Mar 20, 2015

Local court docket is full of men violating restraining orders granted

It isn't something you see every day but frequently. Judges admonish the perp who often has a "whatever look" on his face.

Often, these are frequent offenders in and out of the system. They don't take any consequence seriously.

Or they swear they will change, it was the alcohol or drugs. This time they are really sorry.

 It isn't always the case, but it is often. The consequence for the victim is often fatal.

Humboldt needs to hold these frequent offenders; these men and in some cases, women, accountable for their actions and send a strong message that abuse is never okay and breaking the law will not be tolerated.

Here is a link to an excellent article in the Times-Standard by Will Houston:
www.times-standard.com/general-news/20150320/fortuna-shooting-victim-in-critical-but-stable-condition


Deceased Fortuna man who shot ex had another harassment order filed against him

Judge Dale Reinholtsen denied a civil harassment order filed by a Steven Todd Lammers against Rusell Alan Kellim.
Judge Joyce Hinrichs granted the custody visitation stipulation order in January 2013, which seems to be the one related to the shooting in Fortuna. The person filing that domestic violence order was a Csilla Adam. The order included a custody stipulation agreement. Kellim was also had a child support complaint  case in the system filed by Adam.

Fortuna Press Release:

On March 18, 2015 at about 6:00 AM Fortuna Police Officers responded to the 4500 block of Forrest Hills Drive, Fortuna, regarding reports of gun shots being fired.
Upon arrival, Fortuna Police Officers located one male subject and one female subject that had been shot. The male subject was later declared deceased at Redwood Memorial Hospital. The female subject was treated and flown out of the area for treatment of her injuries.
The deceased male has been identified as Russell Allan Kellim, age 47, out of Eureka. The Fortuna Police Department is the lead agency in this investigation. All further information will be released through their agency.

Official DDA new hire press release, as already reported on this blog

As previously already reported on this blog, three new DDAs hired.

I have seen Mr. Timm in court already. He was very impressive on his first day.

Here is the official release:

March 20, Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced the hiring of three new deputy District Attorneys: Trenton Timm of Scotia; Moksha Chattopadhya of San Jose; and Whitney Barnes of Moreno Valley. All have joined the D.A.'s office this month and all will initially handle misdemeanor cases.  Former Humboldt State University Police Chief Lynne Soderberg has also recently joined the DA’s Office as an investigator.

The three new Deputy DA’s reflect District Attorney Maggie Fleming's commitment to increasing the capacity of the DA’s Office.  “Our new DDA’s were carefully selected by a team of experienced prosecutors and are currently undergoing a training process.  They have already given us reasons to be very optimistic about their futures as Humboldt County prosecutors.”   The additions of Mr. Timm, Ms. Chattopadhaya and Ms. Barnes filled vacant positions in the DA’s Office.  DA Fleming is seeking to fill additional existing positions, including those previously frozen by the County, in part with Measure Z funding.

Lynne Soderberg brings years of experience and accomplishment in law enforcement with both Humboldt State and the Eureka Police Departments to the DA’s Office.  She will focus on domestic violence cases as a DA Investigator.  “I greatly appreciate Ms. Soderberg's outstanding record of public service and her willingness to bring her knowledge and ability to the DA’s Office.”

Mar 19, 2015

Burgess, Moon, Backues and others: generations of family in the criminal and DHHS systems

The names above are only three well known names at CWS, Probation and the Courts.

Other families, not necessarily in all three systems but you find generations on the docket imply a pattern.

Generations of families that raise their children to break laws, do drugs and when things go wrong, blame and sue the City or County such as the Burgess family did.



Motion to withdraw Candido Pena's guilty plea of sexual misconduct with a minor under age of 14 denied by Judge Miles

Courtroom 2
Judge Marilyn Miles
People: DDA Zach Curtis
Defense: Russ Clanton

The defendant filed a motion to withdraw his previous guilty plea and the People oppose that motion.
Judge Marilyn Miles denied the defense motion filed by Mr. Clanton to withdraw Candido Pena's guilty plea.

Candido Pena appeared in court today dressed in orange and before his case was called, he spoke briefly with Mr. Clanton via a certified court interpreter. Before attorneys presented their arguments, Mr. Pena addressed the court via the interpreter. "I was under much pressure at that time and not able to speak to my wife. I could not give a clear answer. I was confused."

Judge Miles said she had reviewed and read both the defense motion and the People's opposition and asked if the attorneys wanted to present verbal arguments before her decision.

Mr. Clanton said, "There is nothing I point as fault to Counsel or Court. The Court showed patience when the plea was entered." He reiterated that "nothing by the Court or Mr. Curtis created the problem." He said the Friday before the plea was entered, there were a number of interpreter issues and Mr. Pena wanted to speak to his wife. The Monday following that Friday, there was a special set at 1:30 p.m. and that he had arranged for Mr. Pena's wife to meet with the defendant. Due to her "employment issues, she could not get to court on time. The interpersonal issues Mr. pena and his wife had were not linked to the ple" but Pena wanted to talk to his wife before making a decision.

Another court interpreter said that he would not interpret anything outside court so Mr. Clanton said he had to explain to Mr. Pena and that the defendant did not fully understand.  Mr. Clanton said that in the courtroom, "the woman (Mr. Pena's wife) was under a lot of pressure", surrounded by strangers in an open courtroom. "She finally left in tears. Mr. Pena felt the only alternative he had was to go to trial." Mr. Clanton said that Pena's wife was embarrassed to be in the courtroom. "Getting his wife's opinion was very important, therefore he was under a lot of duress." Mr. Clantonthen cited a case, People v Herlichs. "He has limited education. He has organizational difficulties," Mr. Clanton said of Mr. Pena.

DDA Curtis said that Mr. Clanton "did not talk about internal duress, he talked about duress from outside factors. The defendant cannot create duress for legal standing." Mr. Curtis said that the Court had met legal standards. "Don't know what more court could have done. Counsel spoke to defendant prior to accepting the plea."

"There is also a family outside with the victim," said Mr. Curtis. "They need closure. There is a need for finality for the victim and the family."

After hearing from both attorneys, Judge Miles said, "Because this is a serious offense, I made sure I took the extra time to make sure Mr. Pena understood the consequences. I find that his plea was knowingly and voluntarily entered. I don't find evidence to withdraw the plea, the motion is denied."

Dr. Renouf was supposed to evaluate him and that hearing had been continued, once already on march 10. The report was not received by either the Court or the Counsel. Mr. Clanton informed Judge Miles that Dr. Renouf had visited his client yesterday so a future date of April 2 at 2 p.m. has been set to receive that report. Probation will receive that report and then they will provide a pre-sentencing report and then a sentencing date will be scheduled.

Please check the following link (which includes previous post earlier today) for complete background:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/people-file-opposition-to-withdrawl-of.html

Verdict in this morning: Jury finds Bronson Lewis Moon guilty

Bronson Lewis Moon is accused of assault and corporal injury in a spouse/cohabitant.
Prosecutor Jackie Pizzo. Defense David Lee from Conflict Counsel. Judge Marilyn Miles.
Previously, when Moon was tried, it was a hung jury.
Moon is also currently involved in a family law case.


DA Maggie Fleming just sent out a press release:

District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced that Bronson Moon Lewis was found guilty by jury of felony domestic violence today.  Mr. Lewis who is 33 years old assaulted the mother of his children on November 7, 2011. 
Mr. Lewis came to the victim’s home in Ferndale in the early morning hours of November 7, 2011. The victim discovered that Mr. Lewis was attempting to move back into the home and an argument ensued. As the victim was trying to get Mr. Lewis’s possessions out of her vehicle, he started pulling at her, eventually slamming her face into the side view mirror causing a cut to her nose. The victim used a bat to defend herself, and eventually Mr. Lewis left her home.
The case was investigated by the Ferndale Police Department.  Sentencing will occur on April 30, 2015.  He is facing a maximum of 4 years in prison.  The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo.
This case was heard in Department 2 in front of Judge Miles. This was a retrial after a jury hung 11-1 for guilt in 2013.





Passerni busted this morning; arraigned this afternoon! Justice DA Fleming style

Humboldt welcome to justice DA Fleming style!

Jason Paserni was booked this morning; arraigned this afternoon in Courtroom 2. He will be represented by Conflict Counsel who previously represented him on felony probation he violated.

Dressed in cuffs and orange, Passerni was unfazed.

He is charged with possession of a concealed and loaded firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and possession of a concealed dirk/dagger

Repeat felons got money for guns but we pay for their repeated legal fees

Joshua Stockhoff lives in the greenbelt area but he has a gun. Jason Michael Passerini can't pay his registration but he has firearms. And who pays for their legal expenses?

Taxpayers.


EPD Press release:

On 3/16/15 at about 8:45 p.m., an Officer with the Eureka Police Department conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a tan Jeep Cherokee with expired registration at the 3900 Block of Broadway.  The driver, Jason Michael Passerini, 36 of Eureka, was found to have an outstanding felony warrant for assault with a deadly weapon and was driving on a suspended license.

While being taken into custody, Passerini was found to have two loaded firearms and a fixed blade knife concealed on his person.  Both firearms, a.45 caliber 1911 Colt and a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver were fully loaded and chambered to fire.  A third firearm, an unloaded Winchester 270 rifle was located inside the vehicle along with additional ammunition for the pistols and rifle.

Passerini was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for possession of a concealed and loaded firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and possession of a concealed dirk/dagger

Wanted felon Joshua Stockhoff loose with a gun



On March 17, 2015, at about 7:30 AM, Eureka Police Department officers and
detectives with the Problem Oriented Policing Unit served a search warrant at a
transient encampment located in the greenbelt area just north of the Bayshore
Mall. The warrant was obtained after EPD received information from multiple
sources that the residents of the illegal camp were in possession of a cache of
firearms and dealing methamphetamine.
During a search of the encampment, officers located ammunition, 5 firearms,
methamphetamine, and stolen property. Approximately 80 yards of trash and
junk was removed from the illegal encampment by City clean-up crews (3 large
dumpsters were filled).
Suspect Timothy Lynn Stockhoff (age 53 of Eureka) was arrested and booked
into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for felon in possession of a
firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of stolen property and
possession of methamphetamine. He has since been released from custody
after posting bail.
Timothy’s son, Joshua Allen Stockhoff (age 27 of Eureka), was not located at
the time the search warrant was served. A short-barreled (sawed-off) 20-gauge
shotgun and ammunition was located in his tent. Joshua Stockhoff is currently
wanted by EPD on multiple felonies including: felon in possession of a firearm,
felon in possession of ammunition, and possession of a short-barreled shotgun.
EPD investigators recovered a trail camera outside of Joshua Stockhoff’s tent
containing images showing him carrying firearms. The .30 caliber M1 carbine he
is depicted holding has been recovered. However, a small pistol in a holster
attached to his belt has not been located.
EPD asks that anyone with information concerning Joshua Stockhoff’s
whereabouts call our communications center at (707) 441-4044. Do not attempt
to approach or apprehend him as he may be considered possibly armed and
dangerous.

William Reid's family allegedly pissed at the Judge and prosecutor for Limmie Curry deal; the person to blame is the one that botched the codefendant case and caused a mistrial for first Curry case

Due to a reliable tip from someone in the community who is in communication with William Reid's family, the tip claim is that when they come to make a victim impact statement at Limmie Curry's sentencing on March 23, they plan to read the Judge "the riot act."

Limmie Curry was sentenced to 12 years in a plea deal after his co-defendant Eddie Lee walked free. The family should not be blaming the prosecutor in Curry's case which is DDA Kelly Neel nor should they be blaming Judge John Feeney for the result in Eddie Lee's case. Judge Timothy Cissna is the one who will sentence Curry since he was the Judge who accepted the plea deal in March.

Former DA Paul Gallegos botched the original Limmie Curry trial and it was declared a mistrial. Then he lost the Eddie Lee case when Judge Feeney granted the defense request according to Penal Code 1118. The last post and other links have detailed coverage of the Eddie Lee trial, which was only covered on this blog.

The Reid family's grief is understandable but it is under Paul's watch that the Curry case was weakened. Unfortunately, the present administration will face the wrath.

Who they really should blame is Richard Salzman, Paul's biggest champion, all that underground dope money that backed Paul, all the businesses that profit from lawlessness, all the attorneys that benefited under Paul's watch while raking in the dough from their grower clients and all the voters who elected Paul and let the mess continue for 12 years.

Last post (with other links)

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/plea-deal-in-limmie-curry-case-12-years.html

People file opposition to withdrawl of guilty plea in case involving alleged misconduct/molestation of a minor

Candido Pena previously  plead guilty to Penal Code 288.5. Today, there is a motion hearing scheduled in Courtroom 2 at 2 p.m. and the defendant is planning to withdraw his guilty plea. The People have filed an opposition to that motion.  Pena is represented by private attorney Russ Clanton and DDA Zach Curtis had been prosecuting the case.
There was a hearing on March 10 in the Candido Pena case in which Dr. Renouf's report evaluating Pena was to be heard but it was continued. The evaluation is is according to Penal Code 288.1. This is not a high profile case and not one that other media is aware of. I will have another post after today's court hearing.
From: w.onecle.com
288.1.  Any person convicted of committing any lewd or lascivious
act including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for
in Part 1 of this code upon or with the body, or any part or member
thereof, of a child under the age of 14 years shall not have his or
her sentence suspended until the court obtains a report from a
reputable psychiatrist, from a reputable psychologist who meets the
standards set forth in Section 1027, as to the mental condition of
that person.

From: w.onecle.com:
288.5.  (a) Any person who either resides in the same home with the
minor child or has recurring access to the child, who over a period
of time, not less than three months in duration, engages in three or
more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of
14 years at the time of the commission of the offense, as defined in
subdivision.
 

Feb 24, 2015


Defendant Pena pleads guilty to Penal Code 288.5 (a) ; Judge will decide whether prison or probation for sexual conduct with a child

A jury trial was vacated for Candido Pena today because he entered a change of plea. He was charged with Penal Code 288.5 (a) and held to answer to all charges last June after a preliminary hearing. His attorney is Mr. Russell Clanton.

288.5.  (a) Any person who either resides in the same home with the
minor child or has recurring access to the child, who over a period
of time, not less than three months in duration, engages in three or
more acts of substantial sexual conduct with a child under the age of
14 years at the time of the commission of the offense, as defined in
subdivision.

I contacted DA Maggie Fleming asking why there was a plea in this case for the above charge under her administration. She responded promptly. Under Ms. Fleming's administration, we actually get answers, and promptly.

"Deputy District Attorney Zack Curtis handled this case. The defendant pled guilty to one count of Penal Code section 288(a) after discussion with the victim and family.  It is very important to this office how the family feels about the possible plea and consequences and it was with their agreement that the People accepted the guilty plea by the defendant.  The defendant has been referred for a psychological evaluation and that report is due back on .  After that report is received it will be referred to probation and a date for sentencing will be scheduled.  At sentencing the Judge will decide if the defendant should receive prison or probation."

"Bad Boy" Michael Throckmorton back in court for alleged assault; Pizzo v Tipps Round 2' will the third time be lucky for prosecution or will Throckmorton go free?

A jury is currently being selected in a case where Michael Throckmorton is charged with a felony: assault. This case is from an allegation from 2012. I believe this is the second round of Pizzo v Tipps.

The trial Judge is Timothy Cissna. The prosecutor Jackie Pizzo and Throckmorton's is being represented again by Public Defender Owen Tipps.

Throckmorton is charged with PC 273.5 (a)

There was also a civil protection order filed against Throckmorton by a S. Carlson that was dismissed due to lack of prosecution. Again, Paul Gallegos was the DA at that time.

Throckmorton previously charged with a homicide, another felony, did not go to jury trial in 2006. The DA at that time was Paul Gallegos. The case was prosecuted by present DA Maggie Fleming and Throckmorton was represented by private attorney Manny Daskal.

It is the DA's responsibility to oversee charging. In 2006, Ms. Fleming had to try a case with Paul Gallegos in charge. Now with her being the DA, perhaps there is a chance that the result could be different.

Penal Code 273.5.  (a) : Any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury
resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim described in
subdivision


Previous Post:


Feb 20, 2014

Pizzo vs Tipps same or different result for Throckmorton as Fleming vs Daskal?

A jury  i currently considering the fate of Michael Throckmorton. Jury started deliberating as of yesterday. People were represented by Jackie Pizzo, defendant's attorney Owen Tipps and Judge Dale Reinholtsen presiding. This is a domestic violence case. 

This is not Throckmorton's first court appearance. He was found not guilty on two counts on another more high profile case in 2006.

In 2006, Throckmorton was the defendant in a murder trial. Prosecutor was Maggie Fleming. Defense Counsel was Manny Daskal. Evidence came out in trial during testimony that caused the preliminary trial to go in Throckmorton's favor. Defense prevailed.

The following is from an article in the Times-Standard from 2006 by Chris Durant. There are at least 2 other similar reports, one from the Northcoast Journal.

EUREKA -- A jury returned not guilty verdicts on two counts against Michael Kenneth Throckmorton Thursday, but he still remains in custody at the Humboldt County Jail awaiting a District Attorney's Office decision on whether to file lesser charges.
Throckmorton, 24, was found not guilty of second degree murder and not guilty of attempted murder.
He allegedly killed Robert Peter Wyland, 58, and stabbed David Wayne Harris, 46, March 4 outside his Fieldbrook home.
Preliminary hearing testimony revealed the men may have been at Throckmorton's home in relation to a dispute between Throckmorton and his landlord.
Throckmorton's attorney, Manny Daskal, said the District Attorney's Office may now file voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.
He said Throckmorton will remain in custody at least until his next court appearance, Jan. 3., when Daskal will ask for a bail reduction.
Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson asked the jurors how they voted in the lesser charges.
The foreman stated they voted eight to four for a voluntary manslaughter charge, nine to three for an attempted manslaughter charge and eight to four for an assault with a deadly weapon charge.

Jason Warren pre trial on May 20

Both of Jason Warren cases have a pre trial scheduled for May 20 at 2 p.m.

Mar 18, 2015

Standoff between the People and Defense regarding discovery in the alleged $100,000 embezzlement case

Today, DDA Roger Rees was in Courtroom 5 and he walked in with a cart on which had boxes and binders labeled Cervantes. The case is for Socorro Cervantes. He was responding to defense counsel's motion to compel discovery. Cervantes' appearance in court had been excused by Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley.

Mr. Rees said that he had reviewed Ms. O' Connell's motion and that he was trying to locate some items she requested which had been difficult, "given the volume of discovery" and because "the attorney, previously handling the case has left our office." The last coverage of this case was in the Times-Standard and DDA Christa McKimmey is listed in that article as the prosecutor. Mr. Rees said he went through all the discovery and some of the discovery like a receipt books were difficult to copy and he thought some of that discovery had been provided to defense. He said the retirement of a DOJ agent also made it hard to locate some of the discovery being requested.

He also referred to a couple of emails between (now retired) DOJ Agent Jeff Lierly and (then DDA) Wes Keat as "attorney-client" privilege. He said one of the items being requested was "a simple cover sheet, and while they do not have the original, they could recreate the cover sheet.

Cervantes was initially represented by private attorney Patrik Griego. Now she has representation from the Public Defender's office.

Ms. O'Connell said she had only received two items out of 30 items requested. Today, Ms. O'Connell said "that this has been going on since December 19, 2014." yesterday, she had referred to the motion to compel discovery filed by her office in February 2015. "This case is from 2013. The allegation is from 2008 and the People haven't been diligent."

According to the TS 2013 article, a criminal grand jury indicted Cervantes for the alleged embezzlement.

 Judge Buckley went through a few items. Another claim  by defense was that they could not play a disk due and Mr. Rees said, "that the Public Defender has access to the same IT department that the District Attorney has" so they could get assistance in viewing the disk. Judge Buckley also seemed sympathetic and believed Mr. Rees about the challenges in copying "fragile receipt books" which would have to have each page torn off to be scanned. Mr. Rees said that copies of the receipts book had been provided to defense and when he found out that not all receipts had been scanned when he went through each item, he offered for Ms.O'Connell to come and review them in his office.

"I invited Counsel to review the cart of evidence and Counsel declined." He repeated the offer, again in Court and Ms. O'Connell declined saying, "Not today"

Ms. O'Connell said that she had provided an excel sheet of missing discovery and "she should not have to go through the cart."

Then she requested Judge Buckley order sanctions if the District Attorney does not comply. Judge Buckley declined that request saying the law is not clear and "sanctions are limited. I don't think anyone has the authority to fine the District Attorney."

Ms. O'Connell said that she would request that certain evidence be "excluded" and Mr. Rees said, "we'd object."

Judge Buckley said that matter could be addressed by the Judge assigned to trial.

The next court date is May 28 at 2 p.m. People have until the end of the business day on April 17 to ressond to Ms. O'Connell's motion in writing and provide written answers to why they cannot provide certain discovery like the "fragile receipt books hard to copy" said Judge Buckley.

So next time you hear "issues with discovery", sometimes the details come out in court, sometimes they don't. There are two sides and two arguments.

Yesterday's coverage:

This afternoon, trial setting and a motion to compel discovery was scheduled in Courtroom 5 for the former assistant court manager, Socorro Cervantes, who is charged with allegedly embezzling $100,000 from the local Court's operation department.

Today, Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley subbed for Judge Hinrichs. DDA Meagan O'Connell is now representing Cervantes. And DDA Roger Rees is taking over prosecution of the case. Cervantes spent her time in court and outside court, before her case was called, socializing with friends, saying hi to attorneys and some court staff laughing as if she was out at a social gathering. The District Attorney staff was professional and did not engage in any interaction.

DDA Brie Bennett who was in Courtroom 5 requested that the court date be continued because Mr. Rees was "out unexpectedly" today. Ms. O'Connell mentioned that there were still "several items of discovery missing" and that the People had not responded to her motion to compel discovery which had been filed on February 20. She also requested that her client be excused from appearing tomorrow. Ms. O'Connell and Cervantes had an ex-parte conference with the Judge.

The saga continues tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5. At the same time, the Jason Warren case is scheduled in another courtroom.

There has been no follow-up on this case in the media since 2013. No follow-up after my last post and no other media present today.

Jan 27, 2015 post:

Trial setting for former assistant court manager charged with allegedly embezzling approximately $100,000 from local court's operation department

A trial setting was scheduled this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5 for Socorro Maria Cervantes, former assistant court manager, who is charged with allegedly embezzling almost $100,000 from the Humboldt County Superior Court's operations department.

The Public Defender's office is representing Cervantes. Today, the attorney representing her was not in court but Ms. Jennifer Dixon, on behalf of her colleague told Visiting Judge Arvid Johnson that they had a petition to compel discovery. DDA Zach Curtis said "my office received a motion today, we are requesting time to respond." Judge Johnson said that the People's response needed to be filed by March 20. The next court date is March 17 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Link to Times-Standard 2013 article:

http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20131007/fortuna-woman-pleads-not-guilty-in-100k-court-embezzlement-case


Calling Richard Salzman on his BS, I mean His Word

Listed  below are links to posts on the Assistant County Counsel soap opera. You can cut and paste into your browser or search on this blog.

Richard Salzman knows that the proposed "raise" for Carolyn Ruth is not the same as Sheriff Downey's taking on another department. Why is he writing a My Word on four Board of Supervisors? The same four who beat Salzman candidates.

And where is his concern when it comes to salaries of department heads and unions blowing money?

Richard Salzman is full of BS. Big on spin. Is this prep for the 2016 election?

Previous posts on Assistant County Counsel Carolyn Ruth:

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/02/you-say-compensation-i-say-spiking.html

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/02/after-two-motions-failed-on-asst-county.html

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/02/asst-county-counsel-compensation-to-be.html

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/02/why-is-assistant-county-counsel-who-is.html

Post on Unions:

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/strong-arm-tactics-and-publicity-stunts.html

Mar 17, 2015

Meth, guns, junk and trash found when POP serves search warrant in greenbelt area near Bayshore Mall

On March 17, 2015, at about 7:30 AM, Eureka Police Department officers and
detectives with the Problem Oriented Policing Unit served a search warrant at a
well-entrenched transient encampment located in the greenbelt area just north of
the Bayshore Mall. The warrant was obtained after EPD received information
from multiple sources that the residents of the illegal camp were in possession of
a cache of firearms and dealing methamphetamine.
The suspects, Timothy Lynn Stockhoff (age 53 of Eureka) and his son, Joshua
Allen Stockhoff (age 27 of Eureka), are both convicted felons with extensive
criminal histories. Timothy Stockhoff was located inside his tent and detained
without incident.
During a search of the encampment, which included multiple tents and
structures, officers located ammunition and 5 firearms including a Ruger .45
caliber semiautomatic pistol, a sawed-off Mossberg 12-gauge pump action
shotgun, a Ruger .22 caliber semiautomatic rifle, a .30 caliber M1 carbine with
high capacity magazines, and a Ruger .17 HMR scoped bolt action rifle. A
records check on the Ruger pistol confirmed it had previously been reported
stolen in the City of Eureka. Additional records checks are pending on the other
firearms.

Officers located several grams of methamphetamine in Timothy Stockhoff’s tent
along with ammunition and 4 of the 5 firearms. Additionally, a bicycle “chop
shop” was located in another nearby tent and dismantled. Approximately a
dozen bicycles, several bicycle frames, and a number of miscellaneous tools
were collected for safekeeping as suspected stolen property.
Timothy Stockhoff was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County
Correctional Facility for the following offenses: felon in possession of a firearm,
felon in possession of ammunition, possession of stolen property and possession
of methamphetamine.
Joshua Stockhoff was not located at the time the search warrant was served. He
is believed to have fled from a makeshift wooden shack (where officers located
the sawed-off shotgun and ammunition) located to the rear of the encampment
as officers approached. Stockhoff remains outstanding at the time of this release
and a felony warrant will be sought for his arrest alleging felon in possession of a
firearm and ammunition.
Investigators also located a Del Norte County woman and her two children, ages
4 and 6 years old, at the camp. The children were taken into protective custody
by Child Welfare Services pursuant to Protective Custody Warrants issued for
them by the Del Norte County Superior Court.
Following the execution of the search warrant, the entire campsite was
completely removed down to the dirt with assistance of other City staff and a
frontend loader. Two large dumpsters (60 yards total) were nearly completely
filled with junk and trash from the campsite.


POP Search Warrant on Methamphetamine Dealer Nets Two Arrests (2010 Press Release)

On 5-24-10, Officers with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) served a search warrant on a suspected methamphetamine dealer in Eureka. At about 1:06 PM, officers spotted the suspect, Joshua Allen Stockhoff (22 of Eureka) walking with another subject near a motel in the 2200 block of Broadway. Stockhoff was the subject of an on-going POP methamphetamine sales investigation, and the POP Unit had recently obtained a signed search warrant from a Humboldt County Superior Court Judge for his person. Stockhoff was stopped, detained, and searched pursuant to the warrant. Officers subsequently located approximately ¼ ounce of suspected crystal methamphetamine, numerous drug packaging baggies, a digital gram scale for weighing controlled substances, and two methamphetamine pipes on his person. During a later interview, Stockhoff also confessed to dealing methamphetamine in Eureka over the past month in addition to using the drug himself. Stockhoff’s companion, Aaron Jay Weimer (28 of Eureka), was also searched after officers observed evidence he may be in possession of controlled substances as well. Weimer was found to be in possession of numerous drug packaging baggies, a digital gram scale, a methamphetamine pipe, around 1-2 ounces of processed marijuana, and a small quantity of methamphetamine. Stockhoff was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession and transportation of methamphetamine for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia. Weimer was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Michael Podesta arrested today fled from police in 2013 after stealing a car; Frequent and repeat offenders: Eureka's "Walking Dead"

Frequent and repeat offenders. Eureka's "walking dead"

Today's HCSO Press release:

On 03-17-2015 at about 9:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from a concerned citizen about a male subject named, Michael Podesta. The citizen stated Podesta was currently walking in the 5000 block of Vance Street, Eureka. The citizen stated they believed Podesdta may be concealing an assault rifle in a duffle bag he was carrying.
Deputies were immediately dispatched to the area and located Podesta walking on Vance Street carrying a duffle bag. Deputies received information through their communications center that Podesdta was on probation with a search and seizure clause. Deputies detained Podesta and searched the duffle bag. Deputies located a loaded SKS assault rifle, caliber 7.62 in the duffle bag. Deputies learned through their communications center that the rifle was reported stolen through the Eureka Police Department. Deputies also located a knife in the duffle bag that was reported stolen from the same victim.
Michael David Podesta age 40 was placed under arrest for possession of an assault rifle, possession of stolen property, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and for violation of probation. Podesta was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $50,000 dollars.



9/3/2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPRESS RELEASE #2013-0903
Subject :
Post Release Community Supervision Releasee Arrested for Fleeing from Police in a Stolen Car
Contact :Sgt Patrick O'Neill    707-441-4060
On September 3rd, 2013 at about 9:30 PM, a local resident called the Eureka Police Department’s (EPD) dispatch center to report someone had just stolen his 2005 Chrysler Sebring convertible from the parking lot of a business on the 600 block of West Harris Street, Eureka.

The victim, a Korean War veteran, explained he’d left his vehicle running with the door open while he got out to check for a possible water leak he’d noticed under his engine. While he was leaning over looking for the source of the leak, an unidentified white male with no shirt and multiple tattoos jumped in and drove off in his car. The suspect was last seen driving eastbound on West Harris Street.

EPD officers set up surveillance at several locations around the city as they searched for the stolen Sebring. At 10:06 PM, an officer spotted the Sebring traveling southbound on Broadway near Wabash Avenue. A high risk traffic stop was initiated on the vehicle at Glenn and West Harris Streets once additional police units were in position.
The suspect, later identified as Michael David Podesta (age 38), attempted to evade officers and a short vehicle pursuit ensued. Podesta turned right onto Thomas from Glenn Street and continued westbound at a high rate of speed.

Upon reaching the dead end of Gross Street, he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot toward a nearby greenbelt area. Podesta didn’t get very far. Pursuing officers tackled him at the head of the trail leading into the greenbelt and he was taken into custody after a brief struggle. At the time of his arrest, Podesta exhibited symptoms consistent with being under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant such as methamphetamine.

Podesta was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF) where he was booked for auto theft, evading, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license, and violations of his Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) and probation. Podesta was on formal felony probation for burglary, receiving/possessing stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance. He was also on Post Release Community Supervision for burglary.

(He was released from prison and is now supervised by the Humboldt County Probation Department).

For someone charged with alleged $100,00 embezzlment; Socorro Cervantes has a devil may care attitude; trial setting continued again

This afternoon, trial setting and a motion to compel discovery was scheduled in Courtroom 5 for the former assistant court manager, Socorro Cervantes, who is charged with allegedly embezzling $100,000 from the local Court's operation department.

Today, Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley subbed for Judge Hinrichs. DDA Meagan O'Connell is now representing Cervantes. And DDA Roger Rees is taking over prosecution of the case. Cervantes spent her time in court and outside court, before her case was called, socializing with friends, saying hi to attorneys and some court staff laughing as if she was out at a social gathering. The District Attorney staff was professional and did not engage in any interaction.

DDA Brie Bennett who was in Courtroom 5 requested that the court date be continued because Mr. Rees was "out unexpectedly" today. Ms. O'Connell mentioned that there were still "several items of discovery missing" and that the People had not responded to her motion to compel discovery which had been filed on February 20. She also requested that her client be excused from appearing tomorrow. Ms. O'Connell and Cervantes had an ex-parte conference with the Judge.

The saga continues tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5. At the same time, the Jason Warren case is scheduled in another courtroom.

There has been no follow-up on this case in the media since 2013. No follow-up after my last post and no other media present today.

Jan 27, 2015 post:

Trial setting for former assistant court manager charged with allegedly embezzling approximately $100,000 from local court's operation department

A trial setting was scheduled this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5 for Socorro Maria Cervantes, former assistant court manager, who is charged with allegedly embezzling almost $100,000 from the Humboldt County Superior Court's operations department.

The Public Defender's office is representing Cervantes. Today, the attorney representing her was not in court but Ms. Jennifer Dixon, on behalf of her colleague told Visiting Judge Arvid Johnson that they had a petition to compel discovery. DDA Zach Curtis said "my office received a motion today, we are requesting time to respond." Judge Johnson said that the People's response needed to be filed by March 20. The next court date is March 17 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Link to Times-Standard 2013 article:

http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20131007/fortuna-woman-pleads-not-guilty-in-100k-court-embezzlement-case

Strong arm tactics and publicity stunts by local AFSCME not worth media coverage; are the recent protests political?

There is a negotiation today during closed session with a labor negotiator. Yet, AFSCME saw it fit to pack the Board of Supervisor Chambers this morning. Other people there for proclamations and community members had to stand outside. Why the rally later today in front of the courthouse at 5 p.m.?

Compared to most workers and employees in Humboldt County, union employees are not overworked or understaffed. Due to MOUs and the liberal government laws, pensions and benefits and mandatory raises are affecting limited resources.

The problem with Mental Health or Child Welfare Services and the top heavy administration did not develop in the last four years. So why the sudden media interest? Why the protests in Board Chambers, now, with the current Board of Supervisors?

The media and certain community members continue to ignore certain questions. Why? The Tuluwat Examiner goes on and on about Eureka pensions and blames it on David Tyson. In their own comment section, someone asked, what have the new Eureka Council members done? I don't entirely disagree with double dipping but if the Tuluwat wants to raise questions, make it about more than a witchhunt and a continuation of Heraldo talking points.

I don't see Supervisor Mark Lovelace shouting "politics" in this instance. I don't see any of the local media questioning years of top heavy administration and mismanagement. The media needs to provide public information, and not when it's convenient to a particular agenda.

People are struggling. Not all people who work, especially in the private sector, are entitled to a raise. They have to earn it. Line staff salaries are out of touch compared to department heads. Are union dues being used for these union heads to stand around all morning pulling a publicity stunt?

Unionized employees have benefits, pensions, guaranteed jobs. Do you? Next time you get a service cut, put the blame on selfish people who think they do not need to sacrifice, ever, in a struggling economy. They feel they should get paid, no matter what.

Create a job environment where more people can live independently without government assistance and contribute to taxes. Government should be for basic services, only.

Feb 28, 2015 post:

Do we have a free and objective local press?
No accountability for previous officials, should current local officials be blamed for "crisis"?

While it is good that the top heavy local management of DHHS is being questioned, this problem did not develop overnight. So, why the sudden outrage about MAC and DHHS? Why didn't the press look into any one these issues when mental health is a major part of crime, a major issue when people are arrested and families screaming for help. Does the major resignation over at Mental Health have anything to do with Phil Crandall's retirement?

The press is happy to write about lawsuits against the City for damages by families, they were happy to scapegoat law enforcement for deaths like the Cheri Moore case and the lawsuits but they never addressed why an agency that is one of the largest employers in the County has high paid bureaucrats and a fancy administration building on 5th Street while over worked social workers, psychaitrists and county workers try and put a band-aid on a burgeoning problem.

I can sympathize with the DHHS workers speaking out. I have spoken about many of these same issues to the Board of Supervisors in the last few years. It is disappointing to see the anonymous mob lynch mentality of blog commenters attack someone like Mitch Trachtenberg and reveal personal, unsubstantiated information.

This government growth mentality did not start with the current Board of Supervisors. It started with several previous years of Supervisors which included Bonnie Neeley and Mark Lovelace. The current Board inherited the problems. Thanks to the one rule fits all government mentality, change comes slowly.

Phil Crandall is office for years so why the sudden exposure of DHHS and Mental Health now?

The local media did not question Paul Gallegos once during his administration, they did not question Bonnie Neeley, they still fawn all over Mark Lovelace and give him a free pass.

I have questioned people I have supported. I am a blogger. They are journalists, supposedly objective. The local media loves to be wooed by business, County, City for stories handed to them. Where is the investigative reporting on outrageous pensions, top heavy government management, and any challenge of powers to be on both sides of the political spectrum?

Where is the questioning of those who supply the canbabis ad revenue that supports local media? Or any of their other advertisers? The publishers of all local media and general managers of television stations should be held accountable.

The problems in Humboldt today cannot be blamed on one group. Some people on both sides of the political spectrum are guilty of allowing an underground economy of drugs to grow combined with unions and top heavy county government as well as some in the business community that have not created any new jobs in years while they continue to grow wealthy.

All this has contributed to the increase in crime and homelessness and the local left -leaning media needs to put blame where it is; their lack of providing the public complete and objective information.

Now, people want to attack the police and courts for a problem they did not create.

Ryan Burns has done some good articles but not enough. I would like to see more articles like Linda Stansberry's exploitation of women in the weed industry. Kym Kemp is another favorite of mine. She rounds out the stereotypical image of SoHum and puts a human face to and diversity to SoHum.

The public will never get the full story from a media dependent and unwilling to challenge their advertisers.

I disagree often with the Tuluwat Examiner but there have been posts I agree with and they do seem to be reflecting in the comment section and some posts a reality ignored by local mainstream media and raising questions worth asking.

How many posts have you seen on my blog or others that are then pursued by media. Who is watching out for the average person?

Oct 29, 2014


County to pay $700 one time money to employees instead of pay raise; Will Measure Z be used for public safety or for union contracts?

We have a County tax measure Z on this November's ballot for more money.

I heard something to the effect that the County just negotiated with their employees that they would not get a pay raise next year but they get a $700 bonus this year and the day after Christmas as an extra day off instead.

So I called Dan Fulks, the Personnel Director for the County. He clarified that the $700  is one-time money being paid to all members of the bargaining unit instead of ongoing raises. They do not have the money to commit to ongoing raises. This does not apply to extra help. This negotiation expires June 30 of next year.

So the question is do we need Measure Z? Is Sacramento taking away the money the problem or union contracts? People are paying hoping for better response time which means it should go towards extra "boots on the streets" not for raises for employees that have a pretty good job in a County where many people are unemployed or struggling.

When do the unions negotiate a contract where raises go to the employees that are struggling instead of an across the board. Some people can afford to stay at the pay scale they are at present. If you are making $100,000 a year, you can forego a raise or two.

The Wall That Heals comes to Eureka: this post dedicated to AmVets and in memory of my dear friend Mark Sanchez

A proclamation put on today's Board of Supervisors by Supervisor Rex Bohn in honor of The Wall That Heals. Representing area veterans were Dean Glaser and Allan Dollison (pictured below).

For a limited time, starting Thursday, April 2nd, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Traveling Wall, a half-scale replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, will be on display 24 hours a day at the Bear River Community Center, 266 Keisner Road, Loleta.

Admission is free. HTA is providing free bus service. AMVETS Post 96 of Eureka is hosting this visit and dedicates this activity to the memory of AMVETS Post 96 member MARK SANCHEZ whose wish was to bring The Wall to Humboldt County.

For more information:
http://www.northcoaststanddown.org/
http://www.buildthecenter.vvmf.org/page/event/detail/thewallthathealsevent/jtj


Mar 16, 2015

Obama: no to legalizing weed, tells youth to focus on other priorities than marijuana

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-care-more-jobs-war-peace-less-weed-222622928.html


Women's Environmental Conference at HSU to feature keynote speaker Aggie Pilgrim

The Women’s Environmental Conference features women on the cutting edge of environmental activism and policy working throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Conference will be Friday March 27Saturday March 28 and Sunday March 29 at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. The event is hosted by the Women’s Resource Center and California Women’s Agenda, in association with the United Nations’ Women’s Intercultural Network.

Topics include:
  • the fight for clean and plentiful water on the Klamath River,
  • pushing back against California's biggest timber company,
  • the power of direct action to heal our forests and climate,
  • Citizens of Richmond organize to protect their community from oil refinery pollution,
  • alternatives to toxic chemicals in Humboldt County
  • surviving as a species in the face of climate change

Keynote speaker Aggie Pilgrim (Sat March 28 @ 6 pm) is Chief of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, a body of women leaders from around the world dedicated to healing Earth for the next 7 generations. Aggie Pilgrim is the oldest living member of the Rogue River Indians who have called Southern Oregon home for 20,000 years. Aggie is known for her no-nonsense eloquence that has touched audiences across the nation and around the world.

Everyone is welcome to attend March 27-28 Women’s Environmental Conference at HSU in Arcata. Presentations will be held at the Bolman Forum (aka Native Forum), Founder’s Hall, Nelson Hall East, and the Goodwin Forum. Please check our Facebook event page for the latest updates to the schedule.

Conference organizer: Jene McCovey jlm159@humboldt.edu707-822-4233

"Creeper" Anthony Burgess jury trial scheduled on April 13

Dates were confirmed today for Anthony Burgess' jury trial on April 13. Trial Confirmation is March 30 at 2 p.m. DDA Roger Rees is prosecuting the case. Ms. Heidi Holmquist is representing Burgess. Visiting Judge Charles Ervin subbed for Judge John Feeney today.

Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/01/creeper-aka-anthony-manuel-burgess-has.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/01/100000-bail-set-for-creeper-aka-anthony.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/02/is-creeper-part-of-eastside-local-gang.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/02/anthony-creeper-burgess-jury-trial-on.html

Redway murder suspect Jason Armstrong's case scheduled for jury trial on May 11

Today in court, dates were confirmed for Jason Armstrong. April 27, Trial confirmation at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 1 and Jury trial on May 11. Visiting Judge Charles Erwin subbed for Judge John Feeney; Mr. Kevin Robinson represented Armstrong today instead of Ms. Heidi Holmquist and DDA Roger Rees subbed in for DDA Kelly Neel, who was covering another courtroom for a colleague out sick.


Feb 23, 2015 post:

Redway murder suspect Jason Armstrong jury trial set for May
Today in Courtroom 1, Redway murder suspect Jason Armstrong had a disposition reset hearing scheduled today. Public Defender Heidi Holmquist is representing Armstrong and DDA Kelly Neel is prosecuting the case.
The case is scheduled for jury trial in May.

HCSO Press-release:

On 10-22-2014, at approximately 12:15 a.m. , the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from a citizen who reported hearing a gun shot and discovered a man had been shot at the Dean Creek Resort, Redway. Citizens at the scene attempted lifesaving efforts on the victim, while medical and law enforcement responded. When deputies arrived, the suspect, identified as Jason Armstrong, 40 years old, from Dumas, Texas met with deputies. as they arrived. Medical personnel tended to the victim, who was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Detectives and the Humboldt County Coroner's Office were summoned to the scene. Detectives learned the 41 year old male victim and the suspect had been in a brief verbal argument earlier in the evening. The victim was residing in a room at Dean Creek Resort and Armstrong was staying in a nearby cabin at the resort. They did not know each other prior to the argument. After the brief argument, the victim and Armstrong parted ways. Armstrong went to victim's room to settle the argument, believing it was not over. Armstrong was carrying a semi- automatic handgun. Armstrong confronted the victim on the back patio of the room and brandished the handgun at the victim. While brandishing the handgun, the victim attempted to disarm Armstrong. During the brief struggle over the weapon, Armstrong strong shot the victim once in the chest.
After shooting the victim, Armstrong walked away and unloaded the weapon near his cabin. When deputies arrived, he walked up to the deputies and surrendered without incident. Armstrong was arrested and transported to Eureka where he was interviewed by detectives. He was then booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on one count of murder. His bail was set at $1,000,000.00.

What causes more deaths? War or abortion?

The following email was sent to me by someone I know in the community. He is one of the many people who stands outside Planned Parenthood during 40 days of life. I had this conversation with Alan Knapp in person as well and am reprinting his comments at his request.

"I have done some reflecting, especially while taking part in the 40 days for life.  Some facts need to be brought to the attention of many people.   

Two years ago, at the first 40 day vigil, a letter to the editor (March 14, 2013) was sent by George Kirkpatrick of Fieldbrook.  Here it is: 
 "Why we donate to Planned Parenthood" - "You know, or should, that PP does more than abortions.  In fact it prevents more abortions than it facilitates.  Through education, birth control and emphasis on having a healthy baby.  The truth be known that sometimes, just sometimes, an abortion in (sic - is) the best way to save a woman's life.  And special interest groups forcing their "religion" on others is a slippery slope.  Remember:  Life begins when you keep your nose out of other people's difficult decisions with your dogma.  We donated $40 recently to PP.  The three misguided people who stand out could protest war, if they really cared for life."

I am truly sorry I did not respond to this letter.  I searched the internet, finding two amazing sites.  The first site, numbersofabortions.com, is like a horror film.  It has twelve "windows" of facts of abortions.  Worldwide, since 1980 -  1,327,583,227 lives have been lost to abortion!  Since Roe vs Wade (1973) -  57,698,553 lives have been aborted in the U.S. alone!  The second site can be found through Wikipedia under "total number of military casualties in the U.S. since 1775".  That total under "combat" and "other" amounts to 1,321,612.  If abortion is not classified as war on the unborn, religion or not, Mr. Kirkpatrick would do well to think again....PP has performed 6,699,378 abortions since 1970 alone!   This year, in the US, 206,689 abortions have happened, of which 2,004 were due to rape or incest.   I see in these figures a terrible truth."

I do moderate comments on this blog and I do not print anonymous comments. If you can have a respectful discussion on this topic, I will print your comment. Hateful remarks, personal attacks and anti-religious rants are among those that will not be printed.

Marijuana not explosive device in mysterious package delivered to Planned Parenthood

4 pounds of marijuana in the package, according to Lt. Wayne Hanson.

Fourth home invasion suspect Jason Andrue Meisner was arrested in Oct 2014, now he's on the lam again

http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/oct/22/evasive-motorcyclist-identified/

Here''s the Lost Coast link to Meisner's recent and past arrest.


Update:

On 03-16-2015 the Sheriff’s Office identified a fourth suspect in the Home Invasion Robbery of the victim’s residence located on South Face Road. The suspect is 41 year old Jason Andrue Meisner, who is described as a white, male adult, 6 foot tall, 205 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Meisner is wanted for the following charges: Home invasion, burglary, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, armed in commission of a felony, convicted felon in possession of tear gas, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Meisner is considered armed and dangerous by law enforcement. If the public knows Meisner’s location they are encouraged to contact law enforcement immediately and to avoid contact with Meisner.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate this case.

Original press release:

On 03-03-2015 at about 00:20 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call from a victim at a residence located in the 2700 block of South Face Road, Island Mountain. The female victim reported her 34 year old son; Seth Robert Morton Sr. came into her residence this morning wearing a ski mask and attempted to assault her husband, who is Morton’s step farther.

The female and male victim both stated they were pepper sprayed by one of the (3) male suspects, who came onto their property. The male victim told the deputies he was able to get a baseball bat from inside of his residence and hit one of the suspects several times with the bat to protect himself and his wife. The male victim was able to chase the suspects out of his residence.

The victims said as the (3) suspects fled the property one of the suspects fired a round from a firearm and the bullet struck the residence. The (3) suspects then fled the scene driving a white, late 80’s, SUV. A local citizen who was aware of the situation attempted to block the road by parking his vehicle in the middle of the road. The suspect vehicle stuck the unoccupied vehicle which resulted in the suspect vehicle crashing off the Island Mountain Road. The three suspects then took off on foot. The Sheriff’s office has seized the vehicle for evidence.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’ Deputies along with the California Highway Patrol Officers immediately started searching the area for the three suspects. At day break a CHP helicopter from Redding assisted in the search for the suspects. At about 9:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received several telephone calls from concerned citizens in the area of Island Mountain about a male subject, dressed in dark clothing, who was hiding off the road near the New Harris Store. Deputies responded to the area and located 34 year old Bret Lawrence Swortzel.  Deputies detained Swortzel and learned he had a no bail parole violation warrant issued for his arrest. Deputies were able to obtained evidence and were able to place Swortzel under arrest for the Home Invasion Robbery.

Deputies were able to identify a second subject in the Home Invasion Robbery as Seth Robert Morton Sr., age 31. Further described as a WMA, 5’-10”, blonde hair with hazel eyes. Deputies have requested a Be On the Lookout (BOL) for Morton with other law enforcement agencies for his arrest for the following charges: attempted homicide, burglary, brandishing a firearm, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of pepper spray and hit and run.

Bret Swortzel was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka on a no bail, parole violation warrant. Swortzel was also booked on fresh charges for home invasion robbery, conspiracy to commit a crime, convicted felon in possession of pepper spray and possession of a controlled substance.



Deputies are currently on scene looking for the other two suspect associated with this case. At this time there is no description for the third suspect associated with this case.

Suspicious package delivered to Planned Parenthood in Eureka

On 03-16-2015 at 11:12 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a telephone call from an employee at the Planned Parenthood Office located on Timber Falls Court Eureka, regarding a suspicious package that was delivered by the US Postal Service.

When the deputy arrived at Planned Parenthood he contacted the employee, who showed him the package. The package was approximately 2’ x 2’ in size. The package was originally sent to an address in Georgia, which was undeliverable. The Postal Service then sent it back to the sender, which was the address for the Planned Parenthood on Timber Falls Court Eureka. The packaged was addressed to a   J. Black. The employee said nobody by the last name of Black works for their office.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) was called to the scene. At this time EOD is on scene accessing the package to determine if it is an explosive device.