Lewis Avenue Grow House Yields 232 Pounds – March 14, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eye Staff Report

GREENVIEW – Officers from the Arcata Police Department served a search warrant at a residence at 1002 Lewis Avenue on Wednesday morning.

Upon entering the residence, officers located a marijuana growing operation utilizing nearly all the livable space in the home. The operation was in the harvest stage and nearly 250 about 220 pounds of marijuana in various stages of processing along with 12 pounds of processed marijuana bud were seized. A small amount of concentrated cannabis, or “hash” was also located in the home.

Eban Ashton Rollins, 28, of Arcata, was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail on the following charges:

•11358 Health & Safety (H&S) – Cultivation of Marijuana

APD Officer Brian Hoffman removes two of 27 grow lights from the house at 1002 Lewis Avenue. Note the energy-saving CFL-bulb porch light. KLH | Eye

• 11359 H&S – Possession of Marijuana for Sale

•11366.5 H&S – Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance

• 11357(a) H&S – Possession of Concentrated Cannabis

City of Arcata building inspectors discovered numerous building code violations at the residence which necessitated the immediate disconnection of electrical service.

APD Det. Sgt. Todd Dokweiler said all but one bedroom of the house was dedicated to cannabis cultivation and processing. Two bedrooms and the garage were used for growing, with the living room a trimming center.

APD Officer Chris Wilson is covered in cannabis resin from pulled-down pot plants as he carries lighting hoods out to APD's evidence trailer. KLH | Eye

An officer on scene said the grow house was the largest ever taken down by APD. Dokweiler said the second floor was entirely consumed with cannabis production.

No growing cannabis was found, only harvested plants hung up to dry. “It was just at that phase in the cycle,” Dokweiler said.

Public records list the  house’s owners as Kerry R.Perkett and J. Bonnitta of Eureka.

Some 27 grow lights and ballasts were confiscated for evidence. Dokweiler said that the house consumed 14,000 kilowatts of electricity per month – nearly 30 times the average residential household usage.

The expense of the high energy usage was offset by the occupant’s enrollment in PG&E’s California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which provides a discount on utility bills for low-income customers. Cannabis growers are often eligible for the program because their income is not reported.

Dokweiler said it was apparent to neighbors that the residence was being used as a grow house because of the aggressive cultivation inside. “The house was really oozing moisture,” Dokweiler said. “It was pretty obvious.”

Passing neighbors applauded the enforcement action. “I wondered how there could be so many skunks in the neighborhood,” joked one man from a nearby house. Another woman in a passing car ostentatiously applauded the sight of all the APD vehicles surrounding the corner house.

Dokweiler said more grow house raids are in the offing. “It rolls on,” he said.

If you suspect illegal drug activity in your neighborhood, please contact the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428.

UPDATE: Det. Sgt. Dokweiler says that two Prop 215 recommendations were located in the Lewis Avenue house, but neither was in the name of anyone living there. Further, Dokweiler said, once police determine that a cannabis grow operation is for manufacturing and sales, the 215s become a non-issue.

Note: An earlier version of this story misstated the amount of cannabis seized. The headline has been updated to reflect the correct amount. – Ed.




Tags: ,