Dinsmore Man Pleads Guilty to Marijuana Cultivation, Diverting Stream

This is a press release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office:

AppelbaumToday, Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced that yesterday, 33 year-old Sean C. Appelbaum, of Dinsmore, California, pled guilty to a felony violation of cultivating marijuana resulting in environmental violation (Health and Safety Code § 11358(d)(3)) and admitted to being personally armed during the commission of that felony (Penal Code § 12022(a)(1)). In addition, Mr. Appelbaum pled guilty to unlawfully diverting a stream, which is a misdemeanor under Fish and Game Code §1602(a). Mr. Appelbaum faces up to 4½ years in jail. He will return to court on June 13, 2017 for sentencing.

This case arose on August 26, 2016 when the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant on two rural parcels near Dinsmore owned by Mr. Appelbaum. On one of the parcels, the Sheriff’s Office discovered unpermitted marijuana cultivation of about 2000 plants being conducted by Mr. Appelbaum. Mr. Appelbaum was found to have leased the adjacent parcel to others for the purpose of unlawful marijuana cultivation of over 7,000 plants. Mr. Appelbaum also had eight firearms in a trailer on his property.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Watershed Enforcement Team assisted in the investigation of Mr. Appelbaum’s two parcels. Fish and Wildlife identified numerous environmental violations on the properties, including the filling of stream channels, constructing an artifical dam, excavating a spring, and diverting water to create a pond. In addition, Fish and Wildlife found a leaking diesel tank, trash, and plant fertilizers in areas that would drain into a tributary of the Van Duzen River. Moreover, Mr. Appelbaum elevated sediment run-off into the tributary by using heavy equipment to unlawfully fell trees, cut roads and form landings. Mr. Appelbaum’s felony violation of the Health and Safety Code reflects California’s recent changes to marijuana law via Proposition 64: a person that unlawfully cultivates marijuana resulting in certain environmental violations, or results in harm to public lands, or public resources may be charged with a felony. Landowners who lease property where unlawful marijuana cultivation results in such environmental harms may also be held criminally liable. In addition to criminal penalties, landowners can face civil penalties in the range of $8,000 to $20,000 per day for illegal water diversions, water pollution and other violations of environmental laws.

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  • Facing only 4 1/2 years sounds rather lenient considering the firearms, the environmental impact, and his previous record….among his other charges. He is going to luck out, by the sounds of it, AGAIN!!

    • Agree. Doesent sound like an ideal neighbor. Or cell mate. Admitting to your mistakes first step though. Good luck in there, do better when yer out.

    • AnonymousHumboldtian

      Honestly just having guns while growing weed doesn’t make him dangerous. That’s just another charge that the cops can pin on him. It’s not like he was toting an ak around his garden.

  • I hope they take into account his military career. Obviously a sniper team vet. In the service, that face has what is known as scope burn. We had Bonny and Clyde in Fortuna yesterday, and it sounds like the hills are full of revenuers, just like when PL was shipping in corn by the rail car and Fagan was building the stills. Yay, the good old days are back. Won’t be long ’till the Sheriff is runin’ the girls again. Keep yer heads down boys.

    • A seasoned sniper never has a black eye from the recoil of a rifle with a scope. Just sayin. Go directly to jail, do not collect $200. He pled guilty for environmental damage of diverting a stream, plus cultivating thousands of marijuana plants. Clean your shit up!

    • That’s a shiner, if he was a sniper he would know to keep his eye far enough away from the scope I would hope

      • Agreed any trained marksman (or Woman) would not have that around their eye!!! At least not from their weapon!!!

  • Sorry environment

    If the Da is tooting the horn that’s a mighty small beep.Its preposterous one of the worst enviromental damaging busts to date in humboldt and where’s the mention of a monetary fine ,where’s the fine for clean up .Does any one get it ..Is there more to this story because it sounds like a total joke .sorry Maggie Fleming you lost me here.


    “Deputies searched both parcels and located a total of 9,525 green growing marijuana plants, 11 firearms, 375 grams of Butane Honey Oil, 148 grams of Psilocybin Mushrooms, 172 lbs of marijuana shake, 73.1 lbs of processed marijuana bud, indicia of marijuana sales, and ammunition.

    Deputies also located two man made water storage ponds each with a water pump. The ponds were made of plastic tarp and supported by rocks, downed trees, and rope. F&W, CSWB, and HCCE observed extensive environmental damage while examining the property.”

  • Looks like he’s going to get away with the eyeball diversion!

  • Maybe Smokey the bear gave him that shiner. “.Only YOU!..M.F.!”

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Obviously he could keep an eye on both parcels at the same time.

    More dopers need prison or ship them off to fight Isis if they want to carry weapons while doping.

    Otherwise, deport every doper after they labor building the wall.

    • AnonymousHumboldtian

      I know you’re not known for nuance, but he wasn’t carrying his guns around. They were in his trailer. Cops love to slap you with that felony if they find a gun anywhere on your property, loaded or not.

    • Sleepy Alligator

      Yeah yeah yeah! You have made it very clear, over and over and over, that you want criminals to build the wall and then be deported to mexico. Completely ridiculous but we hear you!

  • We need a set of eyes on this Honeydew Bridge Chump.

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