Impact of the drought and marijuana industry on local rivers

Scott Bauer of the California Fish and Wildlife Department will present on the impact of the drought and marijuana industry on local rivers tomorrow during a meeting of the Humboldt County Workforce Investment Board.

The meeting is from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Annex of the Humboldt County Board of Education. There will also be discussion about federal workforce training funding and how it has been used to re-train workers laid off from their jobs in Humboldt County.

Statistics and Sex Offender's registration compliance sweep information, Eureka outnumbers other locations

Since March 24, 2014, a multi-agency sex offender’s registration compliance sweep has been occurring and is continuing, led by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of Eureka Police Department, Arcata Police Department, Humboldt County Probation, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and the US Marshall’s Office in Humboldt County. The sweep is paid for by the Child Sexual Predator Program (C.S.P.P.) Grant. The operation was an effort to confirm the address the sex registrant provided to law enforcement was in fact the address that they resided at. The officers have checked on 327 separate registrants to date, to confirm the address is actually where they resided and were in compliance with the law.  All sex registrants are required to register in person with the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over their residence address. The registrants must also comply with the several registration requirements, such as updating their registration annually and informing law enforcement when any changes have been made to their address or registration information. Failure by a sex registrant to keep law enforcement notified of an address change or registration information is a crime per 290.18 of the California Penal Code and can be punished as a felony or misdemeanor.

The Sheriff’s Office will be obtaining arrest warrants for those found to be out of compliance.

To date 327 registrants information provided to law enforcement were checked. The following were the results of those checks: 271 found to be in compliance, 27 out of compliance, 10 were currently in custody, 14 were unable to be contacted at the residence listed,  3 provided addressed that could not be located and 3 were deceased.

There are a total of 508 sex registrants in Humboldt County. There are currently no registered sexually violent predators listed in the county.

Registrants who are excluded from being listed on the internet were required to file a form with the Department of Justice. Those registrants had to meet certain requirements to be excluded. The information can be found under the California Penal Code section 290.46e .

The following is a list of locations where sex registrants are currently residing.

Alderpoint: 2
Arcata: 24
Bayside: 3
Blue Lake: 4
Bridgeville: 6
Eureka: 220
Ferndale: 3
Fields Landing: 9
Fortuna: 36
Garberville: 1
Hoopa: 25
Hydesville: 3
Kneeland: 2
Korbel: 2
Loleta: 6
McKinleyville: 40
Myers Flat: 4
Orick: 5
Phillipsville: 3
Redway: 5
Rio Dell: 13
Samoa: 4
Trinidad: 5
Whitethorn/Shelter Cover: 3
Willow Creek: 5

You can learn more information on Megan’s Law Website

One Mckinleyville armed robbery suspect identified

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the armed robbery which occurred on 04-15-2014 and has identified the driver of the vehicle.  She is identified as Candice Keshan Swain, 25 years old who is a transient.  She is described as Native American, 5’ 4” tall, approximately 145 pounds, brown hair and brown eyes.

The lead investigating deputy is still actively working on identifying the second female who was the one identified by the victims as holding the knife. She is known as, “ Sonya “.

Sonya is described as Native American,  approximately in her 30’s, heavy set,  about 250 to 300 pounds, dark short hair pulled into a bun, was last seen wearing dark clothing and in possession of a 4” to 6” blade knife. She is possibly from the Hoopa area.

A be-on-the-lookout to area law enforcement has been issued for Swain who is wanted armed robbery.

Attempted Murder suspect from Sonoma County arrested in Weott

 On 04-15-2014, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the 16000 block of State Highway 254, Weott in regards to an unwanted subject. While enroute to the call, the female caller told Sheriff’s Office Dispatch the unwanted subject was Juan Luis Ayala Jr., 20 years old from Modesto, California, and he was wanted for attempted murder from Sonoma County. Sheriff’s Office Dispatch confirmed with Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office that Ayala was wanted for attempted murder and vehicle theft. Dispatch also learned from Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office the weapon used was a hammer.

When Deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers (C.H.P.) arrived at the residence where Ayala was at, the female caller met them outside. She told the deputies she did not want Ayala at her residence and Ayala was willing to surrender peacefully. Deputies entered the residence and took Ayala into custody without incident.

C.H.P. located the vehicle Ayala stole, a black 2000 Ford Echo in the South Fork High School parking lot. The vehicle was stored and Ayala was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where his bail is set at $500,000.00.

Well-known and loved Hoopa community leader Marion McCovey to be arraigned today; was booked for marijuana cultivation, child endangerment and other charges

Today in Judge Mariyln Miles Courtroom 2, at 1:30 p.m., in addition to Marian Earl McCovey, Sr, two other defendants were arraigned. The co-defendants are Marion Earl McCovey, Jr and  Romeo Blue McCovey.

Mr. McCovey, Sr is well-known in the Hoopa community for his work with the Hoopa Youth Center, Hoopa Tribe Recreation Department, he coached youth in basketball,baseball and was formerly employed with the Klamath United Trinity School District.

The charges for each defendant include both felonies and misdemeanors. Jackie Pizzo is prosecuting this case for the People.

All three defendants were present in the courtroom, they are not in custody. Mr. McCovey, Sr is being represented by Jeffrey Schwartz. Judge Miles appointed the Public Defender Casey Russo  to represent Mr.McCovey, Jr and the Conflict Counsel supervising attorney Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis to represent Mr. Romeo Blue McCovey.

The charges against each defendant were read by Judge Miles with the appropriate code and then  stated as following: for Mr. McCovey, Sr. are Count 1 marijuana cultivation, Count 2, marijuana for sale, Count 3 child abuse and Count 4 contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

For Mr. McCovey, Jr and Romeo Blue McCovey the charges are the same. Count 1 is cultivation of marijuana, Count 2 marijuana for sale and Count 3 contributing to the deliquency of a minor.

Each defendant entered a not guilty plea and a general time waiver. Each defendant was allowed to remain out of custody on their own recognizance. Intervention is scheduled for June 17 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary Hearing on June 25 at 8:30 a.m.

Before the arraignment, the defendants were in the hallway and they sat quietly. Their demeanor was very respectful and polite to people around them. In court, their behavior was the same.

Background on case from Hoopa Tribal Police Department press release:

On 12/11/2013 the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department ended a five month long marijuana investigation after serving a search warrant at a residence located on Mill Creek Road In Hoopa CA.

At the Hoopa residence Officers located approximately 11 lbs of marijuana and several firearms. One suspect was arrested at the residence identified as Marion McCovey Sr age 56. McCovey was transported and booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for H&S 11358 Cultivation of marijuana, H&S 11359 Possession of marijuana for sale, H&S 11357 c Possession of marijuana over an ounce, PC 182(a)(1) Conspiracy, PC 273a(a) Child Endangerment and PC 272 Contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Two juveniles who were at the residence at the time of the search warrant were placed with a family member. This is an ongoing investigation and more arrests are anticipated.

Fortuna Airport Road bust Day 2: 2500 plants , more search warrants, 1 arrested

In addition to yesterday's bust, on  day 2, now up to  2500 plants , more search warrants, 1 arrested. All the press is covering this story so I am not in a rush to update the information or post the press releases.

Yurok Tribe endorses Elan Firpo for District Attorney

The Yurok Tribe endorsed Elan Firpo for Humboldt County District Attorney at its regular council meeting in Klamath, CA, on Thursday, April 10.

“The Yurok Tribe’s court and justice system is growing, and we are looking forward to furthering our collaborative effort with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office, which will benefit our tribal members,” said Yurok Tribe Chairman Thomas O’Rourke, Sr.

"It is a great honor to be endorsed by the Yurok Tribe," said Elan Firpo. "I intend to live up to this vote of confidence by strengthening the link between the DA's office and the tribes and Rancherias as we make this a safe place to raise our families."

The Yurok Tribe is the largest Indian Tribe in California with 5,989 tribal members. Several initiatives to benefit Yurok tribal members and surrounding communities are currently under way, including the construction of a visitors’ center, hotel and casino and a fiber optic high speed internet system.

From DA's office to Clanton Law Firm, now Ben McLaughlin has his own practice

Ben McLaughlin just started his own practice about a month ago. He will be taking cases as a criminal defense attorney as well as family law and some personal injury in the future.

Congratulations Ben!