Nearly 1,000 Marijuana Plants, Firearms, Much Cash Discovered in Related Arcata Homes; One Arrested

Andrew Goff / Thursday, Oct. 23 @ 11:18 a.m. / Crime

(Photo above provided by a LoCO reader. Other readers reported seeing law enforcement donning riot gear with rifles drawn.)

Arcata Police Department press release: 

Officers from the Arcata Police Department served a search warrant at a residence in the 3200 Blk of Spear Ave on Wednesday morning, October 22nd.

Upon searching the property, officers located a large marijuana growing operation in an unattached garage. A second growing operation was discovered in a mobile home on the property. The entire mobile home had been converted to an indoor growing operation. Officers seized nearly 1000 mature growing marijuana plants and approximately 20 pounds of processed marijuana. Two motorcycles and two trucks were also seized from the location.

The investigation led to two additional locations, one on Spear Ave, where nearly $25,000, three hand guns, three rifles and a Harley Davidson Motorcycle were seized. And a second location in the 100 Blk of F St, where a 150 Kilowatt trailer mounted generator was seized.

The indoor growing operation that was being conducted consisted of over twenty, 1000 watt grow lights, and was utilizing nearly 20 times the electricity of a typical Arcata family home. 

Gary Earl Goddard, 52, of Arcata, was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on the following charges:

  • 11358 Health & Safety-Cultivation of Marijuana
  • 11359 Health & Safety-Possession of Marijuana for Sale

City of Arcata Building Inspectors along with Arcata Fire Protection District Personnel responded to assess the unpermitted wiring modifications that had been made to the home.

It was determined the wiring posed a significant hazard that necessitated the disconnection of electrical services.



Blue Lake Burglary Suspect Leaves Bud on Porch, Avoids Taser Zap, Eventually Arrested

Andrew Goff / Thursday, Oct. 23 @ 10:49 a.m. / Crime

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On 10-22-2014, at approximately 10:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a  911 call regarding an interrupted burglary in the 100 block of Hatchery Road, Blue Lake. The citizen told the dispatcher he was caretaking a neighbor’s property when he located a man, later identified as Richard Scott Hall, inside the residence. The citizen was armed with a handgun and confronted Hall who immediately fled. The citizen chased Hall down to the Mad River levy where Hall fled on foot eastbound.

Deputies responded and checked the area for Hall with no success. The investigating deputy met with the citizen and learned Hall had forcibly entered the residence and barn on the property. The citizen told the deputy it appeared some tools were missing from the barn. The citizen also told the deputy that Hall left approximately a half pound of marijuana bud and fishing gear on the porch that did not belong to the property owner.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. on 10-22-2014, the investigating deputy spotted Hall getting into the passenger side a truck on Maple Creek Road near Blue Lake Boulevard. Hall matched the description of the burglary suspect and the deputy had contacted Hall in the past.  Hall also had two outstanding arrest warrants for driving on a suspended license. The deputy drove up to the truck and ordered Hall to walk towards the deputy. Hall became argumentative and came at the deputy aggressively. The deputy displayed a Taser and ordered Hall to comply with the deputies commands. Hall told the deputy he was not going to jail and fled down an embankment.

A local-on-the-lookout was issued for Hall who was wanted for burglary, besides the arrest warrants.

On 10-23-2014, at approximately 10:15 a.m., the same citizen who reported the burglary spotted Hall walking on I street, Blue Lake. Deputies and a California Highway Patrol Officer responded and located Hall near a Bus Stop.  Hall initially argued and refused to comply with the deputies demands. Hall eventually submitted to arrest and was taken into custody.

Hall was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked. His bail is set at $85,000.

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.


DA’s Office: You Probably Shouldn’t Accept Checks From This Guy

Andrew Goff / Thursday, Oct. 23 @ 10:10 a.m. / News

Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office release of useful information to the public that totally came from here (<— Click that link to confirm, man):

The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office would like to remind the merchants of Humboldt County that James Cunha is out of custody awaiting the outcome of several cases, including the Fortuna arrest of February 8, 2014. He is facing charges of Check Fraud and Receiving Stolen Property, among other felony charges. He continues to offend by using stolen checks, fake checks and closed account checks. Please keep Cunha’s photograph available and do not accept checks that he may attempt to pass.

Since September 2014, the District Attorney Check Enforcement Program has received 5 check complaints involving Cunha totaling $3,021.00. It is suspected that other fraudulent checks have also been passed by Cunha, but have yet to be reported. If you have received a bad check from Cunha please submit a check complaint to the District Attorney’s Office using the forms at on the DA’s website:

Inquiries should be to Susan Vandermeer - District Attorney Check Enforcement Program at 707-445-7411.

PREVIOUSLY: Two Arrested With Stolen Checks and Meth

Your Week in Ocean: In Which Congressman Jared Huffman Invites You To Bring It (To the Seaside Social)

Jennifer Savage / Thursday, Oct. 23 @ 8 a.m. / Environment , Event , Government , marijuana , Media , Ocean

Congressman Jared Huffman is serious about engaging his constituents. In particular, he would like to do so this Saturday, when his “Seaside Social” event offers a chance to “mingle with Congressman Huffman, and hear directly from him about what is happening in Congress and how it affects us here on the North Coast.”

Given that the man represents one-third of California’s coast and has an extensive history of authoring successful ocean-protecting legislation – Huffman is an official Ocean Champion! – a little YWIO preview seemed in order. 


‘Life As We Know It’ Coming To End?

Our conversation began with what Huffman called “the biggest issue nobody is talking about”: Ocean acidification.

Why isn’t anyone talking about it? “It’s overwhelming,” he said, and challenging to understand. But without the right pH balance, potential consequences threaten life as it currently exists.

“Scientists and ocean advocates – including those whose livelihood depends on it – need to start making a bigger deal about [ocean acidification].” When asked what can be done to fix the problem, Huffman noted “’fix’ is a tough word to use about something this complex.” He’s co-sponsoring the Ocean Acidification Innovation Act of 2014, a bill designed to foster new research and innovation in adaptive strategies through X-Prize-style competitions. “Every coastal community, every fisherman, ought to be helping sound the alarm,” Huffman finished.

The ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress

But can anything actually get done in the 113th Congress? It hasn’t exactly been the most productive of legislatures. The public expects little.

“The public is right,” Huffman said. “By design [Congress] isn’t getting much done.” He’s frustrated by the lack of productivity. “We’re going to have to win some elections… The current leadership in the House is happy with a part-time Congress,” he said The worst thing, he continued, is that despite the roadblocks, if allowed a majority vote, Congress could have passed a number of important bills, including comprehensive immigration reform, a minimum wage increase, the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization and extending long-term unemployment benefits – important stuff. “All sorts of legislation could have passed, even in this Congress.”

More Better Ocean Protection!

Not everything has ground to a halt. Huffman is proud of his contribution to California Coastal National Monument, the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands off the Mendocino Coast. “We also had a surprisingly good farm bill,” he noted, “and a good Violence Against Women Act that took months… We had to overcome repeated Republican opposition,” he said.

And Thus The Conversation Turns To Ladies and Their Bodies Which May or May Not Belong To Them

Wait, what? Some Republicans don’t want women to have control over their own bodies? Do tell.

It’s true, Huffman said. Some Republicans in Congress really want to restrict abortion rights and even implement anti-contraception policies. “This ‘War on Women’ we’ve been trying to expose,” he said, “it really is happening. There really are people in high places that want to take away women’s control over their own bodies. They’re as active as ever… Some parts of the country are [practically] returning to the era of back-alley abortions.”

This is a huge part of current elections, Huffman noted, pointing to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. “They handed women’s reproductive choices over to their employers. It’s a terrible precedent,” he said.

[Author’s note: Ladies, and those of you who think ladies are people, too, please, get out there and vote.]

Everyone Agrees Rodenticide and Stream Diversion is Bad For Living Things – Now What?

Women being acknowledged as autonomous human beings is good for everyone and good for the environment as well. And so with that we shift focus to another one of Huffman’s most visible issues – the harm done by pot grows on public lands. We need the resources to clean the grows up once busted, he said – “That’s huge” – and he lauded the recent collaboration of nonprofits and agencies (including the Northcoast Environmental Center) striving to remediate damaged landscapes. “We also need to work toward a decriminalization policy that works,” he continued.

Decriminalization? As opposed to legalization? “Same thing,” Huffman said. He anticipates something on the 2016 ballot. “But I want it to work,” he continued. “Not be some poorly written mockery of policy like Prop. 215.” That’s the only way to bring the growing-distribution-selling of pot “out of the shadows and into the light.” How serious is this? Huffman didn’t mince words. “Every environmentalist in the state should be working on this.” He also gave props to Humboldt County Sheriff  Mike Downey, noting his respect for the “professionalism and intelligence” showed in Downey’s stance toward the gray area pot growing currently often occupies.

Ultimately the only way to stop the damage is by providing a legal framework, Huffman stated. The state needs better legislation, and “we need current federal law to get out of the way.”

‘Another Planet’

The legalization of marijuana is only one of myriad issues straddling state and federal interests. Protecting California’s concerns while also weighing in on national affairs from the hallways of “The Hill” demands a great deal of back-and-forth – D.C. is quite a commute from the spectacular shores of Huffman’s district.

“It’s like traveling between two planets,” he joked. “And I know which planet I prefer.”

As to the idea that politicians are out of touch, Huffman noted that U.S. Representatives have to “reapply for the job” every two years – and representatives who ignore their constituents pay the price. The larger disconnect, he said, is not between politicians and the people they serve, but the gulf between individuals. Huffman cited a recent Pew study that showed Americans self-segregate when it comes to news sources. “Each side feels they are entitled to their own facts,” he said. “And can fund a news outlet that tells them what they want to hear.”

Maybe News Sources That Give You the Facts, Not the Feels?

We need established, trustworthy, accurate sources as common ground, he continued, citing the Christian Science Monitor and NPR as examples. But people also have to take personal responsibility, Huffman said. Those who watch only Fox News “are in denial or worse – but I would say the same about those who only watch MSNBC.”

He encourages constituents to look deeper, seek out news sources “who aren’t perpetually trying to alarm and anger you.”

Heady stuff. But even a congressman needs some downtime. Say, a nice coastline upon which to decompress. And which Humboldt beach does U.S. Representative Jared Huffman most enjoy?

“The whole lagoons area,” he said. “It’s just phenomenal.”

Ask Him Yourself!

Tip of the iceberg, folks! Ask your own questions this Saturday at the Wharfinger, where Huffman promises plenty of one-on-one time at a “fun and informal” opportunity to hear his constituents’ concerns – and please note, Congressman Huffman will be sitting in “on a few songs” with the band. Any requests? I hear Firesign plays a mean Crosby, Stills & Nash…

Jennifer Savage is the Coastal Programs Director for the Northcoast Environmental Center and chairs the Humboldt Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation as well as being a person in her own right despite what some Congressional Republicans think. 

19-Year-Old Fleeing ‘Higher Ground’ Arrested With Torn Pants

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 8:39 p.m. / Crime

Arcata Police Department press release:

On 10/22/2014 at about 4:25 am, Officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to Higher Ground at 1360 G Street for a burglary alarm that was sounding.

Upon the arrival of officers minutes later, an unknown suspect could be heard fleeing from the area of the business. Stolen property from the business was found to be strewn through the parking lot of the restaurant immediately to the north.

APD Officers, assisted by University Police Officers, quickly established a perimeter and began searching the area. During the search, officers saw a male subject, later identified as David McKenzie (age 19) emerge onto 14th Street from the property adjacent to the business. Officers contacted McKenzie a short distance away and discovered that his pants were torn and he had sustained lacerations to his legs. McKenzie is on court ordered probation for PC 459 - Burglary and PC 496(a) - Possession of Stolen Property.

McKenzie was placed under arrest and booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for PC 459 - Burglary, PC 466 - Possession of Burglary Tools, and PC 1203.2 - Violation of Probation.

If you suspect illegal activity in your neighborhood, please call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.

Speaking Of … EPD Make Home Burglary Arrest

Andrew Goff / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 3:29 p.m. / Crime

PREVIOUSLY: Eureka Has a Daytime Home Burglary Problem

# # #

Eureka Police Department press release:

On 10/22/14 at about 1:58 p.m., Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Detectives were patrolling Eureka in response to the recent rash in residential burglaries.  Detectives recognized Rajean Achane, 31 of Eureka near Cedar and A Streets from previous police contacts.  

A warrants check of Achane revealed that he had an active felony warrant for possession of stolen property. Detectives contacted Achane and arrested him for the warrant.  During the course of the investigation officers found Achane to be in possession of stolen property from a burglary that was reported earlier this morning.  

Achane was transported to the Humboldt County Jail and booked on the felony warrant charge and a new felony charge of possession of stolen property.  

Anyone with information regarding the possible identity of the suspect(s) responsible for these burglaries is asked to call the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4388.



Evasive Motorcyclist Identified, BOLO Issued

Kym Kemp / Wednesday, Oct. 22 @ 1:34 p.m. / marijuana

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspect involved in the pursuit on 10-16-2014, as Jason Andrue Meisner, 40 years old, from Eureka. A be-on-the lookout for Meisner has been issued to all law enforcement agencies. Mesiner is wanted for felony evasion of a police officer and violation of felony probation. Mesiner is on formal probation for cultivation of marijuana. 

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the media and public for their assistance in identifying Meisner. The Sheriff’s Office received over twenty calls.