Outraged: One Man’s Two Month Quest From the FBI to the ATF to Expose What He Says Are Corrupt Police Officers in Mendocino County

See Part 1 here: Former Undercover Officer Involved in Developing Cannabis Products Accuses Hopland Tribal Police Chief of Theft, Corruption, and Civil Rights Violations

Zeke Flatten

Zeke Flatten [Photo provided by him]

Zeke Flatten doesn’t dispute that he was operating in a legally gray area when he headed south from Humboldt County on December 5 in a rental car carrying three pounds of marijuana in a cardboard box. He said he planned to use part of the pounds while developing a TV pilot in his work as an independent film producer and use the rest in the research and development of cannabis products. But the plans for working on CBD dog treats and unique packaging for cannabis flower were put on hold along with his TV pilot when he was pulled over by an unmarked Police Interceptor just south of Hopland near the Mendocino/Sonoma County border. There, he says, his pounds were stolen by corrupt law enforcement.

2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility

Flatten describes a vehicle similar to this 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility. [Image from here]

When Flatten woke up after 9 a.m. in the small town of Garberville in Southern Humboldt that morning in December, he didn’t know that soon he would be accusing the then Hopland Tribal Chief of Police, Steve Hobb, of theft, corruption, and civil rights violations. He only knew he was running late because he had slept in.

“I had been traveling for almost a month straight on different projects,” he explained. “Since Thanksgiving, I had very little sleep…I grabbed food to go…I was out of town by 10.”

In Hopland, Flatten stopped for fuel. “I was already familiar with the gas station,” he said. “I went inside to buy some water, but they didn’t have the kind I wanted.” Flatten said he talked to the clerk whom he recognized from earlier stops, then stepped into his car and drove south on Hwy 101.

“I was traveling slightly a bit slower than the traffic to the left of me when I spotted an unmarked police car stopped alongside the road,” Flatten said. “I wasn’t really concerned. I was following the driving laws. I know I was in a gray area [legally]. But…my mindset is not that I’m trafficking drugs.”

He said he was alert but not very concerned “even when they pulled out behind me and the lights were activated.” The lights were on the grill and “somewhere higher but not on the roof.”  He said he thought, “It was kind of odd at the time that they took…after me. I didn’t know what I was getting pulled over for.”

Flatten described turning into a pull out just past a landmark locally known as Squaw Rock. “I must have felt a little agitated [because] I smacked the button on the radio to turn it off,” he admitted ruefully.

But, still, “I thought it was going to be simple,” he said.

A man dressed as an officer in a green uniform approached on the side away from traffic, Flatten described. He calls him Officer 1 but later, he identified him with “almost certainty” from photographs online as the Hopland Tribal Police Chief Steve Hobb. “When he leaned in the passenger side window…he had a grin or smirk,” described Flatten.

Officer 1 asked questions about who he was and where he was going but never identified himself, according to Flatten. Another man, whom Flatten calls Officer 2, stood at the rear of the vehicle. Eventually, Flatten said Officer 1 asked him, “Will you step out of the car?” The man said he wanted to see his license and registration.

“Something about the way he was talking to me set not chills but a tingle all over me,” said Flatten who said he was beginning to believe this was not a legitimate traffic stop. “There was a definite shift in his tone. I knew at that point there was something wrong.” He later described why he believed this was not a legally conducted stop in a document he sent to the FBI, the California Attorney General’s Office, the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Grand Jury. He wrote,

I knew I wasn’t speeding and although [O]fficer 1’s techniques appeared official, his procedures did not. He did not disclose his name or department …I started to take notice that both uniforms had no patches, no badges, or no name tags. They were both wearing green…uniforms with black raid vests that displayed “POLICE” insignias on front and back, and [O]fficer 2 had a green cap with the muted U.S. flag on the side of the cap.

officer hats

Officer 2’s hat resembled the olive green hat on right (maybe a little less green) but with a muted American flag on the side like the one on the hat on the left, said Flatten. [Image from here]

Flatten said he thought the men were pretending to be officers but were actually criminals and he worried that his life might be in danger. “For probably the first 30 seconds I wondered, ‘Do I need to break out and run on foot,'” he explained. “I knew it wasn’t right. There was not any kind of identification.”

But then he saw something that he said reassured him. “…I saw their license [plate] was California Exempt,” he explained. “I felt relief. These are cops.”

He said he could tell the plate was authentic.  “I never once doubted the plate,” he said. “I knew that it was real. It wasn’t paper. It wasn’t cardboard. It had screws…It was on a police [type] car…I think my nervousness or anxiety decreased when I knew that at least one of them was a legitimate cop.”

Having been an undercover investigator in Texas for several years when he was in his twenties, Flatten said he instinctively trusts law enforcement and believed that at the worse he was facing paying an attorney because he was operating in a legal gray area.

Flatten handed Officer 1 his rental agreement and his license. The first officer then handed them to Officer 2.

In a statement he wrote the evening of December 5 (read the entire document here) and included in his packet to various law enforcement agencies and government departments as he sought justice, he described what happened soon after he got out of the car. He wrote,

Officer 1 opened the hatchback to my rental and removed the box, and then closed the hatch. He did not touch anything else in my vehicle. Officer 1 set the box on the ground next to his front passenger tire and [knelt] down as he cut open the box with his knife…

[O]fficer 1 pulled three sealed bags from inside the box…

Officer 1 put the contents back into the box, he looked at me and said to [O]fficer 2, “Get a picture of his license…” as he quickly placed the box in the unmarked unit. Officer 2 took a picture of my drivers license, me, and the license plate on the rental car…Officer 2 [said], “We’re with the ATF. Marijuana is taking over in California, like cigarettes. You may get a letter from Washington.”…

He handed me my license and rental contract and said, “Have a nice day.” and they left me standing on the side of 101. They were gone heading northbound on 101 before I could walk back to my driver door. We were on the side of the road for less than 5 minutes.

They never ran my name to see if I was wanted nor did they search any other part of the vehicle, or my person.

After the unmarked vehicle left, Flatten said he needed to pause. He said he then drove south and stopped at a restaurant to gather his thoughts. “It probably took 45 minutes for me to calm down, to get a normal pulse, to be able to think straight,” he said. “By the time I left, I was pretty sure these were legitimate cops not doing legitimate work,” he said. Because the unmarked police-type vehicle had California Exempt License plates, Flatten said he believed that the two men were law enforcement. He told us they also seemed to have a working knowledge of police techniques including how Officer 1 physically controlled his movement. Flatten said that the man had been trained and was smooth and practiced in what he did.

However, he told us he was also sure they were behaving illegally. Flatten said he soon came to that conclusion for several reasons. “They never ran my name to see if I was wanted nor did they search any other part of the vehicle, or my person,” he explained which he says is standard practice. Nor, he said, did the officers ask to see his recommendation for medical marijuana that he told them he had in a backpack on the front seat of the SUV.

In addition, he said, “I never heard any police radio traffic and neither of the officers used their radios to communicate.”

Furthermore, he was never given a property receipt or voucher for the property seized from his vehicle which law enforcement is required to do.

Though Officer 2 allegedly told Flatten that the operation was with the ATF and though many of the agency’s operations are “carried out in conjunction with task forces made up of state and local law enforcement officers,” Flatten believes that local officers wouldn’t have been working alone on an ATF operation and federal officers wouldn’t have a California Exempt License plate.

That night, after he got a motel, he said he “carefully placed my rental car contract in an envelope to preserve any potential fingerprints from the two officers, as proof of my contact with them.”

Once he felt he understood that he had been the victim of corrupt police officers, he said he “went into investigative mode.” He said he began by documenting every detail of the stop he could remember. “I typed up a lot of information that I sent to an attorney,” he explained.

He also began searching the internet for images of law enforcement officers in Mendocino County that matched his memory of those who had pulled him over.

According to Flatten, on December 5 this was the splash page image spread across the top of the Hopland Tribal Police page. Chief Steve Hobb is the center officer. As of this writing, another photo of Steve Hobb speaking to students is at the top of the page of the Hopland Tribal Police.

His search took him to Hopland Tribal Police. The picture on its homepage sent a shock of recognition through him, he told us later. “I was pretty certain that I had found Officer 1,” he explained.

He said he began investigating the officer and soon discovered that his name was Steve Hobb and that he had been hired as Police Chief in the fall of 2017 and he had been let go from his previous position as a police sergeant in Banning, California where he made over $120,000 per year plus benefits. (Hobb filed a suit against the city in 2016 and some sort of resolution occurred earlier this year.) The job in Hopland likely paid around half that, according to an advertisement placed Friday for a new Hopland Tribal Police Chief when Hobb left his position last week. He told us in an interview we did with him that he was going to “a real police job.”

Flatten said he became convinced that he was not the only victim. He said he felt it was likely there were other people who have had product or money taken from them who were afraid to step forward because the men who stole from them were police officers.

After struggling for a couple of days, Flatten said he eventually decided he couldn’t ignore what he believed to be police corruption and move on. He said he decided to report the incident. “When people have power like that and abuse it, that’s wrong,” he explained. He added that he worried that if they weren’t stopped, someone could be killed. In addition, he said felt that if the officers were corrupt here who knew if they had helped wrongly convict innocent people in other situations.

“It is not so much for me that I want it investigated,” he told us later. “This is really wrongdoing by people in authority. Somebody could get hurt. Not many people in this situation would come forward and maybe I am one of the few that will.”

On December 8, he called the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department. After not getting anyone willing to take a report and after not receiving return calls, Flatten said he contacted the FBI in San Antonio in person where he lives part-time and gave a statement.

Over the next six weeks, he made multiple calls and requests for help to various agencies. When he felt he had exhausted all avenues without anyone taking him seriously, he reached out to media and this reporter.

“These individuals robbed me on the side of the road and no one will investigate,” he told us. “[The Mendocino Sheriff’s Office says] they do not investigate other agencies and both [the FBI and the Attorney General’s Office] say that local law enforcement is responsible.”

Later, he told us, “I know what happened and it was wrong and it was criminal. And the public needs to know…It is very odd that someone from law enforcement doesn’t want to do something on an official level.”

We began reaching out to several people including Chief Hobb in an attempt to confirm Flatten’s story. For several days, we received no response to our inquiries. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Heinrich called Flatten. Flatten alleges in his statement (however, the FBI would not confirm this) that Heinrich said he had spoken to Hobb. Flatten’s statement alleges that Heinrich said that Hobb had told him “that the incident was part of a federal operation on tribal land but they were not looking to prosecute… .”

However, when we reached out again to Hopland Tribal Police Chief Hobb on February 2, he told us, “I adamantly deny any involvement in anything like that.” He said he would have been on duty that day but he said he would have been alone. He did say, “An FBI agent called me and I denied it” referring to being involved in pulling over Flatten and seizing three pounds of cannabis.

Since then we’ve reached out to the ATF, who then began an investigation into the incident. Flatten said that on February 8, an agent contacted him and in the course of talking with him confirmed that the incident that Flatten alleges occurred on December 5 was not an ATF operation. However, while the ATF has  confirmed there was a call to Flatten and their agency is investigating the allegations, they would not confirm the content of the call.

In addition, on Thursday, February 8, Mendocino County Undersheriff Randy Johnson confirmed that his department is looking into the incident. “We opened an investigation,” he said. “We are in the early stages.”

He did say that his department hadn’t been conducting an operation in the area and, he said, he didn’t believe the ATF had notified his department that an operation was occurring. However, Johnson pointed out, “As far as I know, we weren’t notified…Sometimes the ATF lets us know stuff and sometimes they don’t. But oftentimes they tell us.”

He added, “If it was a legit stop, it appears things weren’t done in a manner that were consistent with a normal undercover operation.”

Johnson said that his department’s investigation could eventually lead to sending the rental agreement that Flatten said was handled by Officer 1 and Officer 2 in for processing for fingerprints. “We could send that document to have it developed,” he stated. “If we get readable prints, then we would compare them [to the officers Flatten believes responsible.]”

However, Johnson said, this could take some time. “Labs are backed up. It depends on how many [prints] they got..I don’t know how long it takes.”

Towards the end of the interview, Johnson acknowledged that Flatten was unusually persistent and passionate in his attempts to seek justice. “I know Zeke feels very wronged,” he said. “I’m not here to say he wasn’t.”

As for Flatten, he told us the robbery was bad but seeking justice has been extremely difficult, too. “It’s been just a nightmare,” he said. “It’s been extremely stressful going through the process…I keep questioning what is real. I feel like it is the Twilight Zone.”

But, according to Flatten, he’s determined to find out what happened to him and if it happened to others. “I want you to know I will pursue this until there is nothing left to pursue,” he said.

Note: At the request of the ATF, the name of the agent who had contacted Zeke Flatten has been removed. They were concerned for his safety. 

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50 comments

  • Same as it ever was .Good Luck F the useless police

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    What a load of crap! So sorry you got busted for transporting marijuana! So unfair!

    It’s NOT a “gray” area. Clearly illegal to transport 3 pounds, no matter how tired you are or how good your excuse is…

    Doggie treats. Try again…

    For the record, there is little about Mendo that is NOT corrupt, strange, and charming. It is a quarky and paranoid place, best left to the usual denizens.

    • Oh I believe every word of it. Nice to see Hopland getting some of the action, now that willits gottem a bypass. Mendocino cops been paying their child support payments long long time now with “confiscated” pot and cash. But you are right, the New cop in town botched it up. Didn’t know how to make it look right.

    • not true its still legal to transport or have 3 lbs, you just need a permit and a shipping manifest.

    • Not if your doctor says you need to take a marijuana bath every day, that is at least 5 pounds needed daily for your aliment. You are not a marijuana medical doctor, and neither are those two bit police officers.

    • How about you sit in your car while two honkeys with guns, pulls your family over, falsely stateing they are law enforcement officers, asking to search you and your family. You’re telling me youd sit their and watch your kids get frisked and take the reach around yourself while these POS’s are impersonating federal officers and committing a much larger and scarier crime than legal cannabis??!. WTF? No wonder the world has turned so soft

    • Groba dude…..
      I hope your the next pull over for these POS [edit]

      • groba dude osnt trustafarian

        Like I said before, I don’t buy this guy’s story. If you are in the jurisdiction of a Sovereign Nation, you are subject to that nation’s rules. Also, dopers see far too many “phony cops” for my taste.

        If the whole thing is not on video, and there is no other real evidence, I tend to believe the LEO’s. I never believe drug users since they lie about everything, and make excuses constantly, for their stupid behavior.

        Sorry if you don’t like my opinion.

        I didn’t much like being pulled over, during the harvest, in Lake County, by two CHP’s who seemed to be only interested in sniffing the inside of my car. I drive an Acura, but I do have long hair, so I don’t know why they thought I was transporting. They let me go immediately, but had someone else pulled over within seconds.

        I thought various things, but I didn’t have time to watch. I do think that the CHP should enforce traffic laws, and concentrate on speeders and the intoxicated, rather than trying to stop transporters at random…

    • So you promote a police state and are happy to lose your freedom. Good to know.

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  • This is very disturbing to think this can happen. I know a lot of Peace Officers. I know the general public for the most part trust Peace Officers. But, there are bad cops for sure. The bottom line is this: If you are operating in the (Grey Area) of the law then you have lots to worry about. The Cannabis industry is full of thieves and rip offs. There are people that impersonate peace officers, even hardened criminals. They are the ones to be of worry. The best thing is to stay away from Criminal activities so you don’t enter the grey area. Also, there are many undercover operations going in this country. Some op’s are known and some are not. It is not to question there viability as there are too many dynamics of operations that go far beyond normal thought. When you are trying to develop a case against someone or an organization, the last thing you need is a citizen that got pinched doing wrong to start crying wolf. It can develop into a rather deadly situation as there are secrets to be kept secret. Secret means secret. That is why we call it a secret. When I was in the Military, if you were given a secret to keep, then you keep the secret or face a firing squad. Some G.I.’s never return home! You are lucky to be alive, next time keep it to yourself and chalk it up to lesson learned.

    • There is absolutely no proof this was an undercover operation and a lot of indications that this was something criminal. And you want a former investigative officer to participate in covering it up? I can’t even figure out your logic here.

      If there was a real undercover operation, Zeke said he would have chalked this up to experience and moved on. At any time in the last two months, the agency involved could have used discrete channels to make sure he was aware this was legit and they didn’t.

      Basically, you are advocating that anyone who gets ripped off by anyone who says he’s law enforcement should just be quiet. Do you think that will end well? I foresee that it would result in numerous criminals pretending to be law enforcement–a problem we already have.

      • Aquaman knows the answers

        Hey Kym, was Mr. Flatten a police officer? I’ve now seen former officer, former undercover officer, and former investigator, and took part in undercover work. I’m confused as to if he was ever actually a police officer, and if he wasn’t, I feel like it’s getting sensationalized a little.

        Not that it makes it ok if this did happen. It seems like just doing prints on the rental car would solve it pretty quick. All cops are livescanned prior to employment.

    • This is very disturbing to think this can happen. I know a lot of growers. I know the general public for the most part trust growers. But, there are bad growers for sure. The bottom line is this: If you are operating in the (Grey Area) of law enforcement then you have lots to worry about. The law enforcement industry is full of thieves and rip offs. There are people that impersonate peace officers, even (and especially) cops. They are the ones to be of worry. The best thing is to stay away from law enforcement officers so you don’t enter the grey area. Also, there are many blatant ripoff operations going in this country. Some ops are known and some are not. It is our responsibility to question their viability as there are too many dynamics of operations that go far beyond normal proceedures. When you are trying to develop a case against someone or an organization, the last thing you need is a citizen that is willing to tell the truth. It can develop into a rather deadly situation as there are secrets to be kept secret. Secret means secret. That is why we call it a secret. When I was in law enforcement, if you were given a secret to keep, then you keep the secret or get busted for corruption. Some of these poor souls never return home! You are lucky to be alive, next time SHOUT THE TRUTH TO THE HEAVENS SO ALL MAY HEAR!

  • Dang! I thought this article would be about those guys on the Mendocino County Narcotics Task Force. Now there is some serious and dangerous and blatant corruption and thieving that has been going on for at least 20 years! But I guess they are untouchable as always…

    • Seriously! MMCTF are a wanna-be “ A-team” made up of thug type cops. The corruption goes all the way to the top. ( DA, UPD, MCSO, grand jury, homeland security) I have seen this happening for at least 25 years now. Glad to see someone that is not from “ the triangle “ have the guts to report it. But be very careful Zeke, they might try to silence you, for good. And they seem like they are almost untouchable but one day the tables will turn, they will get what they deserve. We shall make sure of it.😉

    • If you have evidence of wrongdoing, my email is mskymkemp@gmail.com

    • The Mendocino Major crimes task force consists of officers from many different departments, it would be interesting to know if Hobbs was employed by the MMCTF
      I have seen this same type of traffic stop numerous times in Mendo, unmarked car, guys with bulletproof vests with police on the back, but they are not wearing uniforms

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  • Will make a good movie pilot…Why even question the whole truth of this incident. I would question both sides of this story, because there are some inconsistances on both sides. Zeke says he was an undercover “investigator”. What type, News Investigator, Private Investigator, Law Enforcement Investigator, or self proclaimed Investigator (also referred to as snitches). It sounds like maybe someone is looking for money to produce his pilot. I don’t understand why we act surprised when a accusation like this surfaces. Don’t we want our law enforcement to represent the make up of our society? We pride ourself of belonging to a outlaw society. We hide behind that “Redwood Curtain” and for the past decades made hugh amounts of money from growing and selling pot. We are a greedy society that does not really care what the truth is, because we can use the media to make it what we want it to be…politics, political correctness, even how we react to crimes. All in all, it will be interesting to see what happens and if we ever really find out if the truth comes out…guess we’ll have to wait for the movie.

    • Zeke worked for a police department in Texas. Yes, I’ve seen proof. If the article states something as fact, I’ve seen proof of it. Otherwise, the article attributes the information to whomever said it.

  • Have you ever been railroaded by cops?

    #me2

  • You have no idea! Guess how many officers in Mendocino County in the past have had Physicians cannabis recommendations and large grows in their yards. TNTC (which is too numerous to count.) Personal cameras and gps shoes should be mandatory for enforcement be it local, feds, or whatever other entity they hide behind.

  • “I went inside to buy some water, but they didn’t have the kind I wanted.” Frozen? Colored? Pond? Raw? I feel cheated not knowing this vital info…..

    • I debated whether to post the part about going inside but Undersheriff Johnson had suggested one possibility was that Zeke might have flashed a roll of money there which could have somehow alerted a criminal gang and led to them pulling him over. I questioned Zeke and he assured me that though he had gone inside, he hadn’t shown any money at all. I described this in more detail than I normally would have in case a commenter might otherwise think the same thing.

    • TY for the laugh, Pink. 🙂 “Pond”, lol

  • I’m a Hopland Member of the Hopland Band Of Pomo Indians and what they call”Squaw Rrock” is not Hopland Bands Land! Hobbs is a racist Police on the Hopland Rancheria.

  • I’m a member of the Hopland Band Of Pomo Indians. What they call “Squaw Rock” is not Hopland Band Of Pomo Indians LAND! Hobbs is a racist Police on the Hopland Rancheros. I have an on going case, which is serious involving a stabing and he wouldn’t peruse the charges of this particular crime.

  • Sounds like he used to be a nark back in Texas, maybe someone got him back for something he did to them back in the day. , I don’t feel bad for him.

    • For heaven sakes…if he was a murderer it wouldn’t make it good for the community to have law enforcement stealing from people driving through the area. You don’t have to like him to think it isn’t okay to have law enforcement breaking the law like he accuses them of doing.

  • FTP past present and future

  • No bookin' em Dano, eh?

    “Note: At the request of the ATF, the name of the agent who had contacted Zeke Flatten has been removed. They were concerned for his safety. ”
    Guess somebody is taking this seriously. Good.

  • Over the years I`ve heard several stories of various police engaging in open theft in this county. These are all hearsay; however, I give them good credibility. By nature I`m skeptical and my first question is always to consider the source and I believe these are true.

    1. Theft of significant cash from a mid-level heroin distributor on the coast several years ago. I believe this was the drug task force.

    2. Theft of several thousand dollars in cash from out of state hippies (think Furry Freak Brothers) by CHP.

    3. Theft of a paintball gun when the drug task force came up dry when they raided a small time marijuana dealer several years ago.

    4. Planting of evidence (bag of cocaine) on a drug dealer on probation by the drug task force.

    5. General theft from people on probation; extending to anything of value. This information came from a law office so I consider this quite reliable.

    Having the boring life of working as an engineer, I don`t sell, transport drugs and am generally quite law abiding so don`t have much direct contact with this sort of thing. I emphasize the above incidents are hearsay. However, I consider them quite reliable. A friend who had long ago been a “narc” once gave me the sage advice to “never trust a cop”.

    My guess is that this sort of theft is the tiny tip of a very large iceberg. For those who excuse this sort of thing: How long is it before crooked and corrupt cops extend this to general theft? Your tools or anything else you have which they may want; or, how long is it before one of them decides he`d like a go at your cute 14 year old daughter?

    By the way, I knew Tony Craver personally and considered him to be what a sheriff should be.

  • Lol my friend got taken to jail for 2 days for a DUI in Mendocino county. He got in an accident and was there waiting for me to pick him up. The cops rolled up, he was eating food and the keys weren’t in the ignition. They were “suspicious”. He blew a 0 on the breathalyzer and the cops told me he passed all the sobriety test….and went to jail for a DUI… why….because he has an accent.

  • Back in the good ole days sheriff Renner would invent paid confidential informants, keep the money, use the bogus statement he and his cronies made up to get warrant. Then come clean out your property of anything not nailed down. If you were lucky, that was the end, if not, you could count on $20,000 in legal fees and a misdemeanor. Or if you were really unlucky, you could get charged by the feds. Of course pot at 4800 to 6400 pound helped the sting a little.

  • This type of stuff happens in Mendocino all the time. Willits police dept robbed my neighbors 25 plant med grow a couple years ago. They stole 60lbs trimmed and wrote them a receipt for their shake. Oh and they left all their premature plants alive pretty much just took everything of value. I’ve heard of various other instances of their corruption as well. The feds need to come clean shop up here regarding law enforcement. I’m sure not all of them are bad and corrupt but more than enough…

  • My only comment is that “Zeke” admits this was not his first time transporting so probably was recognized as a “frequent flyer” by someone. I am not saying his story or accusations are untrue…but having been a law enforcement officer himself…why did he not make note of more specifics…like the Plate Number of the “California Exempt License plates”? I know even plainclothes officers wear badges …sometimes on a lanyard around their neck…visible to everyone…for their safety. Did “Zeke” get even one badge number? This happened in 2017 prior to the current California Adult Recreational Use Rules…What was the rule about transporting then and was he ever in total compliance with any permits or licensing as a transporter of Cannabis and did/can/will he show that proof? I have a lot of questions. I know there are some bad officers but there are also many growers/users/abusers who simply thumb their noses at all law enforcement and do not understand the law (or choose to ignore or twist it to their benefit)…”It is legal!” when we all know it is not….no matter what the State of California says.

    • Julia, let me take your points in order.

      Zeke never admitted to me to transporting marijuana more than this one time. I’m unsure where he admits that he does so here in this article. Could you point it out to me? He has spent a lot of time in Humboldt including renting a home there and traveled south but he never told me that he carried marijuana on any of those trips.

      I can’t speak for why Zeke didn’t memorize a plate number but remember when he saw California exempt plates he thought this was a legal stop which didn’t necessitate memorizing a number. It was only the officers’ supicious behavior such as only stopping him for a short time, not searching his vehicle, not giving him a voucher that led him to believe that there was illegal behavior–and of course, he didn’t know they weren’t going to eventually do those things until they left.

      As to the badges, Zeke told me and I repeated in the article, “I started to take notice that both uniforms had no patches, no badges, or no name tags.” There were no badges to take note of.

      My understanding of the rules on transporting are fuzzy as that isn’t the focus of the article as Zeke was never charged with doing anything. The focus was on the illegal behavior of those that stopped him.

  • Don’t you mean the alledged “illegal behavior”, I believe that is how we normally refer to actions that are reported in press releases and that is what Zeke’s statement is. I agree with him that all of the actions as he described are out of the norm of a “normal stop”, but it seems kinda strange how the two cops knew he was transporting dope. Maybe a tip off….maybe he was not well liked by his “friends”. Just another opinion. Based on todays politics, society’s lack of morals, and the “media’s fake news”, can we really believe anyone?

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