Small Town Pot Grower Walks in on Police Search

     RIO DELL, Calif. (CN) – While police searched five storage units containing 4,300 marijuana plants Thursday, the suspected grower arrived and was arrested, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department reported.
     Citizen complaints about the grow site led to a month-long investigation in the small northern California town, according to a press release.
     The storage units were at an old saw mill site converted to industrial use.
     “When deputies arrived on scene they located a sophisticated marijuana growing operation in the storage units, which contained approximately 4,300 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from three inches to five feet, approximately 76 pounds of dried marijuana, and 49 Peyote buttons,” plus scales, packaging material, two aggressive pit bulls and evidence that someone lived at the site, the press release said.
     “While deputies were searching, the person who lived on the site arrived on scene and was arrested for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, along with possession of an illicit drug,” the press release said. The suspect, Geoffrey Davis, 32, was booked and released.
     Lieutenant Steve Knight of the Humboldt Sheriff’s Department told Courthouse News that Davis has a prior criminal history. Although medical marijuana cards were found at the site, the Sheriff’s Department believes it was a strictly commercial operation because of its size.
     “Unfortunately, in our county these are very pervasive,” Knight said, citing California’s Proposition 215, which legalized medical use of marijuana, as a key factor. Because of the law’s vague wording, loopholes have exacerbated criminal growing, Knight believes. “That’s when things started to get muddy,” he said. “A lot of the growers have moved outdoors because of the medical marijuana [law],” contributing to ecological problems such as stream diversion and increased pesticide use.
     “Right now in California, this is a horrible mess,” Knight said.

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