Hank Sims has been diligently tracking down information on why the Department of Homeland Security has been conducting a series of raids the last few days in Humboldt County. (Read here for background if you’ve missed the story.)

He found the grand jury indictment from a South Dakota federal court for Sean McFarland and two other fellows:


(That is approximately 220 pounds of marijuana, for those of you who are metrically challenged.) [At least 220 pounds. —HS.]

With that information, he tracked down the fact that one of those indicted along with Mcfarland, Samuel Pfeifle, is currently believed to be a resident of Phillipsville, but according to the online site My Life he lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from 2001 to 2005.

We discovered Pfeifle had been arrested June July 17 at a.m., according to our Booked site. Note that Pfeifle was arrested before yesterday’s raid, which may explain why there were reports of unusual activity — a neighbor noted that there were signs of an unusual number of tire tracks going in and out of the place — just prior to the raid in Salmon Creek. This may also explain why the Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s vehicles left the area apparently empty.

McFarland, of course, was arrested yesterday in Arcata. And Newell, it appears, was in federal custody in South Dakota but was released yesterday — just as the raids were happening — under the following conditions:

Newell Release 

We are gathering more information and will post as it becomes available.