Diesel Leaks, Grading Violations, Water Diversion—Two Arrested for Multiple Environmental Issues at Marijuana Grows

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 Tuesday 08/22/2017, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) began a three day operation investigating non-permitted large scale marijuana cultivation sites in the Conklin Creek area of Petrolia. A total of three search warrants were served on five parcels. Three parcels were under the same LLC. The following agencies assisted DEU with these investigations: Wardens from California Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Scientists from California Fish and Wildlife, Agents with Bureau of Land Management, State Water board, CAL Fire, 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.

The first parcel investigated consisted of three greenhouses and several outdoor marijuana gardens. A total of 2,081 plants were located on this parcel. Also located was 461 pounds of processed marijuana. Suspect Isidro Alexandro Sandoval (age 22) was located on the property in possession of a 9mm pistol. Sandoval was arrested and charged with felony cultivation/possession of marijuana for sales and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Several environmental, county code, HAZMAT, and water right violations were found on this parcel that was directly related to the marijuana cultivation site.

State Water board located the following: 4 separate violations of Fill in Water Course of the State, and 3 violations of Failure to File Initial Statement of Water Diversions and Use.

Fish and Wildlife located the following: 3 Water Diversion violations, 4 Streambed Alteration violations, 3 Sediment Discharge violations, and 4 Trash in Stream Violations.

County Code Enforcement located the following Violations: Construction without a permit, Grating without a permit, Streamside Management violation, Unlawful Sewage discharge, and violation of the Commercial Medical Marijuana ordinance.

HAZMAT located the following violations: Failure to Submit Hazardous Material Business Plan, Unauthorized Hazardous Waste Storage, and Mismanagement of Waste Oil Filters. Four 55 gallon drums containing fuel and 1 55 gallon drum containing motor oil were located on the property.

The second parcel was owned by Rodolfo Machado, who arrived on the property after Law Enforcement. A total of 8 greenhouses containing 3,922 marijuana plants were located on Machado’s parcel. Fish and Wildlife located multiple Water Diversion and Streambed Alteration violations. County Code Enforcement located the following violations: Construction without a permit, Grading without a permit, RV used as a residence, Solid Waste discharge, Commercial Medical Marijuana ordinance violation.

Rodoflo Machado (age 53) was arrested for felony cultivation/possession of marijuana for sales.

Day two began the investigation of the three parcels listed under the same LLC. A total of 17 greenhouses were located on the three parcels. A total number of 7,295 marijuana plants were located growing within the greenhouses. DEU located 6,125 pounds of processed marijuana during this investigation. Large amounts of diesel fuel were located leaking into the ground in two different locations, one of which was across the road from Conklin Creek.

Fish and Wildlife located the following: 6 Water Diversion violations, 16 Streambed Alteration violations, 21 Water Pollution Sediment Discharge violations, 13 Water Pollution Trash in/near Stream violations, 3 Unpermitted Divided Stream violations, and 3 Poaching violations.

State Water Board located the following violations: Water Quality Standards, Impacts Associated with roads, Sediment Discharge, Inadequate Storage of and Handling of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Use of Restricted Pesticides, Discharge of Sewage to Waters of the State, Inadequate Containment and Spills of Diesel, Threaten Discharge of Sediment, Clean Water Act violations, and Violations of the North Coast Basin Plan.

County Code Enforcement located the following violations: Storage and Removal of Solid Waste, Unapproved Sewage Disposal, Construction without a Permit, Grading without a Permit, Development within Streamside Management Area, Improper Storage of Hazardous Materials, Commercial Medical Marijuana Ordinance.

The subject(s) associated with this LLC are still under investigation.

Summary of three day operation:

13,298 marijuana plants eradicated

6,586.6 pounds of processed marijuana seized and destroyed

2 pistols and 1 rifle seized

2 felony arrests

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.


Isidro Alexandro Sandoval



  • Sittin on 6 thousand pounds, how flooded is the market? This industry is coming to a close for the north coast

    • Greed........ the Humboldt way to treat the community

      13,172 pounds of processed weed. At $1000 a pound. That is some serious Dinero. Who processed 13,172 of weed? Tens of trimmers. Hundreds of hours. What Country illegals owned the grow site? Eastern Europe? According to a real estate friend they have the money. Greedy Eureka building owners are throwing out their renters and renting to processors for five times the dollar amount. This could get nasty.

    • So much for the green rush it’s a race to the bottom now enjoy legality.

  • There’s a place on the Zenia Bluffs road that looks very much like that stream crossing photo. Of course that’s a Humboldt county road, so it must be ok.

  • a diesel leak into the secondary containment, priceless. flipping through the AP files looking for some LLCs.

  • Heartbreaking!I just don’t understand why they have to destroy the land. You can grow without destroying the land,been there,done that!Lazy,greedy growers ruined it for everybody. There’s way to much weed,the price has fallen thru the bottom.Sad,sad,sad

  • Convict ’em and force them to restore the land.

  • This action IS the message to send.
    Most growers I know have been in agreement for years, that this operation (as portrayed here) is the type that is NOT WELCOME on the north coast.
    I have no problem with grows of any size, as long as there is minimal effects on the environment. You got the water; you not polluting; you not overtly degrading stream beds; not having excess negative effects on your neighbors; etc. Go ahead!
    Besides this type enforcement actions, it’s now the RESPONSIBILITY of good growers and community members to speak out and organize to spread the word that polluting activities like this are NOT ACCEPTABLE!

    COMMUNITY MODEL: I have long suggested that each sub-community (China Creek; Alderpoint; Blocksburg; Petrolia; Salmon Creek; Whales Gulch; etc) have meetings to elect highly respected community members to form voluntary grow site inspection groups. (This could be an offshoot of the highly respected local VFDs). These could then offer to help insure the health of their community (waters, streams, wildlife, noise, etc) by helping their local growers make fixes to improve their operations. They could also have a group of good-hearted neighbors who could help with some of the more labor intensive work for those who can’t afford to make the changes. And once a model like this is accepted and functional, the growers who don’t seek help or oversight will feel the pressure more to get on board, lest they be marginalized ever more.

    Yes. This means going back to ways similar to how local communities were operating before marijuana ‘blew up’. I experience people more isolated now. While living the ideals of ‘live and let live’ can be helpful to the liberty of each person, there are common interests we share that should form a boundary, from which WE ACT TOGETHER.

    • Yes!We treated the land like our baby. We nursed it,keep it clean,stayed on our land and helped our neighbors!!!so agree with you.

    • Yes. All it takes to destroy a community is the division of the “haves” and the “have nots.” In my neighborhood, there was an influx of people who moved here in the ’80s with the SOLE intention of growing.
      Secrets and cliques, exclusive mutual-help partnerships, and big white trucks driven by citified strangers appeared next. Followed by NO TRESPASSING signs every 100 feet…
      I have absolutely no idea what will happen next, or how to prevent it. It makes my heart hurt.

    • Bwaaahaha, be a good little grower and we’ll rub your belly and give you a treat. What we are seeing here is American capitalism at its finest. Good luck with this pipe dream of community model and welcome to the 21st centurty of I got mine don’t worry about his.

  • >”There’s a place on the Zenia Bluffs road that looks very much like that stream crossing photo. Of course that’s a Humboldt county road, so it must be ok.”

    To the ‘Environmental Scientists from California Fish and Wildlife’… go on any large cattle ranch…
    you can see far, far worse than the above er… ‘violations’.

  • What will they do with the 6k pounds of weed? Plenty of veterans could use it for PTSD

  • Sitting on 6000 pds omg getting rid of these glut growers I agree with the chump on this one. having all that weed ,and they have to grow more omg .,but still no bullgarians yet.i bet they make this guy look like small potatoes .no bail amount?

  • Scenes like this are all over the place. Every watershed. The safety in numbers theory. Maybe if we all go to work for law enforcement we can level the playing field. Though it seems like a lot of weed, we are a drop in the bucket when u look at the “legal” weed coming out of other counties that goes straight to the black market highest bidder. The state has really fucked it up for the small grower trying to go legitimate. Let’s hope there’s a chance to still make a living growing good organic pot on a scale that respects the land.

  • Those plants sure are small for this time of year.

  • Six thousand pounds? So that is about 0.1% of the total production in Humboldt this summer?
    Gee, there’s a market for that…

  • Ooooh betcha can get a good deal on that heavy equipment at the next police auction!!
    Also bet these guys will give up their land title and possessions in exchange for very reduced sentences. Just wait, or should i say, research it yourself cuz the cases disappear from the news once they settle in this way.

    • The track pads are worn out on that d 3 , wonder what the bushings and rails look like, or the rest of the under carrage, steer brakes are a pain in the ass and back to replace , but i guess if the price is right…. normally machines out that far never get the service they need to promote long life

  • So what? This is a drop in the bucket. There are operations like this all over the county. There should be three or more enforcement teams operating all over the county daily. There is 100X more weed being grown and being grown much more destructively than in CAMP days. We need federal forces in here starting 5 years ago…This bust is only a tiny snapshot of what we’ve allowed and encouraged to flourish in our county. I’m not anti-weed!! But what we’ve done here is disgusting

    • You dont have to be anti weed to be against the actions of greedy people.

    • Your so right thanks to government intervention the weed world has been spiraling downhill for years and the environment pays the price grow more use illegal chemicals and gangs and cartels continue to thrive.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Should be about 75 years in prison or let them join The Marines.

    Dope growers have no shame.

  • Shoulda hadda yurt?

    Too bad there isn’t a restitution-restoration plan, funded by the busted, instead of a confiscation-destruction plan, funded by the non-busted.

    Imagine if you will, free market companies that will help the people who care to come into every awareness compliance, for a percentage of their profit.
    Imagine people helping people build affordable homes and businesses, off a percentage of the profits.
    Imagine a world of love instead of hate, success instead of failure.

    I’m appalled at the number of plants they were growing, and my imagination runs wild as to who they were supporting with the profits. Isis? Antifa? Spencer?
    Imagine if a huge percentage of the profits went towards the freeing of slaves being sold in Africa to other parts of the world. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/10/libya-public-slave-auctions-un-migration
    or to the Missionaries who are literally helping the people in devastated areas like Haiti.

    Fighting violence with violence is insanity.
    Turning lemons into lemonade would smack the bad guys right where it hurts while helping the innocent.

    • Regarding Antifa: Cornel West & Rev. Traci Blackmon/ Clergy in Charlottesville Were Trapped by Torch-Wielding Nazis. It was Antifa who saved them; nazis v. anarchists. Easy to find. Just saying. Check Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” archive for the days after Charlottesville.

    • Don’t you DARE use the terms antifa and nazi in the same sentence as they are somehow equivalent. Mussolini was facist and Hitler was nazi, and they worked together to kill tens of thousands of civilians. The antifa group simply goes after the nazis, as far as I can see, and they are objecting to the same things all of the WWII boys fought and died for. My great uncle Elroy Wyman (yeah, look it up) was murdered by a nazi guard in a POW camp just before the end of WWII. He was a bombardier. He fought nazis. He was antifacist. My grandfather, if he was still alive, would disgusted beyond belief with the current administration and the morons that march jackboot in cadence with whatever this idiot has to say. My grandfather was a lifelong republican. He HATED anything German. I couldn’t even drive my VW into his driveway, and Ford? After their support of the German war effort, Ford was dead to him.

      Equating anti nazi anti facists with the nazi/white supremacy movement is pure ignorance of history. America is heading down a very, very bad road.

      • Nazis are dead. If you are looking for a term to call either side it is Neo-Nazis. Make a note of it.

      • Calling yourself a nazi doesnt make you one. There are no nazis in the US. If you find a Nazi, please report them to the authorities, they will face charges for war crimes. And real antifascist do not use violence to prevent free speech.

      • Triniboldticino, Antifa was the Trotsky-inspired KPD or German Communist Party vs. the Hitler led fascist “National Socialist German Workers Party” (Nazis).
        There were no “right-wingers” involved at all.
        It was Nationalist SOCIALISTS vs Internationalist SOCIALISTS, competing for control, for power.
        The NEO-nazi’s, the Alt-Right are not conservatives. They are a Nationalists Socialist party, .. the opposite of conservatives. They are trying to fool the gullible into joining their fight against the other Socialist power hungry Trotsky party, aka Antifa.

        All sides have provocateurs, hired by the Shadow Government to destroy America, the land that people run TO instead of away from. (until this last decade. Now they and even the long time Americans are leaving in droves).

        My hat is off to all VETS.

        I do not like being distracted from the point of my earlier post. It is up to the community to work together to lovingly, not hatefully, find solutions that literally help our neighbors and the environment both.
        This will be my last comment on this.
        Anything said after this, is behind my back.

        • WOW. I just sat across from and listened to a very well meaning lady that I would have guessed was liberal at first, but no. She’s a big administration supporter. She seemed well considered, but felt that what America “might need is a dictator for awhile.” Seriously. Never seen such garbage thinking, lying and manipulation to convince the masses in my life. I’m seeing more and more of that. Willing to accept a dictatorship instead of democracy. America is screwed. Time to start looking at the horizon.

  • Is that the strain or someone’s name on that pound?

  • This operation was undoubtedly out of control and in no way do I condone what they are doing, but the list of violations they use to nail these guys balls to the walls is extremely troubling. these same charges can be brought against anybody, weather cultivating large amounts of marijuana or not and I’m willing to bet there’s not many people around here with private property that wouldn’t be guilty of several of these violations, weather growing marijuana or not. I mean for Christ sakes, do I need a permit to fart on my property now.

    • I agree. Imagine the list they could get by visiting the p-ville river front property.

    • Yep.. they are really stretching. I told the story a while back about how when they came to my property and didn’t find any plants, they were suddenly not interested in my environmental ‘issues’, including my ‘summer ford’ , which is what they show in one of these guys pictures(a road going across a creek). It’s hypocrisy, trying to get everyone outraged.
      On the other hand, I hate to see messy grows like these guys have. Trash in the creek if that really happened, is inexcusable. I know these kind of grows, and I’m not shedding any tears for these guys. It really has gotten out of control the last few years. Conklin Creek is an amazingly beautiful area.

  • What is all that white stuff on the greenhouse floor? Plastic to control the runoff or keep gopher’s, weeds and moles out? It looks like a sci-fi movie. Tommy Knockers Tommy Knockers, knocking at my door.

  • So….using an RV as a residence is against the law?

    • Used to be that self-contained units on private property had to be moved every 10 days…didn’t specify how far, or who would be monitoring the movement. I don’t know what the law is now.

      • Trinity also has the same rules in place for “RVs” needing a permit for same location over X days. I think it was put in place to deal with Trinity Pines.

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      It better be enforced in GVille, and Eka, but make it a felony.

    • Yep so is a outhouse a caterpillar a fuel tank a road a gun a chainsaw and a etc

  • Keep running the greedy,land sucking,water stealing,poison everything,diversion makers the HELL OUT OF HERE!!!

    • Water stealing ? That always bothers me, who owns the water ? Why can goverments selll water rights to mega bottleing companies at a fraction of the price they charge citizens ? If someone else owns the water yet it flows through your property, shouldnt they pay rent ? Or be responsible to maintain the stream beds ? Or buy an easment ? Or cover flood damage when their water floods your property ? 80 percwnt of the eel river is sold piped down south, leavimg 20 percent for fish wildlife and locals, why is this not screamed about ?in euroupe they have a air tax if you have a sign on your building, guess the goverments there feel like they own the air as well, just wait till loval goverments figure out a way to export our air, next thing you know we will have meters on our mouths and get fined for stealing air if we breath 2 much.
      We need equal enforcement of laws and regs, not selective. If it is water diversions, fine enforce them, but do it to all land owners not just people growing something you dont like. If it is trash in streams fine enforce it, but enforce it on all land owners goverment owned as well as private, enforce it equally, so the rancher gets rolled on by swat teams just as the growers, the federal lands that have garbage dumps on them get rolled by swat teams same same. If you dont then your regs rules and laws are laughable and pointless and unenforceable. Two wrongs dont make a right ,but there is something called equal enforcement of the law, to apply any law to only a certain type or group of people is unlawful. There by making all enforcement of theae laws rules and regs null.

      • We will all ( and are ) be paying Coca Cola n nestl’e abundant amounts of money just to stay alive. ALL drinking water will be owned by corporations and u will pay. Next is air. I want a patent on air. Then I can charge u to breathe and fine u for farting!

  • This guy should get some sort of lack of intelligence award. Conklin Creek is a tiny quaint neighborhood on the outskirts of downtown Petrolia. This is not the zone to have a mini industrial grow show. This is not the first time this neighborhood has been of interest to law enforcement. I can remember some other chap that’s doing fed time that had ties to that hood. The Petrolia headstash circa 1996 that smells like flinstone vitamins is still coveted to this day!

  • these are the people Kym is protecting when she reports the presence of law enforcement and chippers etc.

    • Sick of em – If the supplying of facts implies bias than the withholding of facts has the same implications. Why should law enforcement get favors from the media but citizens ( innocent until proven guilty) not so much? In your world I see nothing but khakis and tiki torches. It’s called the news.

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      She doesn’t protect them, but shows how only an invasion by the USMC can rid these vermin from our community.

      Use The Marines and weed, along with dope growing terror cells is gone on three weeks.

      These jihadis growing dope for their next 911 must be stopped.

      Everyone knows marihuana growers flew planes into buildings on 911, yet they are allowed to grow dope and drive Isis style Toyota trucks with beards and 707/stickers.

      Dope growing should be stopped.

    • For heaven sakes…I reported on this and they still got arrested. Show me just one instance of one grower escaping because of my reports on large gatherings of law enforcement or KMUD’s reports-they’ve been doing them for even longer.

  • Kym doesn’t know like the rest of us where they are going.Only the general area.

  • omg kym is a saint, and news is news ,good ,bad , or indifferent. she just reports it .no matter who it might affect .bitch about something else . you rock kym pay no attention .these guys are a clear menace not only to society, but the land, and environment that all of Humboldt is affected buy there actions .Throw the book at them Dano.

    • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

      Kym is no jihadi dope growing terror group leader.

      Only some of her readers and commenters are.

      MS.Kemp’s anti marihuana blog is a community treasure trove.

      I pray she does a livestream as USMC comes for the plants.

      Great job, MS.Kemp!

      The people not addicted to drugs love this blog.

      Keep America drug free-

      report a grower to the IRS and mention weapons and cocaine at their marihuana farm.

  • If they paid 200 per lb. to have 6500 lbs trimmed that is 1.3 million! I bet they just used a mechanical bud ruining machine.

  • HoneydewChumpDestroyer

    Speculatuon! Little chumps havent seen the big picture yet, your all little sardines according to your comments, takes a bit more brain to swim with the big fish in the open waters!

  • CartOnTopOfHorse

    It’s funny to hear people generically lump all pounds in the same category Those were probably russet trash “pounds”. Stop saying pounds like there all the same. Sorry pounds are not simply “pounds” this is getting dumb.

    Let me break it down high quality og or cookie dep/ greenhouse is a pound, and russet infested mountain swag green rush maxsea noob weed is also a pound. Except the fact that no one is going to want one while the other is desirable. Sitting on last years? Lol…
    Must be dank right and it’s just stacking to the ceiling of the barn out back. Because pounds are worthless I take it. 6000 pounds of garbage vs 6000 pounds of top shelf dep. yes that would be a grip of cash or pile of trash.

  • Okay cart topped horseback go hang another gavita over your dep plants pounds r pounds at this point outdoor or deps it’s all cheap as fuck.

  • The white dude is screwed and knows it. The Bulgarian is smiling because he’s leaving the country after posting bail! Lol

  • How can you even produce that many clones 10 bucks a clone that’s were the cash is you d have farms just for clones .I can t even figure the amount of cash to start something like that. the soil the nutrients the man power there is no way thats,a2 man op ,and it it is they are even way more greedy ,but probably nothing will be done .They are already on the street .I wonder why they were picked.

  • The Marihuana [sic] Tax Act of 1937 was when the whole country officially caught reefer madness. In the following decades, a series of misguided government policies made the problem worse, and prejudice toward marijuana and myths about the drug still abound, even here in the Godland where cannabis is King!

    Only in the last 20 years has the country begun to get over our self-inflicted disease. Unfortunately, there are those in whom the condition is lingering due to congenital narrow mindedness of Conservative right wing nuts. These peabrains will be left in the dust where dirt belongs.

  • This is our reefer madness world, fostered by fear, ignorance (honeydew CHUMP), rushed lawmaking, anti-drug zealots, and a consistent discouragement of hard facts and good science (Conservatives). And it is the world still inhabited by Jeff Sessions and his dumb ass ilk, who cannot even bring their peabarain selves to accept the growing consensus that marijuana has many legitimate medical applications.
    Sessions’s reefer madness was once our own. Thankfully, with 61 percent of Americans supporting legalized recreational marijuana and 80 percent supporting medical marijuana, it is increasingly just his and some peabrain right wing bass turds. Enjoy your day!

  • Those greenhouses clearly not built to withstand even the lightest snowfall, instant pancake.

  • Maybe the LLC is related to Hit-and-Run mom…keep hearing she has a grow in the Petrolia area…wouldn’t that put a crimp her style and her ability to keep buying her freedom! Just a thought that crossed my mind….a hopeful thought!

  • Well, it’s been days since this bust. So now you can all see that it is fake enforcement. We should be seeing at least one of these a day!! Especially at this time of year. Perhaps we do need the Marines to get in here and do some cleaning out! I hope Jeff Sessions takes note of our extreme problem and sets up a solution for next year. In the meantime- keep turning in your local biggest grows! And every time you speak with a law enforcement agent ask them about what’s up with the Bulgarian mega-grows? Put some pressure on the police to do their job!

  • Its definitely a “the rules apply to you but not me” situation on many levels these days.Glad to see them clean up any diesel spill, but after the timber companiez were allowed to aerially spray herbicide/pesticide mixed with diesel fuel to help it stick, then broadcast burn the “slash piles”, its kinda hard to take the agencies seriously. Anyone else remember those toxic clouds of smoke that used to sit on the 101on the straightaway by shively?

    For years F&G and F&W have said they dont have money to deal with poachers, oh CDF cant go check on active THP’s to see if the rules are being followed because of funding, etc etc. Big companies just broke the rules and paid the fines when caught, thats how they do bizness.
    Its pretty sad that its all come down to money from seizures. As someone said,if you have no pot but lots of broken enviro regs, etc then they just go away. I wonder if fish and wildlife counts as a federal agency under sessions new rules that if local police work with a federal agency in busts, they have much wider ranging ability to seize and keep what they want, overruling city, county and state laws. Its why you dont see as many court cases as busts, they say give us your land and vehicles and we’ll give you a misdemeanor charge with some community service hours.
    States rights are obviously not impirtant to this administration unless the laws are the same as the feds. Its not a pick and choose issue based on rules, either states have rights to pass standing rules or they dont.

    Add on all the cows destroying natl forest, cyanide smoke bombs in the ground to kill coyotes by ranchers, the roads!!! especially the roads put in during fires that normally wouldnt be allowedand not to mention that 70% of the Eel river is diverted to the Russian river at potter valley, its kind of shocking to not see a bigger outrage if and push against that diversion!!!
    uhhhhhgggg, if only pot farms were the real issue, we could clean them up and it would all change. But it wouldnt.
    Its a shame we cant focus our energy on the really big issues while still supporting the cops in stopping land destroying grows.
    The next few winters at least are going to be brutal, so mamanature just might do away with some of these things herself.

  • DestroyingGodsCreation

    I hope you guys are having enough fun to last an eternity because the party is over on judgement day.

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