Gigantic Cannabis Complex Raided, 16 Suspects Arrested, Extensive Environmental Damage Found

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The area had been illegally clearcut to accommodate the cannabis cultivation and processing facilities. | HCSO Photos

The area had been illegally clearcut to accommodate the cannabis cultivation and processing facilities. | HCSO Photos

HCSO Press Release

16 SUSPECTS, SOME INTERNATIONAL, ARRESTED; HUNDREDS OF POUNDS OF DRIED CANNABIS, HUNDREDS OF PLANTS SEIZED; FOREST CLEARCUT, CREEK DRAINED, POLLUTED; SEDIMENTATION FORESEEN

On Monday, Sept. 9 at approximately 9  a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted by CalFire, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Humboldt County Drug Task Force  H.C.D.T.F) served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant on a 160 acre parcel of property off State Route Highway 36 near mile marker 31.54, Bridgeville.

When the warrant was served deputies located and detained 12 suspects located at various locations on the property. A 13th suspect fled on foot as officers arrived. A chase ensued, however the suspect was able to escape into the brush.

Officers searched greenhouses and buildings on the parcel. They located an approximate 60’ by 30’ shop with living quarters. The shop was being utilized to process and dry marijuana.

Hanging in the shop was approximately 375 pounds of drying harvested marijuana. Also located at the property was four greenhouses approximately 40’ by 80’ which contained growing marijuana plants.

A total of 685 growing marijuana plants ranging from 6’ to 7’ tall, all budding, were located and removed. A semiautomatic

Raw sewage drained into Little Larabee Creek, which was also being pumped dry to provide water for the grow.

Raw sewage drained into Little Larabee Creek, which was also being pumped dry to provide water for the grow.

9 mm handgun was located in one of the suspect’s vehicles. Officers located and seized $10,422 in U.S. currency, scales, packaging material and other items indicating sales of marijuana for profit. The suspects claimed the marijuana cultivation site was a collective for medical marijuana and presented the officers with a stack of medical marijuana slips approximately 3” thick.

Officers also located a significant amount of environmental damage to the parcel. Cal-Fire Officers on scene described the damage as a “Significant environmental impact due to water course alterations because of heavy equipment operations in and around the watercourse.”  The watercourse affected  is Little Larabee Creek. Officers found clear cutting of trees and illegal roads cut into the hillside.

A pump was found in Little Larabee Creek illegally removing water from the creek which was dry downstream from the pump. Little Larabee contains Steelhead trout which means the drainage is federally protected per California Department and Fish and Wildlife.

Approximately four hours into the search of the parcel, officer heard noises in the brush at a different location on the property. The suspect who fled on foot was sighted again and ordered to surrender. California Fish and Wildlife Wardens had a K-9 with them. After the suspect failed to stop at officers commands, the K-9 was released and caught the suspect.

This suspect was identified as Yul Cashman.  He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for dog bite wounds prior to being transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

865The following suspects were arrested at this location and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked on the listed charges:

Valentine Velikov Marinov , male 37 years old from Pleasant Hill, California : charges of cultivation, possession of marijuana of for sale, armed in the commission of a felony,  altering a streambed, water pollution, harvesting timber without a license, illegal harvesting timber, misuse of timber lands

Valeri Petrov Vasilev, male, 57 years old, from Las Vegas, Nevada : charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Maja Damnjanovska, female, 27 years old from New York, New York: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Dragoljub Obucina, male, 28 years old, from Astoia, New York: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Boriana  Eugenieva Stoyanova, female, 51 years old, from Las Vegas, Nevada: charges of  cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Paulina Aleksandrova Kitanova, female, 63 years old from Charlotte, North Carolina: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Nevena Patrova Alexandrova, female,46 years old from Charlotte, North Carolina: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Silviya Simeonova Lazarova, female,43 years old from Las Vegas, Nevada: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Julieta Mihaleva Ivanova,  female,54 years old from San Francisco, California: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Tatyana Aleksandrova Pencheva, female, 59 years old from Buglaria: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Milana Tojagic, female  31 years old from Chicago, Illinois: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale , also Immigration and Customs Hold

Tamara Srpsko Acimovia, female 33 years old, from New York, New York: charges of  cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Yul Cashman, male,  65 years old from Las Vegas: charges of  cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale and resisting arrest

While officers were searching and processing the first marijuana grow site they located a second marijuana grow site on an adjoining parcel.  A second Humboldt County Superior Court Search warrant was obtained for that location.

When the warrant was served at approximately 1 p.m. officers located three greenhouses on that parcel containing 1,026 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 1’ to 5’ tall. They also located ammunition, but no firearms along with additional significant environmental violations. Those violations included illegal timber harvesting, allowing raw sewage to drain into Little Larabee Creek which included fecal matter, and unpermitted roads.

Cal Fire officials who were at both locations commented that the roads cut at both sites were similar to what would be seen during logging operations in the 1940s. They expect both locations to have significant sediment issues from runoff once the winter rains begin.

859Located and arrested at the second location were the following suspects:

Michael Kenneth Metelits, 42 years old from Fortuna: charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, five counts streambed alteration, four counts of polluting a waterway, littering with 150 feet of a stream, misuse of timber lands, and conducting timber harvesting without a permit. Metelits is also wanted by the State of Virginia for shipping large amounts of marijuana from Fortuna to Virginia.

Jaime Javier Contreras, 20 years old from Stockton, California: charged of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Carlos Fuerte Cachu 61 years old, from Stockton, California: charged of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

The Cal Fire Public Information officer is Jim Robins who can be reached at Ph. 1-707-599-6435

The California Fish and Wildlife Public Information Officer is Jordan Traverso who can be reached at   1-916-654-9937

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

 

 

Mike Downey

Sheriff

 

7 Responses to “Gigantic Cannabis Complex Raided, 16 Suspects Arrested, Extensive Environmental Damage Found”

  1. Meghan Stearns

    Poop in creeks=not cool. Good dog.

    #70464
  2. Brent Sherman

    Very proud of our sheriff's department and all those involved. This type of grow is commercial, pure profit taking, a bad neighbor, and probably stole the school water. Great Job Public Servants!

    #70470
  3. Brent Sherman

    People can grow weed for themselves. Just like small organic farms -vs- giant corporate GMO Monsanto farms in the central valley. Let's go local and organic. No more GMO, get the commercial farmers out of California.

    #70471
  4. Brent! your right!

    #70482
  5. How nice a Sunny Circle of "Friends" out for a camping trip. Were they singing Kumbaya and holding hands? Maybe having a Tofu Weiner Roast? So nice, did they police the grounds for litter?

    #70492
  6. Manuela Gerdova

    FINO ALLA FINE FORZA GRANDE JUVE***

    #70594

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