Tuesday, June 24, 2008
FBI in Redway
The NCJ Blogthing is reporting on developments in the north.
Addendum: Apparently they're all over the county. It's being reported on KHUM as "the culmination of a two year investigation" against commercial grows and not medical marijuana. Authorities are claiming that they are acting on 27 warrants.
But I'd take any official statements with a grain of salt. They're supposed to be here for flying practice and a convention, remember?
NCJ Blogthing has an audio of a KSLG interview with Joseph Schadler of the FBI.
Second addendum: Redheaded Blackbelt comments on the NCJ blogthing - "KMUD is reporting many vehicles heading towards the coast with a “traffic jam” at Whitethorn." But right now I'm hearing Mary Poppins songs on KMUD. Supercalifragilisticexpiallydocious.
Third addendum: Andrew Bird is reporting at Heraldo's that a caravan went out Briceland Road just before 7:00, and that a "satellite truck" was seen on Alderpoint Road earlier this morning.
Fourth addendum: Confirmed. There is a bust at the south end of Whitmore Ave. on Redway. Four or five SUVs and DEA agents dismantling items out on the lawn.
Fifth addendum: Two individuals with FBI markings on their jackets were seen (by me) outside a home on Redway Ave. right near the intersection with Oak. I could not tell if they were in the process of a bust. They might have been checking addresses.
Sixth addendum: The Eureka Reporter has a story up.
FBI agents raided a house at 1658 Virginia Way in Sunny Brae early this morning. Around 10 a.m., agents combed through the trunk of a gray car parked in the driveway. The car had Oregon license plates.
A pile of equipment including lamps, triangular containers and hoses were spread across the yard.
It is not known if any arrests were made by agents at this time.
"I have no idea how long (FBI agents) were there," said Bob O., who lives across the street from the house that was raided.
He stepped outside his door around 8 a.m. this morning and saw eight agents around the house across the street, he said.
He said he prefers neighbors to unoccupied grow houses and the sound of children over silence.
"The pattern is no one's ever home," he said regarding the house that was raided.
And Hank is reporting that the FBI rep is insisting it's all one group. I don't believe that, but if it's true we are watching one of the more profound federal anti-trust actions in years.Seventh addendum: From another blog's comments section -
Interesting coverage with the blogs and the radio participating together. Attorney, Ed Denson, just reported on KMUD that there were door to door searches going on in Redway and Garberville. Ed made the following suggestions:I've got KMUD on, but KHUM and KSLG are also covering the action. And Hank has a growing display of photos at the blogthing.
1. Do not consent to search.
2. Do not talk or engage in conversation.
3. Do not try to physically obstruct them.
Eighth addendum: Redheaded Blackbelt is reporting on a bust in Salmon Creek.
Meanwhile, some roads are blocked off in the Whale Gulch area and to our east near Alderpoint and Harris.
Ninth addendum: The Times Standard has a story up.
Hank is reporting that most of the action seems to be down here.
I will be leaving the office shortly for paid work related business. I don't know when I'll be back on the computer, but feel free to post information as you get it.
Tenth addendum: Cynthia Elkins just played an interview with an FBI rep who answered maybe one or two of about 20 questions.
I'm leaving for a few hours. Please post freely, but responsibly.
It's curious that Sims followed his juicy career-kiss bestowed upon Heraldo's blog in the Town Dandy with this smug smear just hours later. (It's delightful Sims got it so wrong, except it's too bad Heraldo was right.
I've heard of two arrests in So Hum as of around 9 AM.
According to the KMUD report at about that time the effort involves the post office as well as the FBI and the CA agricultural commission.
There was some talk with ED Denson who is in Ukiah who is sensibly advising people to not talk to the agents, not agree to search, etc. But not to obstruct them.
And the fires are still burning.
The convoy I saw exiting at the 101 southbound exit near Dean Creek Resort had originated at the Fortuna River Lodge, as reported by one of our other drivers who does Fortuna. I would guess there were 75-100 vehicles in this convoy. I didn't see all the vehicles exit, but it looked like the entire column was getting off at the exit. The vehicles ranged from law enforcement cruisers, unmarked police SUVs, trucks towing trailers and some other equipment that I didn't recognize, and a fair number of civilian-looking vehicles as well.
Or do you think criminals are a good thing Eric?
Looks like this is going to go on for a while.
Anyone know anything about the Paradise fire? Are people evacuating?
going away for a few months or years or getting sent up for decades.
You have frightenly contorted perceptions. Thousands of people voted for Estelle, and for their trouble in voting to select a very gifted and qualified candidate, they are judged by you as "nothing but a bunch of lowlife perps."
You are are apparently political - you care.
It will be good when the field is narrowed to the two legal candidates, Clif and Estelle. We will quickly learn the caliber of each candidates constituents.
In the mean time, slime away.
On another note, I heard that part of these raids includes 215s issued by a "non-doctor" doctor from Mendocino. Anyone heard this too? If so, got a name of the doctor? and I also hear they are looking for those with high PG&E bills? Anything more on the door to doors in Redway/Garb?
kevin hoover crossed the line.
big pete's and folie douce had "grow house" spray painted on their buildings.
maybe someone should tag "grow house" on the arcata eye building.
not the bridge to burn in this town,
"whom"? You know something we don't, Eric? "Whom"??? meaning more than one?
And btw, you say "now they know WHOM to trust" but we don't know whom, do we? A cypher is still a cypher and Heraldo is still nothing more than an anonymous blogger. That's the point I make.
Soon they will be singing like canaries trying to stay out of club fed.
You gotta love the karmic payback.
Thousands of people did not vote for Estelle. A few hundred, like 800.I did not vote for her.
Don't know anything about the non-Dr.
It is incredibly windy. NOT a good thing.
Besides all that if our young adults and greedy older folks haven't been hearing some of us say this situation will implode on itself they might understand now. A few plants in the garden and a day job might sound OK after a few days+ in jail.
Plus dealing with the Feds is nothing like dealing with the Humboldt Cty Sheriff's boys. This is going to definitely hurt some of our kids. I hate to say it but my sympathy's are in short supply for some of them. Not that I wish a bad day on anyone but it's those few bad apples that are stirring up the pot for the folks with a day job and a some plants for smoke on the side.
12:59 PM PDT, June 24, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO -- Hundreds of federal and state agents served search warrants throughout Humboldt County today, targeting a large commercial marijuana cultivation and distribution organization, authorities said.
The raids were at residences and marijuana-growing sites covering thousands of acres and were part of a two-year investigation initiated by the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.
About 450 agents from the narcotics bureau, the FBI and numerous other agencies served 29 search warrants in the communities of Eureka, Arcata, Redway and Garberville, and in Shelter Cove in neighboring Mendocino County.
No injuries were reported, and results of the searches have not been compiled. FBI spokesman Joe Schadler said he does not expect arrests today.
Officials said the raids did not involve legitimate medical marijuana clinics or growing operations, which are allowed under state law but not recognized by federal agencies.
"Medicinal marijuana is supposed to be medicine and not a large-scale business operation," said narcotics bureau spokeswoman Sara Simpson. "When large quantities of cash begin to change hands, crime and violence soon follow, and that will not be tolerated by law enforcement."
PS I withdraw my sarcastic remark on the earlier thread about the chances these rumors were real. I'd have egg on my face if I were still eating eggs for breakfast.
These posts are damaging to everyone.
Point of fact, whether it's important: the homes which were busted in Redway are distinctly not hippie. I don't know about the Whale Gulch or Harris busts.
But it does appear that today's activity was focused on Sohum. Only one bust so far reported outside of Sohum thus far (though I haven't checked the other blogs yet), and that's the one in Sunnybrae. They're going to be around until next Friday. I'm wondering if they'll be picking on Sohum all week.
I find it hard to believe that this was a big, organized grow and sell scene.
The road to whale gulch was NOT closed. That is a rumor. They did stop a whale gulch resident on the briceland road at a checkpoint in the whitethorn vicinity. He was allowed to pass after showing ID. The rumor grew out of that stop.
It is also NOT TRUE that they were honoring 215 recommendations. They took a legitimate medical grow OF ONLY SIX PLANTS after they saw the recommendation and verified the conditions listed.
god for KHUM. It was irritating to
listen to music and babble when
important things like the raids and
the fire were going on.
To me, I always thought of this as a service and sacrifice on her part for the good of the community. I realize now that others saw her actions as self serving power grabbing, and monopolizing the programming with propaganda and that's all Estelle was ever about. Just amazing the difference in perceptions of the same events over 17 years!
Considering the demographics of the area, and the substance involved, I find that unlikely. If they weren't hippies then just exactly what were they?
As to "what" they are, they're people. I don't have a category to box them into.
Good point, Eric. Maybe next, the feds will break up the infamous Humboldt County Gasoline Cartel.
God I hate this petty shit that serves as opinion in this community. A reporter's job is to thoroughly and objectively cover all sides and viewpoints. We all know what the community's opinion is on the subject since they have allowed it to flourish and have provided political cover for everyone. I want to hear what the Feds are thinking myself. I'd like to understand the whole thing better. The coverage has just started. Get off KMUD's back you just look like a sore loser who has lost control of the local media outlet.
My mother used to say that if over five people you aren't related to tell you that you have a problem then you should probably start listening to them and asking yourself some hard questions.
The Kmud News crew did their job and presented the news, much like they did in the past. Now the fires were covered less than in past, but that was Estelle's forte which got her the respect of the firefighting community. As for...
"A reporter's job is to thoroughly and objectively cover all sides and viewpoints." NPR doesn't cover all sides because it is presenting the side which is not covered by the mainstream media.
So keep the mainstream media coverage at KMUD because NPR exists, we can use all the uninformative interviews they can transmit.
My personal favorite..
when asked about the fires the fed special agent in charge said;
"yes there is a lot of smoke, but it is not effecting our operations."
this sort of fine information gathering will get our KMUD noticed and the awards will soon be arriving.
Well that may be true but the consequences are that you tend to only read things that affirm your beliefs rather than obtaining new information you might be missing or do not want to know about so you have to change your view. A classic problem for those who don't want to really work at finding the truth or objectivity in their understanding of the world.
One of the things that used to really piss me off about estelle, is that she mostly just repeated what was in the paper or in the blogs,or other radio stations, nothing new. and she would repeat it over and over and over, kinda like g.w. when he has nothing really to say, just wants to keep talking.
If Armageddon happens tomorrow, will you all still be arguing about Reggae on the River?
Childish and embarrassing. Someone here is rallying the lowest common d. against Estelle. Wonder who?
Estelle has professional experience, knowledge and wisdom, and when she is supervisor will provide the same dedicated service to EVERYONE in her district that she provided EVERYONE on KMUD for years. Proven.
If Armageddon happens tomorrow it will be Estelle's fault.
reporting. I just don't want to
listen to Mary F-ing Poppins when
my friends and family are in
Also the rude programmer who responded with " well listen to KHUM if you don't like it." when asked to report the convoys.
Estelle was not censored as "news" is not supposed to be biased . She was called to task for blatant favoritism. Free speech does not apply when she is speaking as the KMUD news director only for her personal views and speech.
Hindsight is 20/20, but between the busts and the fires it would have been good to cancel the regular programing and take telephone calls from eye witnesses, "emotional" or not. But to continue playing Mary Poppins songs when people are anxious for information is not going to sit well. A panel should have been brought in to repeat the available information over and over as it comes in, and maybe get commentary and take calls.
I have no idea whether this would have happened under previous management, but that's what I would do. That's not a criticism, just a Monday morning quarterback suggestion for the future.
As for the feds coming in to clean house on a few out of control growers - well if we can't reign in our own this is what it comes to. And we make a poor showing of taking care of our own even if that's what we profess to do. It's only when an adversary comes amoung us do we pull together of some semblance.
specifically because of the reporting and the call ins on the
raids and fires. KMUD just handed
over a lot of faithful listeners to
KHUM. I called and thanked them
and told them how important it was
to the people of SoHum. The DJ
was genuinely happy to have helped.
I never noticed any "drama" when
people called in before. If anything it's somewhat of a comfort
to know what's going on.
Links to this post: