Arcata is facing DEA raids humboldt county

The entire county is talking about local blogger Heraldo's announcement that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is planning hundreds of raids on indoor marijuana growers next week in Arcata.

Word spread fast after the initial story broke, and locals everywhere are claiming they have heard confirmation of this rumor from various sources, including lawyers, law enforcement agencies, and other prominent residents who are "in the know". The rumor supposedly has some growers hastily packing up their operations, while others seem to figure if it's their time, they'll go down with the ship. One thing is for sure, if the feds do come in and raid actual legitimate medical operations, there is bound to be a backlash of some sort.

One anonymous commenter at the Humboldt Herald claimed to have "inside information" that DEA agents have been stationed in Scotia for "over a month" and that other agents are already roomed at the Red Lion in Eureka. Another commenter claims that 500 employees of the "Justice Dept" are headed this way to attend a week-long conference in Fortuna. We called the Fortuna River Lodge, where the supposed conference is to take place, and asked them about events happening next week. They confirmed that all conference rooms are booked Monday through Thursday, but they claimed that they did not have information on hand about specific events on the schedule.

This morning Heraldo posted a comment on his own blog stating that the FBI has set up shop in Eureka:

"THIS JUST IN: Up to 60 FBI agents may have recently rented houses in Eureka. No confirmation whether it's connected to the planned DEA actions."

If it happens, next week's federal raids promise to make headlines across the nation, and there is a chance that it could be the largest collective marijuana bust in the history of the United States, especially if rumors are true that as many as 200 grow houses will be raided.

We seriously question the legitimacy of the rumors, especially the numbers that are being tossed around. 200 raids means 200 federal search warrants, which isn't impossible, but it does sound unlikely. The DEA can't just bust down your door without a warrant signed by a judge, and a search warrant should require evidence collected during an actual investigation, so we are definitely interested in seeing what really goes down next week. Furthermore, PG&E has stated in the past that customer privacy is very important to them, and that any release of private account records would require legal action.

Also, as many people have wondered in various blog discussions, where will the arrested individuals be held, and how will they be processed? Not that we doubt the government's ability to incarcerate large numbers of marijuana users, but it just seems unlikely that even 100 individuals would be detained at once. Then again, it might just be a one-time event like the great glass blower bust of 2003 during which 101 North was raided by DEA agents.

One thing is for sure: The gold rush is over, even if the feds aren't about to bust hundreds of growers. Arcata is sick of the pot growing scene, and some California counties have begun to question their own laws regarding the medicinal herb.

If you are one of the growers who winds up getting raided by the feds next week, feel free to share your experiences with us.

UPDATE: Herlado, the local blogger who officially spread word of the impending raids, now says that the rumors are officially false.

"Drug Enforcement Agency spokeswoman Casey McHenry told KMUD news reporter Cynthia Elkins that rumors of a crack-down on indoor marijuana grow operations in the Arcata/Eureka area are not true."

Of course, we would expect a statement of denial from the DEA regardless of their plans. Regardless, the truth will come out next week, and it's always likely that someone, somewhere in Humboldt County will be busted by the feds for drug related crimes and conspiracies, seeing as how Arcata seems to be chock full of criminal growers.

Either way, it was fun, Herlado! Keep up the blogging, rumors or not!

<< DEA Busts Major Marijuana Grows In Willits Heraldo Says The End Is Near >>

Red Lion?

By Anonymous, on Jun 20, 2008 - 8:16
People on the Herald are claiming the Red Lion is full of black SUVs at night. Can anyone /reliable/ actually go over there tonight and confirm that rumor?

By Yeah, on Jun 20, 2008 - 10:35
Ok I drove by the Red Lion 10 minutes ago and there was not a single black SUV. Not to mention do you really think all feds drive black SUVs? Get real, this isn't a movie it's real life. Go hit the bong some more.

By Humboldtgrow, on Jun 20, 2008 - 13:41
I have seen a lot of federal plates in the area. Last night I saw two hippie looking dudes in a pick-up with federal plates. They could be working for blm as far as I know, but it seemed awfully curious.

from craigslist yesterday

By Repeater, on Jun 21, 2008 - 8:36
The DEA isn't booked in any of the rooms. They never were. Hence their public information officer laughing on KMUD about a "DEA surge" that isn't happening. KMUD whiffed - wrong agency, folks.

Fact: There is a block of exactly 100 rooms reserved at the Red Lion 6/23 - 6/30 for FBI and DOJ agents.

Fact: They have also reserved roll-away beds for the duration of the stay.

Fact: Humboldt Bay Inn (Best Western) and the Bayshore Mall Best Western also have large blocks of rooms reserved for the same groups during the same time frame.

Fact: They initially wanted all of the Red Lion, but the Red Lion couldn't accommodate the numbers until the following week. They made it clear they had to be HERE for THESE specific dates. Whatever happens - if anything happens - will commence by 6/24, perhaps sooner. There is a decent sized advanced contingent already in town.

Fact: Kevin Hoover is a douche bag.

The FBI are out of SF. Not sure about the DOJ.

Undoubtedly, training will be the reason for their visit. Everything is training.

Two options: Clean up your shit or don't. There is no federal medical marijuana. It is a schedule-1 narcotic.

Here are the consequences of getting caught IF something happens and this hysteria is realized:

"Not all marijuana convictions require jail time under federal sentencing guidelines, but all are eligible for imprisonment. If convicted and sentenced to jail, a minimum of 85% of that sentence must be served. The higher the marijuana amount, the more likely one is to be sentenced to jail time, as opposed to probation or alternative sentencing. Low-level offenses, even with multiple prior convictions, may end up with probation for the entire sentence of one to twelve months, and no jail time required. Possession of over 1 kg of marijuana with no prior convictions carries a sentence of six to twelve months with a possibility of probation and alternative sentencing. Over 2.5 kg with no criminal record carries a sentence of at least six months in jail; with multiple prior convictions, a sentence might be up to two years to three years in jail with no chance for probation.

In United States v. Booker (2005), a Supreme Court decision from January 2005, the court ruled that the federal sentencing guidelines (as outlined above) are advisory and no longer mandatory. However, many federal judges continue to give great deference to the guidelines.

In addition to the sentencing guidelines, there are statutory mandatory minimum sentences, which remain in effect after United States v. Booker and primarily target offenses involving large amounts of marijuana. There is a five-year mandatory minimum for cultivation of 100 plants or possession of 100kgs, and there is a ten-year mandatory minimum for these offenses if the defendant has a prior felony drug conviction. Cultivation or possession of 1000kg or 1000 plants triggers a ten-year mandatory minimum, with a twenty-year mandatory sentence if the defendant has one prior felony drug conviction, and a life sentence with two prior felony drug convictions. To avoid a five-year mandatory minimum, it is advisable to stay well below 100 plants, including any rooted cuttings or clones."

Or do nothing.

By Don't Jump To Conclusions, on Jun 21, 2008 - 13:15
Water your garden, and get out of town. Don't wait to find out if rumors like this are true. Better safe than sorry...

By Humboldtgrow, on Jun 21, 2008 - 14:33
One of my friends was raided by the feds in Redwood Valley (mendocino county) on wednesday. You can read about it at the Ukiah Daily Journal website,


By Weuogh, on Jun 21, 2008 - 17:31
Damn so DEA busts are happening after nosy neighbors turn in the growers? lolz well that one guy did have freakin' 54 lights in his place and over $150,000 lying around. wonder how much he has buried beyond that... anyway that's big time crime, and if you can't do the time, well probably shouldn't do the crime.

By bobo, on Jun 25, 2008 - 19:03
Well I guess you guys up there have not had the shootings and murders by people looking for pot or money like we han had down here in Mendo, a few weeks ago one of the local growers who has his own helecopter was jumped by three black men, they beat him and used a propane torch on his balls !they also may have raped a women in fort bragg and stole from her. So much for victim less crime! Oh not to mention on hwy 20 the flowers for the kid that was murdered by mex. drug dealers?? you cannot even go out in the woods anymore for fear of getting shot.

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