Drug raid nets $170K, 200 lbs. of bud

Paul Mann
Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – Dual drug seizures in McKinleyville and Humboldt County Route 1 led to three arrests May 25, coupled with the confiscation of some $170,000 in cash, the impounding of about 200 pounds of processed/packaged marijuana bud and the capture of nearly 5,500 marijuana plants.   




Arrested were Rhett Baker, 35, and David Garibay, 30, in the 2600 block of Visser Court in McKinleyville; and Adrian Villagrana, 41, captured on a rural piece of Baker’s property off Route 1, where several subjects reportedly fled into the brush when law enforcement arrived. More arrests are expected.

Officers of the multi-agency Humboldt County Drug Task Force seized approximately 200 pounds of processed/packaged marijuana bud, a digital scale, pay and owe sheets and approximately $150,000.00 in U.S. currency from illegal drug sales at Baker’s Visser Court residence.

The search of the Route 1 property disclosed two large indoor diesel grows and several greenhouses. Both indoor grows and the greenhouses contained growing marijuana.

A loaded firearm and $20,000 in illegal drug proceeds were located at that Baker property, home to 5,497 growing marijuana plants.

Water was being diverted from a nearby creek and Humboldt County Environmental Health Inspectors found the diesel tanks contained red dye. No hazmat business plan had been filed, no spill control measures were in place and no secondary containment vessels had been deployed.

Unauthorized waste oil had flowed into the soil and agents found unauthorized waste storage in a 55 gallon drum of used oil.

No applications or permits had been filed to grow marijuana at either the McKinleyville or Route 1 locations.

The task force said in a communiqué that the arrests and seizures resulted from the confiscation nearly 18 months ago of some 400 pounds of processed marijuana discovered by Illinois State Police on a traffic stop and traced to Humboldt County.

Baker was arrested in suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy, money laundering and violation of probation. He faces related charges for environmental crimes at his rural property.

Garibay was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sales and for conspiracy and Villagrana for cultivation, resisting arrest and conspiracy.

Task force agents were assisted by members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Humboldt County Code Enforcement, Humboldt County Environmental Health, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Illinois State Police.


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