Nearly 12,000 Marijuana Plants Eradicated and Multiple Water Diversions Found in Bust Near Hyampom, Says Sheriff’s Office
In July when the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was part of a team busting a 4500 plant marijuana grow near Hyampom, they spotted a property with numerous violations that they went back for this Tuesday. The grow was so large they needed to spend the night in order to finish removing the plants and documenting the evidence of environmental issues, explained Lt. Ken Swithenbank of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. They found and removed 11,909 plants ranging in size from five to sixteen feet tall, he said. They also found multiple water diversions and other environmental issues.The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office joined together with multiple other agencis to execute the search warrant.
Below is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office about this week’s raid. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On Wednesday 09/13/2017, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) began a two day operation investigating non-permitted large scale marijuana cultivation sites in the Stone Ridge area east of USFS Route 1. The search warrant covered two parcels of land that was under the same ownership. The following agencies assisted DEU with this investigation: Wardens from California Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Scientists from California Fish and Wildlife, specialist from the Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit, Humboldt County Code Enforcement officers, and personnel from the California Army National Guard Counter Drug Unit.
DEU located approximately fourteen marijuana cultivation sites that were made up of nineteen greenhouses and ten outdoor marijuana grows. A total of 11,909 marijuana plants were eradicated. Also seized were one rifle, equipment used for synthesizing butane honey oil (BHO) and 53 pounds of processed marijuana. DEU detained six subjects during the course of the investigation. Kwayne Busby age 45 and Jesus Torres age 19 were arrested [Both of Florida, according to Lt. Swithenbank]. Both subjects were charged with felony cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana and possession of equipment to chemically synthesis a controlled substance (BHO).
Fish and Wildlife located 33 environmental violations: 17 Streambed Alteration/ Water Diversion violations, 5 Sediment Discharge violations, 10 Trash in or near Stream Violations, and 1 Water pollution (gas placed near stream) violation.
County Code Enforcement located the following Violations: Construction without a permit, [Grading] without a permit, Streamside Management violation, Unlawful Sewage discharge, and violation of the Commercial Medical Marijuana ordinance.
HAZMAT located the following violations: Failed to establish a hazardous materials business plan for fuel being stored onsite.
All criminal violations stemming from the marijuana cultivation investigations will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for review. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office maintains a cooperative relationship with all agencies that participated in this investigation. All future investigations into non-compliant marijuana operations will continue to be investigated in this manner.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.