Salmon Creek Bust Yields 3273 Marijuana Plants and Six Guns

A California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden looks at a mannequin on the property that was raided last Thursday. Nearby residents say that several large dolls were moved around the property by the people who lived there.[Photo by Kym Kemp]

Three men were arrested last Thursday when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife served a search warrant at a property located off of Thomas Road in the Salmon Creek area west of Miranda. 3273 marijuana plants eradicated, according to Lt. Chris Stoots from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Two handguns and four long guns were confiscated also.

Stoots said that officers from his agency were on a foot patrol of Salmon Creek earlier this year when they noticed large amounts of debris in the stream. “A short distance upstream from the debris, they identified several large greenhouses with growing marijuana plants,” explained Stoots. The agency applied for and received a search warrant from the Superior Court of Humboldt County. Then served it Thursday, said Stoots.

map of marijuana greenhouses

Using Google Maps imagery taken in 2014, we’ve circled the greenhouses shown at the property; not all of these may have been in use. By 2017 there is at least one more greenhouse that is not shown on the image. Possibly some of these greenhouses shown are no longer in use though at least three of them were at the time of the raid.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife took Evaristo Escalante Medrano, Joshua David Roberson, and Charles Thomas Oneal to the Humboldt County Jail. The owner, Medrano, had two outstanding Humboldt County warrants for a DUI and a drunk in public. Roberson was in violation of his probation. Oneal was a parolee at large which means that he had failed to meet the terms of his parole usually by leaving the area and not contacting his parole officer.

Merano was charged with Unauthorized Cultivation, harvesting or processing in Violation of Fish and Game Code, Possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony (whether armed or not), Maintaining a Drug House, Streambed Alteration, Littering within 150 feet of a waterway, and Water Pollution.

Roberson is charged with Probation Violation, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Oneal is charged with Parol Violation and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

All three are still in custody. Medrano has $155,000 bail. Roberson (bail unknown) and Oneal (no bail allowed.) [At the time of this posting, law enforcement had not yet released their mugshots.]

According to a spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife, the agency was aided by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department, Cal Fire, Humboldt County Environmental Health, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Humboldt County Code Enforcement.

Black plastic strung up as a makeshift shield by the residents to keep those traveling by on the County Road from seeing their property. Note the cardboard attached at the bottom of the plastic. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

Earlier Chapter: Law Enforcement Conducting an Apparent Raid in the Salmon Creek Area West of Miranda



  • shawn the fisherman

    Oh thank Jesus! These criminals were stopped sooner rather than later.. Salmon creek deserves clean tributaries. The fish are far more important than these turds.. Seem like everybody has forgotten that around here. Only thing better would be to bust them just before harvest so they are out that much more money! Grow the salmon and catch [edit] the growers.

  • Disgusting

  • With all that room, why put greenhouses so close to the creek? Sounds like these may have given up the whole operation. Great job DFW.

    • As a neighbor and drive by this mess, it’s probably because it’s on a north east steep slope. Put em as far away from the hill as possible. They don’t give a shit anyway. [edit] – tweek – garbage dump – crappy fence -shady characters – pos cars on county road – shady deal to “buy” the property in the first place imperium!

  • Latino felon employing white trash felons. Welcome to Humboldt! That’s what ill-concieved laws and regulations create. The fiction of medical marijuana. The haphazard attempt at regulation. The defiance of federal law by the states. The inability to enforce. The rats see, the rats come. What do they have to loose? They know Jerry Brown will release them after a short stay.

  • Higher Power has so much saving to do

    The costs are many.

    There are endless amounts of people who like to judge and try to control others while traveling down their own chaotic, out-of-control road of faults and weaknesses. Isn’t it ironic?

  • Hey look, upper left side, I think that’s S.O.D.

  • Concerned Fortuna Resident

    Does not surprise me in the least. I saw neighbors packing up food and beverages for a stay at grow. Hopefully, this was them.

  • Great job DFW for taking Out the trash .it’s GROWERS like them that gives the little guy a bad name towards the mom and pops farms .looks like they were stealing water .right out of the creek.,and with the depo hoop house right next to it means run off goes in the creek,and that causes green algae. There I’m sure a whole bunch more doing the sa me thing. Again thanks DFW beat that

    • Revenue sharing

      Hey Pop, look at it this way. Now the line will be shorter when you go in to pay your taxes.

      California Budget – “About $100 million will go to software, personnel and other costs of preparing for the start of marijuana sales to adults over 21. The state will create a tax office in California’s North Coast region, from San Francisco to the border with Oregon, a prime area for growing marijuana, so farmers can conveniently file their taxes.”

  • That there’s a handsome fence, real fine work fellas!

  • “Harvesting or processing violation” i wish they would speak on this. Could be something as simple as not leaving a skin tag on rockfish

  • Double speak outside of cheek

    What are they doing playing hide and seek with the dummies?? Catch me big boy. Catch me!

  • Actual Old School

    Should have parked up on Salmon Creek for a week and taken out much more. Then go to another neighborhood for a week and do the same. This haphazard approach is inefficient and stupid. Only appears to be enforcement and everybody knows it’s useless. Bring in real eradication and multiple chippers- destroy the profit motive for the big and ugly grows and we might believe you are honest about saving our creeks. This is only money generation for CDFW and will have little environmental benefit overall.

  • May that fence is awesome! No way any things getting through that! Blends right in to the surroundings too! I really need to hire that engineering firm to build me one, probably cost a fortune though.

  • These are only the ‘footsoldiers’… WHO set them up is the bigger question.

  • Stay classy HUMBOLDT

  • Fencing like that screams ” trashy grow site” . They would have been better off with no fence.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Everyone in Salmon Creek needs an APC and platoon to search for marijuana.

    Take a poll, more are terrorist growers causing 911’s than living with nature.

    Backup should be called, Navy missile frigates offshore, terrorists uprooted.

  • Kym, if you go to the Planning Dept home page there is a link to the Humboldt County GIS. Plug in the parcel number (I dont know where you get it) and bingo a 2014 map. Mess around a bit and there’s a link to later Google earth images probably 2015 or 2015. With out the parcel number its going to take lots more messing around to get to the target parcel.

    I think the press release elided things a bit. I don’t think there is such a crime as cultivation, processing etc in violation of the F&G code. Illegal cultivation (again nothing about 215s or county permits in the press release) with certain F&G violations is a felony under the Health and Safety Code.

    • Ed, it wasn’t a press release. I called the SO and Fish and Wildlife and put together the info they gave me. Below are the charges against Medrano with their penal code numbers to make it clearer.

      Unfortunately, getting the parcel number would require a lot more than I have time for so I won’t probably get the later images.

      There were no permits in process, according to Stoots.

  • Your information is incorrect. You have Joshua and that other guy mixed up. He is not a parolee at large and he wasnt wanted. He had a driving on a suspended. Getting facts straight is important if you are sharing it publicly.

    • You are correct. In the first paragraph where I mention the men by name, I switched Roberson and Oneal. I’ve fixed that. The second paragraph is correct.

  • Getting parcel numbers is actually.quite easy… theiris an app called land glide that tells you the parcel and owners name. Along with property lines.

    • land glide only lets you open it a few times then shuts you off if you don’t buy the app….at least thats what happened on my fone.

  • More of this Please! No more ‘ go to Humboldt and rig a big grow with no fear of LE’…times have changed outlaw growers, Downey has retired and a whole new crew is coming on board to put a stop to this ‘land rape’ and community menace, thanks to all esp. F&W staff…keep it going all summer people

  • You guys are such hypocrits. Everybody is happy this site was busted but you then go back to smoking your dope. I live on Thomas road and I’m not 420 friendly. I’ll bet in the only person on here that isn’t growing, selling or using. If you live in a glass house you shouldn’t throw stones.

    • Local residents aren’t necessarily happy about this place getting busted for growing marijuana. My understanding is folks weren’t happy about perceived environmental damage. (Also…I’ll bet you aren’t the only person on here “that isn’t growing, selling or using.”)

  • Solve the Real Crimes

    Meanwhile in Eureka 4 burglaries happened, 2 cars stolen, a rape, 100 homicides unsolved…. this is what happens when police focus more on uprooting the pagan cannabis herb instead of performing investigations and crime solving. What a complete waste of tax and law enforcement dollars….

    • Bozo the Clone

      These people are adding to the destruction of the watershed! Causing wildlife extinction (Salmon), is a much worse crime than any of the human on human offenses you mentioned. There are 7.5 billion humans on the planet using or destroying resources. Soon there will be nothing left for anyone or anything because of human greed (pagan cannabis herb growers). This is such unfortunate stupidity.


  • So lets not forget we had over 120 inches of rain last rain season, or was it more like 130 inches??
    There was more sediment than ever below any given grow or culvert,..
    Geology dictates sediment Ali,g with road use and natural erosion.
    Goid deal on shutting this shady operation down, half the grows have no intent on going legal or complying, its free pickins for law enforcement. Keep on eliminating the bad seeds.

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