Arcata Police Assist With McKinleyville Pot Bust – March 29, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eye Staff Report

McKINLEYVILLE – For years the Humboldt County Drug Task Force (DTF) took the lead on drug house raids in Arcata, with the Arcata Police Department assisting. Now APD is returning the favor.

Jesse Cooke Henning

On Wednesday, March 28 at about 9 a.m., the DTF, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office  (HCSO) and APD served a search warrant at a residence located in the 900 block of Vista Drive, McKinleyville. When officers arrived on scene they located Jesse Cooke Henning, 34, and Autumn Christina Mize, 32, in the residence along with their four-and-a-half-year-old daughter and one-and-a-half-year-old son.

Officers located a sophisticated, commercial indoor marijuana growing operation inside a room which been constructed in the garage for the indoor marijuana growing operation. Officers seized 65 growing marijuana plants from this room that ranged in size from 3’ to 4’ in height. Officers noticed a possible fire hazard with the electrical wiring from the indoor marijuana growing operation, and contacted Humboldt County Building and Planning Department, whose personnel responded to the scene. Inspectors contacted PG&E to remove the electrical service to the residence, because of a possible fire hazard from the indoor marijuana growing operation.

Autumn Christina Mize

Officers located about a pound of processed marijuana in the residence and $1,500 in cash. During the interview with Jesse Henning he told Officers that he was on the PG&E CARE program, a program for low-income utility customers in which the electrical bill is reduced. Jesse Henning was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana for sales and was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

Autumn Mize was arrested at the scene and released with a court date so she could care for her two small children. CWS was contacted and responded to the residence to evaluate the living conditions for the two children.

APD Chief Tom Chapman said Arcata officers assisted because the leads originated in Arcata. “There was an Arcata connection,” Chapman said. “We developed information out of another investigation, that there was another related grow in McKinleyville.”

Chapman wouldn’t say whether the Arcata link stemmed from a recent grow house raid or some other investigation. “It may or may not have been related to an enforcement action,” he said. “It was a separate investigation.”

APD, he said, was ready to act on any information found at the scene which might “circle back to where the [original] information had come from.”

Arcata Police also helped with entry to the residence. Though only the parents and children were present in this case, police have to be ready for any eventuality, with all exits covered. Pre-enforcement research is done to attempt to ascertain how many people are in the house, their criminal history and any propensity for violence, but, said Chapman, “You never really know.”

“What we prepare for is a worst-case scenario – gunfire and significant resistance,” Chapman said. “You try to make sure everyone’s safe – officers, suspects and innocent people. That initial entry is very dangerous. We do everything we can to minimize that danger.”

The case is still under investigation.

57 Responses to “Arcata Police Assist With McKinleyville Pot Bust – March 29, 2012”

  1. Papa Joe

    Ha Ha that guy in the photo looks like he just crapped his pants, he’s so freaked out. APD thank you for cleaning out the trasheads and the tweakers. Keep it up.

  2. Greendayz

    The guy is not a crackled. He is a father, scared for his and his children’s future. You need to wake up to the reality of whom the war on drugs actually harms.

  3. How do you know he is scared? The mother is smiling. Does that mean she is happy? The fact is, you don’t know what people are thinking unless you are them.

    The children there were in danger of fire due to the out-of-code wiring. Were whatever decisions went into creating that hazard the fault of the war on drugs?

  4. ADD

    its the worlds most beneficial YET harmless medicine. open your eyes.
    when its legalized everyone in jail for this will be back out.
    keep your heads up folks

  5. “its the worlds most beneficial YET harmless medicine. open your eyes.”

    With your stunning grasp of the obvious, perhaps you can answer this: why don’t we ever vote in legalization? It’s on the ballot every election.

    Eye-opening isn’t the obstacle – it’s lethargy by the users. The growers’ opposition to legalization isn’t very helpful either.

  6. ADD

    ok fella, not to make an online argument but lets get down to the bottom of it:

    have you ever dealt with the police? theyre liars and crooks themselves.
    they said above that the grow was highly sophisticated. dont you think that
    a highly sophisticated grow-op would have their wiring to perfection?
    or perhaps the police just threw that in there to make these people look like scum.
    i mean its a shame the guy kindof looks like a crackhead. but hes just lost everything
    and hes probably been up for a whole day being harassed by officers in that picture.

    and heres some food for thought: dont you realize your country is run by a bunch of
    close minded money hungry tyrants? or perhaps people in general are all FUCKING RETARDED.
    SO for you to try and insult my comment by saying what youve said, take this into thought;
    people arent educated about the benefits of cannabis, so therefore how can they know how
    wonderful it is to so many people, its medical value, and its actual harmfulness. THEY DONT KNOW
    so they check the NO box on the ballot. ignorance is bliss buddy. think what you will i suppose….

  7. ADD

    and that woman, the look shes giving is for people like you.

  8. ADD

    heres FACT: people are just starting to dig into this new field of research,
    so people are starting to here about this new research, which consists of FACTS.

    Breaking News: 47% of Americans say the country should legalize and tax marijuana in order to help solve the nation’s fiscal problems.

    MORE THAN LAST YEAR EHH?? could be this year, although even I wouldnt hold my breath! lol

    all im saying is be open minded man, please for the good of humanity, thats what life is about,
    being happy an helping other people. and a way to help other people is to give them knowledge,
    and this happens to be knowledge about something very wonderful for us. :)

  9. ADD


  10. ADD

    also i didnt mean to attack on your initial post,

  11. OK, but the fact remains that if the millions of cannabis users were to simply vote for legalization, we would have it.

  12. elizabeth

    The truth is that medical marijuana is legal in this state and this county. According to the facts in this article the police found 65 plants and less than a pound of marijuana for which no one was charged with cultivation. That sounds like a legal 215 grow to me otherwise the cops surely would have charged them with the grow. Legal. Why is this in the paper? Sounds like the only charge was possession of “about a pound”. Big news.

  13. Jim D'Andi

    Only solution is to decriminalize cannabis. Jeez. even the very right Reverend Pat Robertson has come out in favor of treating cannabis like alcohol! Get on Mr. Obama to take the juice out of this hurtful, hateful exercise, he ramped up the action with the DOJ and Fedral prosecutors flexing muscle…what the hell was that about? His re-election that is what. Time out Barry, call off the dogs, get this thing handled listen to Rev. Pat Robertson, he knows how to solve this ‘problem’ right quick, legalize and tax. As you whispered to the Russian Premier ‘things will go be easier to accomplish in my second term’ this clearly is one of those things!

  14. Among other reasons, it was in the paper because three police agencies entered the home of some citizens, incarcerated a parent, began an investigation with CWS and had the utilities disconnected. Then there was the building code violations. Would you rather not hear about that sort of thing?

  15. seriously?

    65 plants – LEGAL
    Pound of weed? – LEGAL
    1,500 cash? are you serious? – LEGAL

    why is this in the paper?

    It sounds to me like 3 different gang associations raided a fellow humans home and put 2 children and 2 adults in danger. They stole their medicine, money and dignity.

    People need to wake up


    The police are just as much a gang as the crips and bloods are a gang.
    they just wear fancy uniforms and have you brainwashed.


  16. It’s a plant that has to live in houses? Where would you have people live, in fields?

  17. seriously?

    It only lives in houses because its illegal.. and the story says nothing about 27,000 watts..

    bad reporting

  18. Ian Ray

    Safety technology exists to grow plants under artificial lighting. A local store is advertising a sale on this gear. Apparently, that is not what was installed in this case.

    While I agree with the sentiment that “it is just a plant” etc., people who create extreme fire hazards by being cheap don’t get much sympathy.

  19. ells


    Many plant species have grown on earth since before humans. Palms, ferns, algae. So what?
    And, the strain of hemp species you’re talking about was cultivated by man. So, technically it hasn’t been on earth longer than us. Bad reporting.

  20. It is easier to refer someone to A.A. (a cult) than deal with a drunken person or grower who does not care about him or herself or their children. And that is exactly what judges, probation officers and doctors do in Humboldt County and thats what will happen here. Praying to a frankin god (Wilsonisom) is not a cure for anything that I know of and I am no doctor. 3 different levels of employees (whom I am acquainted with) at Humboldt County Mental Health including doctors are very much involved in A.A. themselves and seem to believe A.A. is a cure for alcoholism and almost every other ailment that humans suffer from including growing pot. I know this is incorrect, lazy, and harmful and encourages relapse, faith healing is not a cure for anything.

    Send them to A.A. NOT!

    YouTube user seasidericky

  21. mendowatcher

    How do you know what they had? Because the press says so? As for the people who judge others… You’re day will come when YOU will be judged for the love and compassion that you have shown for others! In my opinion these folks have done absolutely nothing wrong! My prayers go out for these guys and I wish them all the best!!!!

  22. Love, compassion and homebrew, high-wattage wiring with two little kids sleeping in the next room. That and an apostrophe violation make up a fine package o’ family values.

  23. Jessi

    I just have to ask because I see it in the news all the time up here. What is a sophisticated grow? Do they water their plants with champagne and play classical music?

  24. Yes, they engage in witty repartée with the plants, trade sparkling quips and sly double enténdre.

  25. macadoshius

    Easy..folks..remember….even a broken watch is right twice a day..theres good debate from both views.So as adults were do we go from here?..

  26. arcatalie

    In other new’s water is wet and it will be dark after 8 pm.

  27. Spungoe

    I think the terms “sophisticated grow” and “posh digs” usually go hand-in-hand.

  28. EyeBS

    Do we get a report on the lawsuit just filed against APD/Officer Hoffman? Using force to enter homes on pure speculation. Couldnt find anything about this on your site???? Kevin Hoover is a one sided reporter that will use anyhting to sell his paper!

  29. B

    I just want to put this out there…. as a county we don’t vote to legalize marijuana because it’s one of our main exports. I’m sure you all know that, though.

  30. Check back when the paper comes out, Mr. Impatient.

  31. Carrie

    Were prop 215 papers posted at this garden or not? It is becoming mind boggling that you are either not asking this question, or omitting the information. We passed prop 215 more than 15 years ago. This is Humboldt County. The number of plants cited here is 65. Most people reading this article would have this same question. Not acknowledging something so critical to the story suggests that there is an overbearing motive pushing it along. It comes across, like most of these related articles, as a police press release – subjective and artificial.

    Furthermore, what constitutes a safety hazard? Was the garden not constructed by an electrician? Were there wires hanging loose over water or overloaded circuits? Or is wattage the sole criteria? I bring my children inside a costco warehouse without counting running watts. Should I? Pick up an urban garden magazine. It often features indoor grown produce using similar hid lights all over the country. Should we send the fire dept out to these gardens as well?

    I think you should also qualify “commercial” gardens. Is the criteria related to the size? Or is it finances? If it’s related to size, should every medical marijuana patient be required to grow his/her own medicine to avoid “commercial” gardens? If financial, perhaps you should mention that Senator Vasconcellos, who co-chaired the drafting of this bill, reflects a different opinion on the law in this respect. Otherwise, I’d stop referring to “commercial” gardens.

    We don’t know if this was a medical marijuana garden sanctioned by prop 215 or not. If you and I lived in Texas, you could ignore these questions. The fact of the matter is we don’t live in Texas. And you can’t ignore asking these questions. Offering a more dynamic, and realistic, perspective on this issue which has totally dominated your paper would much better serve the community. Without, your paper has been spiraling into a de facto police report or, perhaps, simply a blog.

  32. In the neighborhood

    Another couple of cheaters caught! Greedily sucking on the PG+E low-income program’s teat with their three newer model Toyotas parked in their driveway in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Think they would have at least wired the house correctly so the grow wasn’t a potential danger to their children.

  33. whatever

    These people are not criminals. Those playing the “faulty wiring” bit need to get over it. Whats next? They had sharp knives in their drawer? Come on let people have a little personal responsibility, I SERIOUSLY DOUBT their was a legitimate fire hazard. These code violations are a bunch of BS there are SO MANY grow houses and they rarely burn down… not a problem to solve by locking up parents.

    Tons of ‘law abiding’ citizens put their kids at greater risk EVERY DAY through all kinds of actions. The truth is you dont know what kind of parents these were, but locking them up for a small grow probably WONT help the family.

    Get a grip and focus on real crime. The US has far more people in jail per capita than any other country in the world. The land of the free is turning into a police state where we waste billions screwing up the lives of petty “offenders”.

    It seems like the eye gets off on these police stories. Get a life and some compassion for your fellow humans.

  34. I have a question for you.

    When two police agencies enter a private home, arrest parents, confiscate property, shut off electricity, charge felonies, initiate a child welfare investigation and issue a press release about it all, what would you have the newspaper do – not report this? Seriously, do you not want to know, and want other people to not know?

  35. Ian Ray

    “Whatever”, some people would rather Building and Planning err on the side of safety.

    When fire officials discover an unpermitted clearing with carelessly discarded trees nearby, they shouldn’t check if a person has a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis. Similarly, there is no law on the books where medical need allows homebrew electrical wiring.

    If there is really a concern that building codes are unfair, take that concern to the county government. Getting mad at newspapers for reporting arrests isn’t going to change any regulations.

  36. In the neighborhood


    So using the PGE low-income energy for growing is OK? Turning a nice profit and not paying taxes? Shouldn’t this service be available only for people who really need it? Why should honest-working folks foot the bill for the illegal and immoral use of this subsidized energy?

  37. Mark Sailors

    Oaksterdam University, and the associated dispensary were raided this morning by the DEA, IRS and US Marshals.

  38. You can’t talk reason to the cannabis zealots. Worship of the high holy herb justifies all, from utility theft to child endangerment.

    So fervent is their ardor for this mere drug that they presume disqualify the findings of trained building inspectors who were on scene, took pictures and would have to back up their findings with testimony in court. Quoth “Whatever:” “I SERIOUSLY DOUBT their was a legitimate fire hazard. These code violations are a bunch of BS…”

    See? And if you look back at the comments on previous cannabis stories, you’ll find the same mindless zealotry.

  39. Mark Sailors

    “An analysis of those reports shows that only 25.7 percent of the drug dog “alerts” resulted in police finding a measurable quantity of illicit drugs.”

    What about this anti cannabis zealotry?…

    25% success rate yet they are deemed “infallible” by courts…

  40. Whatever

    If anyone here sounds like a zealot its those making ad-homenim attacks and advocating for the bloated court-prison complex… And more government control over our lives, convinced we need the nanny state to live productive lives….

    I’m not against the reporting of this story…. People everywhere can see through the spin that stupid laws and regulations are ruining this country. Ripping off government programs isn’t okay, and should probably be punishable by a fine… The legal status of marijuana creates a market niche for growers, who in a sense show more innovation as entrepreneurs taking risk than the walmart employees you would probably rather see.

    I don’t smoke or grow or worship at the holy herbal altar. I just don’t believe in locking up basically innocent people and have compassion for other humans. Try to be loving for once instead of so full of fear and hate. Get your own life and make a difference instead of rationalizing your righteousness by watching others fail.

  41. “If anyone here sounds like a zealot its those making ad-homenim attacks and advocating for the bloated court-prison complex”

    “Try to be loving for once instead of so full of fear and hate. Get your own life and make a difference instead of rationalizing your righteousness by watching others fail.”

  42. Whatever

    Thank you for restating two important points. I see no hypocrisy in telling people to love more. Sorry.

  43. Ian Ray

    Agreed about the fearful, hateful, self-righteous ad hominem people…

  44. I question the likelihood of your bringing about love via the use of straw men, anonymous ad hominem attacks, etc., while objecting to ad hominem attacks.

    I just don’t think it’s going to work.

  45. Aw c’mon, Ian. Don’t leave us with ellipses. Who are the “fearful, hateful, self-righteous ad hominem people?”

  46. Whatever

    All humans are capable of fear, hatred and self righteousness. In most they are a passing phenomena, and Im not passing character judgement like “you can’t talk reason to the cannabis zealots”… Either way these refutations miss the more important points. Good luck with your outlook on life.

  47. Ian Ray

    Kevin, I mean those people who debate by false dichotomy. They are all either A or B.

  48. I don’t know what that means, but on the surface it sounds a hell of a lot more sensible than Whatever’s self-negating blurts.

  49. whatever

    Kevpod doesn’t seem to know what ad hominem means. He cannot even address legitimate points that differ from his own, and so resorts to his comfort zone of name calling and condescension, convinced of his own superiority.

    This small exchange will be my first and last one on this website, where the “Editor” appears to spend much of his time acting like an angry child. It’s actually pitiful. An editor!!? More like a second rate blogger and the eye just another blunder in a world of self righteous opinionated assholes.

    Have the last word, I’m sure you will no matter what. I only wish you luck in waking up from your delusions, and hope in the future you learn to talk with people who disagree with you instead of resorting to name calling.

  50. Whatever, the sheer force of your logic has thoroughly vanquished me on all levels. And the intellectual consistency is a marvel for our age.

    Truly, you are the embodiment of love. I may have to start calling you Gandhi, Jr.


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