National Park Service press release:
On November 23, 2016 park rangers at Redwood National and State Parks were notified of a suspicious vehicle parked on Bald Hills Road. The vehicle was reported to be a white Chevrolet Van with Idaho plates and associated with large bags of marijuana. Park Rangers responded and quickly located a vehicle matching that description traveling westbound on Bald Hills Road. The rangers conducted a traffic stop on the van for expired registration and having only one functioning headlight. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Guy McCarty, 45, of Arcata, CA.
The rangers initiated an investigation after smelling the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, rangers located approximately 8 pounds of marijuana in trash bags, a small amount of methamphetamine, a hypodermic needle, drug paraphernalia, and various items that appeared to be stolen property. Three additional passengers in the vehicle were detained and identified as Jessiman Botello, 29, of Willow Creek CA, William Nickols, 26, of Eureka, CA, and Misty Thoman, 28, of Orick, CA. Preliminary interviews suggested that the group had collected the marijuana somewhere along Bald Hills Road either in Redwood National Park or on private property.
During the investigation, rangers were notified of a fifth individual walking along Bald Hills Road that was associated with the white Chevrolet van. Rangers responded and located an individual matching the description. The individual was detained and identified as Grady Longacre, 39, of Eureka, CA. During his detainment Longacre was found to be in possession of an expandable baton, in violation of his probation. Longacre was subsequently arrested.
Rangers later discovered that the marijuana and the property located in the van were possibly stolen from private property bordering the park. The Humboldt County Sherriff’s Department responded and is currently investigating the potential burglary allegations.
The rangers arrested and booked all five suspects at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. During the booking procedure it was discovered that Misty Thoman had initially provided a false name during the investigation and when identified as Misty Thoman it was discovered she had outstanding warrants out of Washington State.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident or other crimes occurring in Redwood National and State Parks are urged to contact Park Ranger Steve Troy at 707-465-7751. Anyone wishing to report crimes in Redwoods National and State Parks anonymously can call the park at its crime tip line 707-465-7353.