GreenRush. They know everything!

  • Condolences to Jeffrey Settler’s family and friends.

  • Problem once again is not weed… it’s poverty ..and desperate people …we really need a community trim area where were we can bring our crops and have them trimmed then can be stored in secured areas .. not under our mattresses….. leagiliatio is the only ansewrr to save our growers who are an asset to Northern California

  • The gentle image of Humboldt/Mendo/Trinity has been blown apart again by these events. Murder for whatever stakes is becoming more prevalent, and no one has to look too far for a seasoned grower who has been in a gunfight with rippers…
    Forget what I said about blaming the trimsients. This occurrence illustrates a new standard of behavior and survivalism that will be necessary to go forward. The days of streets full of neo-hippie kids in Willits, Goobsterdam and Willow Creek, looking to party and trim, are now due to end. All growers need a central marketplace for their products, and a much more organized process for obtaining labor. During the adaptation to legalization, and the evolution of your industry, everyone involved needs to be identifiable and known to the grower. Bringing in unknown laborers to process your high-value crops is currently very risky, not only to the worker, but also, apparently, to the grower. The recent murders in Trinity and now Mendo, illustrate the dangers associated with this business, and to me, the point of progressing to legalization is to get the growers out of the woods and onto farmland.
    The attraction to the wild west has brought with it a brand of outlaw that no one wants, and the armed robberies progressing to gunfire and murder, are outrageous beyond all our sensibilities.

  • My brother 💔

  • Robin,I’m so sorry for your loss.god bless you and your family.

  • You know listening to all the stories from family and the comments,I’d swear this sounds like when they used to run moonshine!!the stealing,the violence,the hiding,the running from the law.yikes.god I loved the 70’s miss those days for sure

  • from what i can tell…..there is one reason growers shouldn’t hire Americans. if they hire a guy from france he takes his money and leaves. if you hire a guy from jersey shore…… he has a place to run to with all your shit. a guy from france isn’t going to keister 100 lbs and go back to france. fuck trimagrints

  • Can you imagine the level of paranoia after a doobie on the lamb for murder. Damn ! They’ll be turning on each other as soon as the donuts run out.This is why you can’t be nice to strangers.

  • You can find pictures of Wuester on Instagram @Zaku Wah-boo. And he’s on social media claiming ‘The truth will come out’

  • What about the others, has anyone found other social media pages for the rest of these degenerates?

    • The guy who set it up is named jesse wells… He’s a career weed/money thief scumbag who’s robbed a number of people…I know this👷🏻…he’s from Binghamton, ny spends time in Ithaca…the kid who turned himself in probably did to rat this fucker out..

      • Jesse is a career criminal who’s had many chances to straighten himself out. He can’t control or resist being a thief.!!! He’s also a huge story teller. Loves to blow smoke up your butt. And now he’s involved in a murder, Oh wait an alleged murder! It was only a matter of time! I’m sure he’s saying he didn’t do it..We’ve all heard that many times before..!! I guess background checks aren’t done? My deepest condolences to the family..Hopefully justice is served.

  • Time for Clint Eastwood to take care of business. What a bunch of convicts. Where may I sign up as a BOUNTY HUNTER ? Call me dog as in “LITTLE”. Not married to Beth.

  • Come up to Humboldt and enjoy the daiseys. It’s either Bubba or smell the flowers. This guy needs depends.

    • Shut up.What is that supposed to mean anyway?!?!??Are you on meth?!?!!!!Do us a favor and wrap one of those depends around your head & breath deeply.

  • Freddie Geastel mohawk guy seen in Redway at liquor store Sunday at 3:30p.m.Police where notified.Others rumored to have been seen in Eureka.

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