400 Plants, $40K Cash And More – November 10, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yeah, not quite what any Sunny Brae grow house maestro wants to look out his window and see on a lovely fall Wednesday morning. KLH | Eye

APD Press Release

SUNNY BRAE – On Wednesday, Nov. 10, officers from the Arcata Police Department’s Special Services Unit served two search warrants in the Sunny Brae neighborhood of Arcata. Both search warrants were served on single family residences where illegal marijuana cultivation operations were suspected to be taking place.

The first search warrant was served in the 600 block of Shirley Boulevard. Officers seized over 400 marijuana plants, more than 10 pounds of processed marijuana, nearly one pound of psilocybin mushrooms and an undisclosed amount of concentrated cannabis. Additionally, officers seized almost $40,000 in cash.

City of Arcata building inspectors discovered numerous building code violations, necessitating the immediate disconnection of electrical service to the residence.

James Thompson, 27, of Arcata and Rose Sanchez-Mitchell, 25, of Arcata, were arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on alleged violations of 11359 H&S, possession of marijuana for sale, 11377 H&S, possession of a dangerous drug, 11366.5 H&S, operating a house for the manufacture of drugs, 11358 H&S, cultivation of marijuana and 11357(a) H&S, possession of concentrated cannabis.

The second search warrant, served at a residence in the 1500 block of Lena Ave, uncovered  another marijuana growing operation. This growing operation was found to be in compliance with current proposition 215 guidelines, however, numerous building code violations were discovered requiring the disconnection of electrical service.

Note: An expanded version of this story with additional background information will appear in next week’s Arcata Eye newspaper. –Ed.

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12 Responses to “400 Plants, $40K Cash And More – November 10, 2010”

  1. Mark Sailors

    “The second search warrant, served at a residence in the 1500 block of Lena Ave, uncovered another marijuana growing operation. This growing operation was found to be in compliance with current proposition 215 guidelines, however, numerous building code violations were discovered requiring the disconnection of electrical service.”

    So where is the apology? Who pays for all of the property that was damaged?

  2. Was property damaged? My understanding was that the code violations were related to the grow.

  3. Mark Sailors

    The police never just knock and politly ask to come in. It is almost always a battering ram through the door. When the police search a house, things get broken. I would assume this was no diffrent. If Iam mistaken then I APOLOGIZE.

  4. Tom Chapman

    You are mistaken Mark. That is exactly what we did.

  5. Chief, that does raise a question, though. What happens after police do commit forced entry creating damage to the property, both on entry to a home in which alleged criminal activity is detected and a home where it turns out there is none?

    I don’t know whether the latter case has ever occurred, but is there a standard practice for that? Does the City pay for repair costs?

  6. Tom,
    That’s a great thing to hear. Now if we could figure out a way to keep your officers from being in a position where they need to apologize, we would be in a much better position. As it stands law abiding citizens are AFRAID to interact with the local police for fear of having their LEGAL 215 grows targeted for “forced entry” by the police. As you know I believe Arcata PD is one of the top PD’s in the nation, but the raiding of legitimate patients gives everyone involved a “black eye”.

    I am not afraid to admit when I make mistakes and I respect a police force that can do the same.

  7. Tom Chapman


    The law allows the police to force entry during the service of a warrant or during “fresh pursuit” providing the police comply with knock and notice: (is that the appropriate use of a colon?) Meaning, the police must announce their presence and state the reason why they are there. There is a little more to it, but that is the gist. The owner is responsible for the repair of the damaged property assuming the police were acting within the parameters of the law. In the event the police were not, they would be responsible for the damage.

  8. Paul Hooker

    When my neighbor’s house was raided a year ago the APD officers were super polite. They knocked on the door and waited for the occupant to answer the door. It was an illegal grow, yet the officers were as polite as could be. They never even took his pot, I mean medicine. They never arrested him, but they did have his electrical service cut because of the dangerous condition. He had eight 1,000 watt lights. We are lucky to have the police we have.

  9. If the grow had been illegal they would have seized the medicine, and made arrests. The California Supreme Court ruled that it is unlawful, and unconstitutional to limit the amount of medicine a person may posses or grow. The garden was not in compliance with the building codes and had unsafe electrical modifications, therefor they rightly terminated service until the electricity was brought up to code.

    I agree 100% that Arcata is lucky to have the PD we have. The put up with things no other force in the country would tolerate.

  10. I’d be less worried about the police kicking in the door than I would, say, armed gunmen coming in for the weekly home invasion. Of course, printing the address of a legal grow can act as a road map to the less savory elements out there. The Eye is well within its rights to print the address (it is public record once the police get involved I believe), but if it were my address being printed, I’d be moving out. Well, that and the lack of electricity.

  11. We only publish addresses and property owners’ names when a criminal allegation is made by APD after they’ve cleaned out the drugs. We don’t have any special powers or rights; it’s all public information that anyone could find out.

    What we have never done is publish addresses of legal 215 grows or rumored grow houses. That would expose the innocent residents to possible victimization.

  12. Dirt McGirt

    Bet you wish Prop 19 had passed now, hm?


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