Displaying items by tag: pot busts

NORML conference poster artCannabis in California: Ending the 100-Year War

California NORML's (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) conference marking the 100th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in California. This two-day event, held January 26 & 27 at Ft. Mason Conference Center in San Francisco, explored the history, causes and costs of the war on cannabis, and strategies for ending it.

Thanks to KMUD volunteers we are able to present audio recordings from most of the sessions from the conference below. Big thanks to Sue Moloney for the initiative! Want to see pictures? Here's a link to photos from the conference, posted on the CAnorml website.
These recordings are presented "as is", some variations in audio levels are included at no extra charge. 


Saturday, January 26, 2013


Ellen Komp, CalNORML- Cannabis before prohibition
Author Mike Gray - The US goes Drug Crazy
Dale Gieringer, CalNORML - Prohibition in California

Michael Aldrich, Amorphia
Michelle Aldrich, CMI
Gordon Brownell, original CalNORML director
Debby Goldsberry, Cannabis Action Network co-founder
Dennis Peron, Prop. 215 author

Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Alliance
Rob Kampia, MPP
Paul Armentano, NORML

LUNCH BREAK 12:00-1:00

PROP 215: STATE OBSTACLES (1:15-2:15)
Senator Mark Leno - Legislative solutions
Michael Levinsohn - Child Protective Services issues
Omar Figueroa - Criminal defense strategies
James Anthony - Cultivation rights and local ordinances

Moderator: Bill Panzer, California NORML
Supervisor John McCowen -
Federal Sabotage of Mendocino's Ordinance
Henry Wykowski - Taxation and federal law
Betty Aldworth, NCIA - Lobbying strategies from the states
Joe Elford, ASA - Rescheduling lawsuit and federal focus
Khurshid Khoja, Emerald Growers Association - Challenges to regulation of cultivation

Moderator: Liana Held, Liana Limited
James Slatic, MedWest - The investor perspective
Troy Dayton, The ArcViewGroup - Funding cannabusinesses
Steve DeAngelo, Harborside Health Center -
Standing our ground
David Lampach, Steep Hill Lab - Setting industry standards

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ft. Mason Conference Center, San Francisco


MODERATOR: Lauren Vazquez, Fired Up Lawyer
Alison Holcomb - Winning in Washington
Mason Tvert - Colorado's Success Story
Graham Boyd - Polling in CO & WA
and what it means for the future
Richard Lee - Language lessons from Prop 19
Tamar Todd, DPA - Likely federal responses to WA and CO

Rep. Tom Ammiano - Medical marijuana legislation in 2013
Dan Rush, UFCW - Lobbying & legislation
Larry Bedard - The CMA and legalization
Don Duncan, ASA - 2013 opportunities
Kristin Nedeval, Emerald Growers Association -
Regulation of distribution; opportunities after legalization


Beau Kilmer, RAND Corporation
Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam University; CCPR - Coalition
for Cannabis Policy Reform
Joe Rogoway - Drafting Issues; A Legal Perspective
Amanda Reiman, DPA - Key components; managing the federal response to WA and CO
John Gilmore - A funder's perspective

Marsha Rosenbaum, DPA - Meetings parents' concerns
Deborah Small, Breaking the Chains - Cannabis
legalization as a path to racial justice
Ann Lee, RAMP - Helping
conservatives to embrace legalization
Kyndra Miller - Women's role in future elections
Nate Bradley, LEAP - Winning over law enforcement
Stacia Cosner, SSDP - Bridging the gap between
movement leadership and grassroots activists

Lanny Swerdlow - Starting Brownie Mary Democratic Clubs
Robert Jacob - Running for local office
Kandice Hawes - forming NORML and NWA chapters
Mikki Norris & Chris Conrad - Tell Michelle campaign, Legalizing Industrial Hemp, Pot POWs
Ed Rosenthal - Green Aid, The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund

Published in Public Meetings

  According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Oct. 12, 2012:
On 10-11-2012, approximately 9:30 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted by the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant in the 2000 block of Sunset Ridge Road, Blocksburg. Upon serving the search warrant, deputies located and detained 17 suspects. As deputies arrived and announced their presence one of the suspects, identified as Johines Ibonnet, attempted to jump out the back window of the residence and broke his ankle. He was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injury prior to being booked into jail.

Upon searching the 45 acre parcel deputies found a very large sophisticated marijuana growing and processing operation. The operation consisted of marijuana plants being grown in two large greenhouses estimated to be between 60 feet by 100 feet, along with marijuana plants being grown out in the open and inside the residence. The residence and greenhouses were powered by two commercial sized 25 KW generators. The growing marijuana plants ranged in size from 6 feet to 8 feet tall and were budding. Deputies estimated the growing plants to have at least one to two pounds of marijuana bud being produced on each plant. There were a total of 718 growing marijuana plants located and seized on the property. Inside a large drying shed, estimated to be approximately 60 feet by 40 feet, deputies located and seized approximately 900 lbs of drying marijuana bud. Inside the residence deputies located two commercial marijuana trimming machines being used to trim the dried marijuana bud from the plants. Deputies also located approximately 132 pounds of dried marijuana bud along with numerous drying racks and 261 sealed bags of marijuana bud ready to sell, estimated to weigh approximately one pound or more each, along with packaging material,  scales, a Norinco AK-47 assault rifle with several loaded high capacity magazines, a money counter and approximately $9,500.00 cash.
A total of approximately 1293 pounds of dried marijuana bud was located. Dried marijuana bud is being sold for approximately $2,000 a pound. The estimated value of the dried marijuana bud seized is $2,586,000.00 whole sale. If the live marijuana plants had been harvested they would had yielded conservatively an additional 718 pounds of dried marijuana bud estimated to be $1,436,000.00 wholesale.  The value of the marijuana seized is estimated to be at least $4 million dollars in just marijuana bud, not including the leaves. Several of the suspects admitted to investigating officers they were hired to work at the marijuana grow as laborers.

The following is a list of those arrested at the scene and booked in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of Cultivation and Possession for sale of Marijuana, and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony:

  • Elber Dejesus Ivonnet, male 53 years old from North Bergen, NJ -Bailed
  • Geyler  Melo-Pueyol, male  22 years old from Miami, Florida - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
  • Richardo Mateos-Perez, male 22 years old, from Homestead, Florida - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
  • Fernando Olvera, male 39 years old, from Santa Rosa, California - Bailed
  • Luis Manuel Sosa-Vega, male 47 years old, from Santiago, Cuba - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
  • Jose Pulido, male 42 years old, from Los Reva, Mexico - In Custody $75,000.00 bail, ICE Hold
  • Hildegarde Safont Arias, male 42 years old, from Hialeah, Florida - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
  • Disney Bolanos-Chacon, male  41 years old, from Charlotte, N. C. - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
  • Jonines Ibonnet, male 42 years, from Oakland, California - Bailed
  • Terrence Henderson, male, 43 years old, from Eureka, California - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
  • Pauline Ionie Barnes, female, 44 years old, from Green Island, Jamica - Released on O.R.
  • Arlettis Rodriguez-Alverez, female, 22 years old, from Hileah, Florida - Released on O.R.
  • Dayana Isabel Padron, female, 19 years old, from Blocksburg, California - Released on O.R.
  • Elizabeth Enamorado De Padron, female, 40 years from Santiago, Cuba - Released on O.R.
  • Hyacinth Hypatiae English, female, 48 years old, from Bridgeville, California - Released on O.R.
  • Idalmis Leyva Ivonnet, female, 62 years old, from Charlotte, N.C. - Released on O.R.

Michael Lewis Iverson Jr., 35 years old from Eureka, California was also arrested at the marijuana growing site, however he was only arrested on an outstanding probation violation warrant with a bail of $30,000.00. Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Use the player below to hear KMUD newscaster, Dave Brooksher, interviewing Lt. Steve Knight from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. This audio was aired as part of the KMUD Local News for Friday, Oct 12, 2012.

Images from the grow operation shown below:




Published in Cannabis News

According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Sept. 6, 2012:
On 09-06-2012 at about 10:00 am the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at a parcel of property located in the 5600 block of Kneeland Road.  Officers located a commercial marijuana growing operation on the property. No one was at home when the search warrant was served. Officers seized 2,788 growing marijuana plants from the property that ranged in size from 6 inches to 5 feet in height. The marijuana was being grown in two greenhouse type structures on the property plus an indoor marijuana growing structure. Officers seized 117 pounds of drying marijuana, 2 rifles and 5 handguns from the residence. Officers seized approximately $ 11,000 dollars in cash for possible asset forfeiture from the residence.

Officers noticed a possible electrical fire hazard with the indoor marijuana growing operation. They then contacted Humboldt County Building and Planning Department who responded to the scene. Humboldt County Building and Planning Department then inspected the electrical wiring and determined it to be an electrical fire hazard. PG&E was then contacted to disconnect the electrical service to the property. One suspect has been identified in this case and an arrest warrant will be sought through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.

This case is still under investigation by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.

According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Sept. 6, 2012:
On 09-05-2012, approximately 11:30 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriffs Office Community Response Unit (C.R.U), assisted by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant in the 1000 Block of Shively Flat Road, Shively. The warrant authorized deputies and agents to search 34 parcels of property for marijuana cultivation. Deputies located four adults on the properties, three males, and one female. When deputies searched the parcels and associated residence they located two rifles, a scale and packing material consistent with sales of marijuana. They located over 600 very large growing marijuana plants estimated to be 8-10 feet in height and approximately 5-6 feet in diameter.

Due to logistical and medical reasons, the three adult males on the properties, Jack A. Jones, 65 years, and Jack E. Jones, 45 years both from Shively, were cited for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and being armed in the commission of a felony. Malcom Dollarhide, 51 years from Rio Dell, was also cited for cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale and released at the scene.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Update for this incident:
According to a press release from the Humboldt Co. Sheriff's Office, dated March 1, 2012:
On Feb. 29, 2012, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents froze the suspect’s bank accounts. On March 1, 2012 agents served asset seizure warrants on those four accounts. An additional $134,000.00 was seized and turned over the agents from one of those bank accounts. Agents are still awaiting information from the remaining three banks as to any other monetary seizures.

According to a press release from the Humboldt Co. Sheriff's Office, dated Feb. 29, 2012:
On Feb. 29, 2012 at approximately 8:00 a.m., the California Department of Justice, assisted by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Humboldt County Sheriff Drug Enforcement Unit and Humboldt County Sheriffs Office Community Response Unit served two search warrants in the Greenwood Heights area of Eureka. The search warrants were obtained by the California Department of Justice who requested assistance from the Sheriff’s Office and Drug Task Force.The warrants were for a residence in the 5100 block of Greenwood Heights Road, Eureka and three structures located in the 4500 block of Greenwood Heights Road, Eureka.

When the officers arrived at the 5100 block residence, they met with John Eaton Cromwell, 46 years old, and Elisabeth Nergaard Olsen, 42 years old along with their four small children. During a search of their residence, they located approximately $387,000 in cash and $10,000.00 in money orders. Cromwell and Olson are the owners of the second parcel located in the 4500 block of Greenwood Heights Road, Eureka. Officers serving the search warrant located a sophisticated marijuana growing operation that was powered by Pacific Gas and Electrical Power. The marijuana grow contained 3,881 marijuana plants ranging from four inches to four feet in height, growing under 20 one-thousand watt grow lights.  Officers also located 110 one-pound bags of marijuana bud with an estimated value of $220,000, and approximately $33,000 cash. They located another male, Charles Bruzza, 34 years old from Portland, Oregon that was living at that address.

Officers were able to tie Cromwell and Olsen to the marijuana grow based on evidence they located, however they issued them a notice to appear (citation) due to the small children at the residence. They were cited for cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana and maintaining a drug house. Bruzza was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana, and possession of over an ounce of marijuana. His bail is set at $75,000.00. Due to electrical fire hazards at the marijuana grow operation, the Humboldt County Planning Department and Pacific Gas and Electric were called to the scene.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or criminal related activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539. If you live in the City Limits of Eureka the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Unit can be reached at 707-441-4373

Cash from the incident above being counted:

Published in Breaking News
According to a Press Release from the Trinity County Sheriff's Office, dated Oct. 11, 2011:
On October 3, 2011 Officers from USFS, NSMIT, CHP and Trinity County NTF served three Federal search warrants in the Hayfork area of Trinity County. Two of the property’s were owned by Bryan Schweder on Dirt Road and Highway 3 in Hayfork and the third property was owned by Brian Pickard on Dirt Road in Hayfork. From these three sites there were a total of 593 growing marijuana plants and over 1,150 pounds of processed marijuana. Fifteen suspects were arrested, among them were the owner Bryan Schweder and co-owner Karen Niemi and eight Mexican Nationals. There were eight firearms seized, two were assault weapons and one was reported stolen. Also, over $35,000.00 in U.S. currency was seized. Two Proposition 215 recommendations were posted at the Pickard property on Dirt Road. On Schweder’s property on Dirt Road three 215 recommendations were posted and on his property on Highway 3 six 215 recommendations were posted.
On October 4, 2011 Officers from USFS and Trinity County NTF collected evidence and eradicated over 1,100 marijuana plants from a marijuana cultivation site in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest that has been linked to the Schweder and Pickard properties. There are still a few outstanding suspects and further investigation is being conducted on individuals associated with Schweder and Pickard.
On October 5, 2011 Officers from USFS and NSMIT served a Federal search warrant at another property owned by Brian Pickard in Cottonwood where Pickard was taken into custody.
Agency’s involved:
United States Forest Service (USFS)
North State Marijuana Investigation Team (NSMIT)
California Highway Patrol (CHP)
Trinity County Narcotics Task Force (Trinity County NTF)
Persons Arrested:
Bryan Schweder, DOB: 08/20/62, Hayfork, CA
Karen Niemi, DOB: 07/29/79, Hayfork, CA
Efren Rodriguez, DOB: 01/15/66, Valley Springs, CA
Lovey Thomas, DOB: 03/15/71, Tracy, CA
Frederick Holmes, DOB: 09/21/64, San Leandro, CA
Rafael Reyes, DOB: 02/07/90, Mexico
Barron Lopez, DOB: 06/07/70, Mesa, WA
Fernando Reyes-Mojica, DOB: 05/06/77, Mexico
Manuel Madrigal, DOB: 10/22/70, Mexico
Juan Vargas, DOB: 05/14/88, Raceport, WA
Victorino Betancourt-Meraz, DOB: 03/04/73, Bakersfield, CA
Oseas Tolentino, DOB: 08/06/89, Fishport, WA
Filiberto Tapia, DOB: 02/06/58, Mexico
Leonardo Tapia, DOB: 08/23/90, Corning, CA
Osiel Alvaraz, DOB: N/A, Mexico
11358 HS – Plant/Cultivate/Etc Marijuana/Hashish
11359 HS – Possess Marijuana/Hashish For Sale
12021.1(a) PC – Illegal Possession/Etc of Concealable Firearm
182 PC Conspiracy to Commit Crime
11377(a) HS – Possess Controlled Substance
Photos below show grow sites:
Published in Cannabis News

According to a News Release from the Eureka Police Department, dated June 23, 2011:
On the morning of June 23, 2011, Detectives with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) were conducting surveillance on a residence on the 3300 block of I Street, Eureka.  The property had been the source of recent neighborhood complaints concerning suspected marijuana cultivation occurring there.  Earlier, Detectives had also observed several mature marijuana plants growing in the backyard and POP was in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the residence. 

At about 11:00 AM, Detectives observed two males exit the residence and drive off southbound on I Street in a silver VW Corrada hatchback sedan.  Detectives conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle at Manzanita and ‘I’ Streets.  The occupants, Andrew Micheal Harmon (21 of Eureka) and Paul Lojan Harig (20 of Eureka), were taken into custody on suspicion of marijuana cultivation.  A small quantity of processed marijuana was found on Harmon’s (the driver) person.  During a subsequent search of the vehicle, Detectives found a duffel bag containing approximately 4.75 pounds of processed marijuana.

At approximately 12:15 PM, Detectives served the search warrant on the residence.  Investigators subsequently located 49 growing marijuana plants in the backyard, including clones and mature plants.  The plants were in soil pots and ranged in height from approximately 2” – 4’.  21 more growing marijuana plants (small clones) were found in the garage along with 13 drying marijuana plants hanging from a cable (6 pounds of drying marijuana).  Three bags containing approximately 2.25 more pounds of processed marijuana were located inside the residence, along with approximately 1 ounce of concentrated cannabis powder (“kief” – the resin glands or trichomes of cannabis) and several grams of suspected hash oil. Investigators also found two digital gram scales, marijuana packaging materials (turkey size oven bags etc.), and evidence of an illegal hash oil manufacturing lab (glassware with hash oil residue, empty butane gas cartridge box, and two residue laden capped PVC pipes).  These items were used to make concentrated cannabis through a highly volatile chemical extraction process.  Additionally, Investigators discovered written records strongly indicative of marijuana sales activity. 
Officials with the City of Eureka’s Community Development, Building, and Fire Departments were called to the scene to inspect the residence for code enforcement violations and safety hazards.  The grow was determined to be outside the provisions of Eureka’s Medical Cannabis Ordinance, which may result in additional fines being levied on the property owners and/or tenants.   

Harmon and Harig both claimed Prop 215 medical marijuana exemptions for their grow. However, these were invalidated due to the clear evidence of illegal marijuana sales, hash oil manufacturing, and City ordinance violations that were uncovered.  Harmon and Harig were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were both booked for manufacturing a controlled substance by chemical extraction, possession of marijuana for sale, transportation of marijuana, and unauthorized cultivation of marijuana (all felony offenses).  Additionally, Harig was on summary probation for threatening/obstructing a federal officer and he was being held for a related SWAP (Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program) violation. 

Evidence seized during the search warrant includes:

  • 70 marijuana plants
  • Approximately 1 ounce of concentrated cannabis (kief) plus hash oil
  • Approximately 7 pounds of processed marijuana
  • 6 pounds of drying marijuana plants (13 plants)

Shown below-Andrew Micheal Harmon (21 of Eureka):

Shown below-Paul Lojan Harig (20 of Eureka)

Published in Cannabis News
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