Mendocino Sheriff’s Office Serves Warrant at Marijuana Grow on Yokayo Tribe Land
This is a press release from the Mendocino 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:
In recent weeks, both the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Mendocino County Code Enforcement Office, who handles complaints about cannabis cultivation, have received multiple complaints from community members and tribal members about a marijuana cultivation site on the Yokayo Rancheria.
The Yokayo Tribe owns the land, however it is not federally recognized land, therefore it is still subject to county and state regulations related to marijuana cultivation and county municipal codes.
In late September 2018, members of the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team conducted an overflight of the location and observed two plastic greenhouses and over 50 outdoor marijuana plants being grown in the ground.
While conducting background information on the location, Carmen Christy was identified as living at the location and investigators learned that whomever was responsible for the marijuana cultivation might be using water diverted from the Tribe’s general well which is designated as household water and not for commercial agriculture.
On 10-04-2018 at about 8:30 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Mendocino County Code Enforcement Officers and an Environmental Scientist from the State of California Department of Fish and Wildlife served a search warrant at the location.
At the location, Carmen Christy and a relative were found to be living in the residence and the rear of the residence was completely fenced off containing a commercial marijuana cultivation operation.
Rudolfo Prudente and Jorge Luis Arredondo Navarro were found to be living inside the fenced grow area in tents.
While investigating on scene, 233 growing marijuana plants were eradicated and approximately 100 pounds of dried marijuana was located.
Additionally, the Environmental Scientist from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that trash and debris from past marijuana grows, to include soil and other garbage were discarded near an active streambed, which could cause runoff to go into the Russian River watershed, causing great environmental damage.
No persons were arrested. The case will be followed up on and submitted to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office to review for criminal charges.