LoCO Staff / Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 1:58 p.m. / Marijuana and/or Cannabis
Big Illinois Weed Bust Leads Authorities Back to Humboldt Megagrow Featuring Numerous Alleged Violations
Humboldt County Drug Task Force press release:
On May 25, 2017 Agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County Code Enforcement, Humboldt County Environmental Health, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Illinois State Police served two search warrants.
The first search warrant was served at a residence located in the 2600 block of Visser Court in McKinleyville. When Agents arrived they located one of the home owners, 35 year old Rhett Baker along with 30 year old David Garibay. During the search Agents located approximately 200 pounds of processed/packaged marijuana bud, a digital scale, pay and owe sheets and approximately $150,000 in U.S. currency which was seized as proceeds from illegal drug sales.
The second search warrant was served on a rural piece of property owned by Rhett Baker off Route 1 in Humboldt County. When law enforcement arrived several subjects fled into the brush. One subject, 41 year old Adrian Villagrana was captured.
A search of this property revealed two large indoor diesel grows as well as several greenhouses. Both indoor grows and the green houses contained growing marijuana. In addition a loaded firearm was located along with $20,000 in U.S. currency which was seized as proceeds from illegal drug sales. A total of 5497 marijuana plants were being grown on the property.
At this property it was discovered water was being diverted from a nearby creek to supply to the marijuana grow. Humboldt County Environmental Health Inspectors also noted the diesel tanks on scene contained red dye, no hazmat business plan had been filed, no spill control measures were in place, no secondary containment vessels were present, there was unauthorized waste oil on the soil and they had an unauthorized hazardous waste storage (55 gallon drum of used oil). No applications or permits were completed to grow marijuana on either property.
This investigation began almost 18 months ago when Illinois State Police seized approximately 400 pounds of processed marijuana on a traffic stop. They were able to determine the source of the marijuana was located in Humboldt County.
As a result of this investigation Rhett Baker was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy, money laundering and violation of probation. Mr. Baker will also face charges associated with the above listed environmental crimes located at his rural property. Mr. Garibay was arrested for possession of marijuana for sales and conspiracy. Mr. Villagrana was arrested for cultivation of marijuana, resisting arrest and conspiracy.
This investigation is ongoing and future arrest are anticipated. Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444- 8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268- 2539.