Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Dec. 20, 2019, at about 7:37 a.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy on patrol in the 1800 block of Central Avenue in McKinleyville conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle code violation. The deputy recognized the driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Tonka Jody Gritts, from previous law enforcement contacts and was aware that Gritts did not possess a valid driver’s license.

The deputy contacted Gritts and a male passenger. The male passenger was found to be on formal probation with a search clause. During a search of the vehicle, deputies located ammunition, a loaded firearm, drug paraphernalia, over 22 grams of heroin and items consistent with the sale of narcotics. During a search of Tonka, deputies located additional drug paraphernalia.

Tonka was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of possession of a controlled substance while armed (HS 11370.1(a)), possession of a controlled substance (HS 11350), possession of a controlled substance for sales (HS 11351), carrying a loaded firearm in a public place (PC 25850(a)), person prohibited in possession of ammunition (PC 30305(a)), driving without a license (VC 12500), driving without insurance (VC 16028(a)) and driving with only parking lights (VC 24800).

The male passenger was released at the scene.

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.