Water Diversion and Other Environmental Concerns Cited in Yesterday’s Marijuana Raid

Baker and Garibay

This is a press release from the Humboldt 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 May 25, 2017 Agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County Code Enforcement, Humboldt County Environmental Health, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Illinois State Police served two search warrants.

The first search warrant was served at a residence located in the 2600 block of Visser Court in McKinleyville. When Agents arrived they located one of the home owners, 35 year old Rhett Baker along with 30 year old David Garibay. During the search Agents located approximately 200 pounds of processed/packaged marijuana bud, a digital scale, pay and owe sheets and approximately $150,000.00 in U.S. currency which was seized as proceeds from illegal drug sales.

The second search warrant was served on a rural piece of property owned by Rhett Baker off Route 1 in Humboldt County. When law enforcement arrived several subjects fled into the brush. One subject, 41 year old Adrian Villagrana was captured.

A search of this property revealed two large indoor diesel grows as well as several greenhouses. Both indoor grows and the green houses contained growing marijuana. In addition a loaded firearm was located along with $20,000.00 in U.S. Currency whch was seized as proceeds from illegal drug sales. A total of 5497 marijuana plants were being grown on the property.

At this property it was discovered water was being diverted from a nearby creek to supply to the marijuana grow. Humboldt County Environmental Health Inspectors also noted the diesel tanks on scene contained red dye, no hazmat business plan had been filed, no spill control measures were in place, no secondary containment vessels were present, there was unauthorized waste oil on the soil and they had an unauthorized hazardous waste storage (55 gallon drum of used oil). No applications or permits were completed to grow marijuana on either property.

This investigation began almost 18 months ago when Illinois State Police seized approximately 400 pounds of processed marijuana on a traffic stop. They were able to determine the source of the marijuana was located in Humboldt County.

As a result of this investigation Rhett Baker was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy, money laundering and violation of probation. Mr. Baker will also face charges associated with the above listed environmental crimes located at his rural property. Mr. Garibay was arrested for possession of marijuana for sales and conspiracy. Mr. Villagrana was arrested for cultivation of marijuana, resisting arrest and conspiracy.

This investigation is ongoing and future arrest are anticipated. Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268-2539.

Villagrana and moneydiesel tank

Diesel leak

Indoor marijuana grows

Indoor marijuana grows and money




  • Veterans friend


  • Why do they not seize the properties?

    • They do if they can, but cash in hand is easier, usually the cash reported by police is way less than what they actually found. They pocket a lot of it.

  • Step Into the Light- Ha Ha!

    This kind of stuff is going on all over the place up here. Large operations, multiple greenhouses full of weed and it’s being overlooked daily over the last decade by our lamest Sheriff’s Department. It takes an out-of-state investigation to force our sheriff to simply Do His Job. Our sheriff will always make the lame claim that he has no budget or resources to drive up to obvious mega-grows and cut down plants but by now we all know he is a lazy and corrupt liar. The grows are very obvious from the air. The sheriff’s refusal to Do His Job over years has created the dangerous mess we have as it has become obvious to many criminals that Humboldt County is the place to come set up shop and make huge profits. The present permitting and regulation process is just window dressing as the sheriff still refuses to Do His Job in relation to marijuana. And I got no problem with individuals’ choices or mom n pop grows but it is not cool what we have allowed to flourish here. Corruption runs deep and we all suffer. Hate to say it but if and when AG Sessions unleashes federal forces to kick ass here…he will have every logical reason.

    • We can only hope.

      • Thank you Illinois police dept…for helping clean your garbage out of Humboldt!

        • You Christian Republican white trash fear mongers will be the only garbage left once you get all the devils lettuce farmers outa here!

          • Step Into the Light- Ha Ha!

            We will never get rid of all growers and we shouldn’t. But running the biggest and greediest out of town would be wonderful! It is not a simple duality here. Just because you grow weed does not mean you are cool or “on my team” or “helping the cause” or being a revolutionary. Many are just greedy assholes. Please don’t oversimplify the problem. Many smaller growers are great community members. Most mega-growers are not and they are not worthy of our support or protection. They are only here to take take take…

            • Triniboldticino

              And jealousy rears its ugly head. You’re going to get mega-corporate-grows stuck up your ass, you understand that, right? As soon as the dust settles on the laws, State and Federal, the multinational corporations take over and you’re done. I don’t grow, but the economics of what is happening is pretty obvious.

              • Yeah but “step into the light” won’t be jealous over the corporations. Jealous over these guys cause he has just as much of a chance to make it big but doesn’t because he is lazy and not driven. Hating on the successful because it reminds him of what a pile he is.

                • Step Into the Light- Ha Ha!

                  You sound defensive. Nearly every big and “successful” grower I know- and I know many- is not rich from ambition as much as they hit the timing right, took advantage of a welcoming community, lied about “medicine” growing and then blew up huge and dirty scenes while pretending to be mellow and awesome. They did us no favors and will split when the money stops screaming in. I’m not jealous. i’m pissed we allowed these parasites to thrive while tearing down our county. I don’t consider having some high-priced mid-quality restaurants an economic blessing from you and the rest of your scum. And yeah- it’s obvious the big corporations with deep pockets will knock off the mega-assholes just like they drove the mom n pops into foreclosure. I’ve been here since ’78, my property is paid off, I saw you jerks arriving , had you pegged from the get-go and I’ve never liked you. My old neighbors all feel the same. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

          • Clarke Johnston

            Generalize much? BTW: Please don’t do any jury duty; your bias is showing.

  • The Apache Warrior

    Amen and a DOUBLE AMEN to that ‘step into the light-haha’. As far as I’m concerned, bring in the Troops as we are paying them anyway. Put them to work getting rid of these scumbags.

    • To remedy your ignorance, i refer you to

      Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 and to
      18 US Code sect.1385
      In the service of controlling others, you seek to return us all to a condition of serfdom. those who refuse to learn history, damn us all to repeat it. long live the emperor who wears no clothes.

      • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

        Growers are domestic terrorists holding communities hostage, poisoning the land, carrying weapons.

        [EDIT: Nope, don’t go there.]

      • Step Into the Light- Ha Ha!

        Hmm….Guess you weren’t around for CAMP days? They were fun! Not so many greedy jerks around.

      • Yo mama, You should go read the National Defense authorization Act Obama signed in 2012, you might be a little surprised!

      • That law has been rendered useless. The military in this country has been used to murder union protesters, war-veterans demanding the bonuses they were promised, etc., etc. The United States has used its military against civilians on US soil many times.
        Laws are written, they mean nothing to the rulers. Real life is guns, blood and murder. Sorry to upset your pie-in-the-sky vision of our great country.

  • Red Dye is fine for off highway use no road tax needed here?

    Money seized should be used for cleanup.

  • Greedy. And disrespectful to the environment. Bye bye guys. All readers’ eyes are dry.

  • What is the red dye used for?

  • >”What is the red dye used for?”

    Red dyed diesel is ‘exempt’ from roadway taxes. i.e. cheaper.
    Used by farms, boats, and big generators!

  • Jorge Cervantes

    Non ridgid fuel lines are a big no no. It’s like the clowns that used to use pvc to run fuel thru. Environmental Accident waiting to happen. One tank does appear to have secondary containment. Wonder what kind of fuel lines my neighbors are running??? Might just run down to check!

  • Time to clean up your act !

  • Some secondary containment. The smaller tank is hooked to machine has none.
    A little leak like the one shown is what they need to be worried about as the having a grow like that will make it more likely to be inspected, even if it is no more than the accumulation of little leaks and spills that happen when you don’t get anal about never spilling a drop. Take heed those who spill a little gas when they fill up their small generators, chain saws, ex,…..

    • Pft. It’s everywhere.

      You know how many oil filters from yarders are in the slash piles from logging? Go find a fresh cut. Collet the broken steel cables too. Oh, and the empty chain lube cans.

      I’m not gonna cry if I spill a touch of fuel in my woods making wood to heat my home for the winter. I can tell you it don’t hurt a damn thing.

  • Put the seized cash towards clean up [edit]

    • Lookin' deeper

      We can be certain that the original inhabitants of the Emerald triangle felt that most all white men were horrendously terroristic. They destroyed a sustainable way of life,tore families apart, left a legacy of greed and pollution, environmental devastation, violence and firewater, right up to our present reality. The ‘Back to the land’ folks wanted to heal the raped forests and create a simple sustainable lifestyle away from the rampant materialistic mainstream. Unfortunately, their children had other ideas and took things in a different direction. No one knows what the third generation of Cannabis farmers will be facing. Everyone needs to step back and get the big picture. Imagine what the history will say about our present time 50 years from now. Try to do the right things now and steer that future towards a good thing.

  • Small Bust Compared To What Is Out There! SERIOUSLY!!!

    Dude was busted in McKinleyville. They have a new federal courthouse there. This is likely to be the 1st of many more busts to come. Think about it. This is isn’t even BIG Time. This is a relatively SMALL grow compared to what it out there now. Most growers that are Big OG’s are growing tonnage. “One ton of marijuana” is pretty common these days. We are talking about grows multiple times larger than this bust. How they sell all their weed I have no freaking clue. Seems like a nightmare, but good problem to have. If the Feds do some digging they will find Much BIGGER fish to fry. Bottom Line: “the times are a changing”

    • Yes, when that courthouse was being built, I thought it was part of this ongoing puzzle that is the CannaBiz. Long ago, when the Feds issued a limited amount of Marijuana Tax Stamps, they soon after busted most of them….they were easy targets! Colorado is sooo regulated, maybe they will be the easiest target. Humboldt is sooo scrambled and chaotic, not to mention the newest& way more violent contingents, we may not actually be the first ones to be made the example. But really, nobody knows right now…

  • mendocino mamma

    A drop in the bucket on both sides.

  • Shouldn’t the companies that fill the tanks they know are illegal be partially responsible.

  • It’s not like they’re just workers there delivering fuel that they know is going to end up on the ground they can see it.

  • And the most common ingredient in pestisides used on clearcuts is diesel. Sprayed along with your favorite pestisides as a carrier. Yum!!!

  • Capitalist pig

    Wow what a massive diesel leak I spillmore than that when I’m fueling up my old growth redwood hauling logging truck at the local renner station

  • Concerned in Yurok Country

    Divide and rule! The powers that be, the big players in the global economy are doing a great job and getting a good laugh watching us fight each other with words behind closed doors on our phones, tablets and computers…
    We venture outside with our heads hung low to buy their groceries, their fuel and maybe some plastic crap that will be waste in a short while. Then retreat to our caves to check in with our devices, buy their power, pay their war taxes, and acumilate more garbage to maybe have them dump in the ocean or send off to an occupied third world country that might have use for our crap!
    I have an idea… Lets get off these devices and go meet these people we love to humiliate in our comments online! Keeping our minds open to the fact that only when we come together will we make a diference!
    P.s. Usually when you fling mud at others you get dirty in the process and lose alot of ground.

  • villagrano looks like mexican mafia written all over him thanks law enforcement for busting another mega grow .makes it a lil easer on the mom and pop .I’ve seen those perps pictures before ,for getting busted a while back for dope grow in. that operation looks like they been doing it for a long time. there full on creed is over for now ,but they are headed to Mexico to regroup, and come back to start it all over again great job state of Illinois. if it wasn’t for you guys our lame ass sheriff would not have done a damn thing .

    • we have a new sheriff, we have yet to see if it’s the same, or better/worse. I was wondering what the difference is in the oil storage is? you can buy a 55gal drum full of new oil at the store and haul it to your shop legally I belive, does it become illegal once it is used and put back in? (obviously every thing is illegal at a place like this I’m just curious)

  • Awake Alligator

    Maybe you had too much, too fast
    Just over played your part

  • What really bothers me is that 55 gallon drum of used oil, not recycled…

  • God forbid you grow some,dope and make some money to get ahead in life while freeing enslaved boxed in minds at the same time. Big fucking deal a bit of diesel, you fucking [edit]fukushima is leaking! And your whining bout a little diesel, how about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, get your shit straight dumbies

  • Clarke Johnston

    This is precisely the type of law enforcement action that makes this ol’ taxpayer happy. Diverting water and messing up the environment along the way. Crazy cash as well. Good. Driving out the “criminal” element. For a viewpoint representing a contray opinion, please enjoy the above commentary by “*uckthesystem” above. Good day!

  • Still Discriminative Against Farmers

    This is discrimination against cannabis farmers, make no mistake…
    Humboldt County trespassed on their farm property armed with military assault weapons, pointed weapons at the farmers, broke the farmers gates, broke down the farmers doors, rummaged and searched through the farmers personal belongings, stole their farm harvest the farmers had worked hard to grow an harvest, stole the farmers hard earned money, accused the farmers of environmental degradation for not paying “road tax” on off road fuel which was never used on the road, slandered the farmers as “environmental destroyers” for using the natural spring water which is legally entitled to them. Then Humboldt County pointed guns at the farmers, forcibly put handcuffs on the farmers, then slandered the farmers names simply because Humboldt County Government does not like the crop they were growing…. had it been cows, feed corn or grapes everything would have been ok. Then they gave the farmers higher bale than rapists, child molesters or domestic batterers…. Why, to justify the blatant theft, ( not to mention Humboldt Sheriff and Mendo Sheriff Depts. Skim money off the top of what they report and divide it among thenselves), This is discrimination against cannabis farmers, make no mistake!

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