Nearly 12,000 Marijuana Plants Eradicated and Multiple Water Diversions Found in Bust Near Hyampom, Says Sheriff’s Office

kwayne Busby and Jesus Torres

Kwayne Busby and Jesus Torres

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.

Convoy on Vista Point at Berry Summit

The convoy on Vista Point at Berry Summit Tuesday morning. [Photo slightly contrasted and cropped from one shared by a reader.]

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.


Water Diversion with drinks cooling in a yellow plastic basket.

Outdoor toilet with black plastic “walls.”

Marijuana Plants and dead trees.

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.



  • Should have paid off the county cough. cough. I meant got yer “permits”

  • Awesome bathroom! No officers that’s not a spring water diversion that’s just my okie fridge to keep my Gatorade cool.

  • Dave chapell looks like hell…

  • Thank you for labeling the caption “Trash” below one of the pictures.
    I wouldn’t have know otherwise.

  • 6 subjects were detained but only 2 arrested? Hmmm. Curious about the other 4.

  • Kwayne legit needed that medical grade herb

  • looks like your average hunting camp but cleaner. No HCDEH violations except no plan means no chemical spills. thanks you for trying your best and being ready for rain.

    • Read further. Multiple enviro violations found..

      • I am referring to chemical spills. the HCDEH issued one violation and that was for not having a plan on file. they have a very clean site and I have been to many. they even set up a cover to keep the gas cool and/or in anticipation of the rain. covers over the 5-gallon buckets too.

        • 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.

          • 17 streambed alteration/water diversion violations consisting of exact details would be helpful. Just tossing charges out there doesn’t help others to learn from or to hold informed opinions about.
            5 sediment discharge violations consisting of what exactly?
            10 trash in .stream .. now there’s an informed opinion maker.
            10 trash near a stream does not hold water. What exactly is considered “near” and was the trash contained for later removal?
            1 water pollution violation, gas placed “near” a stream violation. How far, close, is “near”. Did they pert near hit the side of a barn that was pert near a stream that was pert near a mile away? Or was it pert near within 10′ of a stream?

            Were the violations an everyday of 365 days a year offense, a one day offense or an accumulating days of offense?

          • there were Zero chemical spills found. Zero. shak I was told its 150′ from the centerline of the drainage.

  • I don’t think the herb is what killed those trees.

  • Its sad the growers could only afford one eyebrow a piece…

  • Grating without a permit? I see no evidence of cheese!

  • What is the property owners name? Was he a local asshole or an emigrant asshole.

  • Looks like a normal mom-n-pop operation.

  • Except for that shitty water diversion they got going the rest of it looks pretty good. They were helping the land where fire had obviously wiped out the forest or something. What’s wrong with that? Honestly, this is really not that bad. Why are the cops messing with everyone trying to go legit?
    Why isn’t there like a camp operation for meth and heroin or something? It’s taking over and the cops are worried so much about the growers. Stop fucking with the growers and start getting the fucking tweakers already!! Wtf!

    • Patriot in Willits

      If you’re growing close to 12,000 plants, you’re obviously not trying to “go legit”.These are the jerks who are driving down the price, and destroying the livelihood of the people who genuinely are trying to do things the right way.

      • The “legit” grows have more plants. They got permits to go bigger

        • Legalization promotes bigger and bigger grows and cut the soul out what was once a soulful in my mind righteous endeavor. If you don’t grow big you can’t make it and you had better have a good market which most don’t have. It’s a race to the bottom so sad.

  • Why do the cops keep messing with growers? How come there are heroin addict all over the plaza, around town and everywhere you go now? How come we are not busting these people and have a system set up that gets them off of charges and helps them out while we work so hard to screw over the growers? How does this make any sense to any of you? The cops need to stop looking at the growers and do something about these good dam tweakers

    • People been saying that for years. There’s money in busting growers. And most busts are auctioned in house and sold to county workers.


    If weed is legal to sell soon,the quickest way to get the weed off the hills,is to give the cops a sellers permit or a
    pot club or whatever.
    Bam! Every hill raided.

    (just kidding…kinda)

  • More out of state scumbags comming here to screw up our environment and do nothing for our community but take.Enjoy your stay in Eureka,then go home!!!

  • Looks like HELL!!!

  • I thought my work load was intebsez

    Close to 12thousand plants. Mind. Blown.

  • It looks like 1/2 to 1 gallon per minute or 720 to 1440 gallons per day based on their catchment. Significantly less than the State assumed 5 gallons per plant per day.

  • They should write the la times, about how they are just the targets of a racist regime here, just trying to “farm” yuk yuk. (This is sarcasm)

  • The grading versus grating misspelling is all too common.

  • Aww. They are just wonderful healers growing medicine for sick people. The fascist cops need to leave these excellent farmers of medicinal herbs alone so they can continue being part of our super-spiritual community!!! They really are what we are all about- ambition and healing and being wonderful!!!!!!!

  • I’m sure no one reading this has an unpermitted grow, but if you did have one, the smart plan would be to get your water permits anyway. Register water rights with the state Water Control Board, get a discharge permit from the Water Quality Board, and diversion permits from Fish and Wildlife. If you do, and keep a clean camp, even with 11,000 plants all you’ll get is a misdemeanor. Oh, yes, no butane hash equipment, please. If you grow like these guys you’ll end up with a list of criminal charges that’ll make your head spin. It will lead off with felonies, and then a long trail of misdemeanors for the environmental violations No fun, and then there are the civil fines for the environmental violations.

  • So what? The sheriff could be hitting one of these a day if he actually did his job. Instead we get these media- posing events to pretend that he is doing something. This entire county is full of crap like this. And the crazy thing is – They are still arriving!! Yeah- it’s getting worse. Enjoy!

  • Why hasn’t Jesus cured that mans blindness and jaundice?

  • These fuckers along with all the other fuckers who have moved in along the top of south fork mt have decimated the deer population all the little cut off roads now end with a gate and private property sign the Hmongs bought up all the shitty burnt piss fir parcels and are poaching like crazy

  • Timothy McVeigh's ghost

    Did they bring their own porta potty for the sleep over? Or did they pack out their own sh$t?
    Curious the caption “marijuana and dead trees” is there an implication the trees died becouse of cultivation activities perhaps they were over watered?
    Good work LE with your continued efforts to stabilize the price per pound.
    Thank you

  • They both have that marijuana addict dumbed down look.

  • Convoy on Panther Gap rd. with Helicopters . A lot of people at the gap are going to lose there pay checks today

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