Tag Archive | "drugs"

What is Flakka?


It’s the New Ecstasy-Meth Drug Hitting Florida’s Shores



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

There’s a new drug in town and it has quickly gained notoriety for providing a ridiculously cheap, yet immensely volatile, high.

It’s called Flakka, or  alpha-PVP.  It’s an inexpensive synthetic illegal drug thought to be making it’s way to Florida from Hong Kong by the kilo-load– though it’s too new for anyone to be sure.

In recent weeks, national media outlets have churned out a bevy of flakka stories, linking to news articles about all the weird, fucked-up shit happening in the Sunshine State.

The Florida Man flakka episodes have featured local law enforcement officials and addiction experts asserting the drug causes bizarre, irrational behavior in users;  such as beating down people, running through the streets naked, having sex with trees, impaling oneself on fences, and  seeking refuge at police stations from imaginary mobs.

Flakka seems to be the newest murky, synthetic drug trade washing over Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.  According to the DEA, there were 1,706 crime lab cases in 2014 involving synthetic cathinones (a.k.a. bath salts)– a stimulant similar to amphetamine normally found in khat plant leaves in the Middle East– in the three counties combined, accounting for more than half of all such cases in Florida.

The DEA’s Miami office is conducting an ongoing investigation into the importation of synthetics such as alpha-PVP, which south Florida drug experts claim is falsely marketed as Ecstasy, or pure MDMA.

Ecstasy?  I call it pure malarkey,” Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University, said. “Flakka is a second generation of synthetics similar to bath salts.”

Hall, who works for Nova’s Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities, broke down the flakka economy in his April monthly newsletter.  Part of his job is to closely monitor street drug trends in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.

One kilogram of alpha-PVP provides up to 10,000 doses, Hall explained.  Each dose is one tenth of a gram– enough to produce the desired effects and mild hallucinations– and sells for five dollars or less on the street. “Flakka can be purchased online from the dark web at a relatively low price,” Hall said.  “It can go for $1,500 a kilo so a dealer is looking at a potential $48,500 profit.”

In south Florida, a network of loosely affiliated local crime rings are flakka’s biggest pushers, according to Hall.  ”The homeless population is also involved in its sale and distribution,” he said.

Two people in Florida were recently busted by the DEA for flakka trafficking, although local law enforcement agencies have made dealer arrests of their own.

Federal drug agents first encountered flakka on March 26 after receiving a tip from their colleagues in London that British authorities had intercepted multiple packages of alpha-PVP– destined for Palm Beach County by way of a Hong Kong chemical company.

The drug’s use is spiking and police say it’s to blame for many dangerous and bizarre incidents.  According to Hall, more than one dose of flakka can cause heart problems, psychosis, violent behavior, hypothermia, and excited delirium.

“If users don’t receive emergency medical care right away, they can die,” he said.  “Their body temperature can reach 105 degrees, they can turn psychotic and violent, they can experience heart and kidney failure.  It is a pretty gruesome drug.”




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Drug Pushers and Their Doctors



Getting Paid to Play and Prescribe




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars marketing their drugs to physicians.

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver took a closer look at these troubling truths and assorted ethical Doc Dollar dilemmas, skewering the cozy relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

There’s a prescription drug for every ailment, and the advertisements for these drugs never seem to stop.

Can’t sleep through the night?  Not to worry; there’s a pill for that. Constantly suffering from headaches?  There’s an injection for that.  Can’t get it up?  We can help you!

Oliver cuts to a series of sobering news pieces reporting that 70% of Americans regularly took at least one prescription drug in 2011 – and that $329.2 billion (or roughly $1,000 per person) was spent on those medications in 2013.  ”Breaking Bad’s Walter White could have made more money cooking up rheumatoid arthritis medication,” Oliver cracks. 

But, as the host wittily observes, the drug companies themselves wield a surprising amount of influence by pumping out pills, spending an estimated $24 billion marketing directly to doctors.

He riffs about how pharmaceutical sales reps use sex appeal and free food to peddle drugs, but the real problem comes when reps don’t understand the effects of the drugs they’re pushing.

Some companies take the “off-label” approach, pushing doctors to push pills for non-FDA uses.  Other times, doctors are paid to be “thought leaders”– pitching drugs to other doctors over dinner. 

It’s a messy, overwhelming issue for a lot of the American public.  Oliver notes one intriguing development: the recently established federal website OpenPaymentsData.CMS.gov enables average citizens a chance to search for perks given to doctors by pharmaceutical companies.

The segment ends with a lighthearted pre-filmed bit, with ”Pharmaceutical Money” pushed as a prescription drug.  The side effects, naturally, include ”chronic overprescription,” “unusually heavy cash flow” and “death.”

When we get a prescription from a trusted physician, we tend to assume it’s for the most effective or innovative drug available.  After all, if anyone has our best interest in mind, it’s our doctor.


Not necessarily.  As an analysis by ProPublica reveals, many doctors get thousands of dollars– often in the form of “promotional payments”– to offer their patients unremarkable drugs that frequently exist in cheaper, more effective forms.

In America today, the number of people hooked on legal drugs dwarfs the number of people hooked on illegal drugs.  And sadly, the number of people killed by legal drugs absolutely dwarfs the number of people killed by illegal drugs. 

Many believe in prescription drugs.  We like feeling better.  And we like being chronically happy, too.




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A Signpost for Humboldt County


Crime, Humboldt, and New York City: 1981


Award-Winning Short Film


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



NYC, 1981 is Austin Peters’ captivating six minute documentary
about a particularly dark and intense period in New York City.

A companion piece for the drama A Most Violent Year currently in theaters, Peters relates the dark truth about 1981, the year in which the film is set. 

We can only wonder if Humboldt County and Eureka could ever get so bad as 1981’s Gotham, given the crime we’re witnessing everyday on the streets and in the pages of the Times-Standard

Murders, robberies, physical assaults, criminals and drugs seem to be a daily occurrence here, running amok in our Fair City while no one seems to give a damn—from Supervisors to Councilmen, police to prosecutors, welfare workers to probation officers. 

We shovel more money into their burgeoning local budgets with nothing to show for it as a result.  It’s just more of the same crime, day in, day out.  They talk a big line of fiscal woes and promises, but nothing ever really happens for good.  It’s no wonder we have one of the highest per capita crime rates in the state and nation.

Like Eureka, death, assault, burglaries, rape, criminals running rampant, and an influx of drugs made New York City into a living nightmare with more than 2,100 murders in 1981.  That number went steadily into remission, shrinking down to 648 in 2013 after citizens demanded change.

The short film features the people who lived through those heady nitty gritty dirty days, when one could actually be caught dead in Times Square for different reasons.  Or Eureka, for that matter.

If the NYC, 1981 has a gritty ’80s feel, it’s because it was shot on 16mm film and processed at Film Lab, the only company that still developed film stock in New York City.  That company closed its doors for good in December, like many of the shuttered businesses still littering Eureka’s 5th Street.

Speaking in the film are Curtis Sliwa, who spearheaded the Guardian Angels;  Johnnie Mae, an actress who moved to New York from the South;  Dapper Dan, a Harlem street legend and fur salesman;  Penny Arcade (real name Susana Ventura), a fixture in the downtown arts scene; Nick Rosello, a Puerto Rican immigrant and auto body shop owner; and Wayne Walsh, a delivery trucker since he was 18.

NYC made amends after sinking under its own weight into a deep dark dismal abyss.  The Mob is long gone from power; the East Side has seen an arts and business revival; slums and run down areas have been torn down to make way for new development and housing.  The cops and probation officers are doing their jobs.  The Big Apple’s murder rate has dropped 70%, crime is at historic lows, and tourists are flocking back to Times Square.  Gotham’s citizens feel better; proud of their community, their neighborhoods, and the self-made accomplishments to get it done.

Humboldt County should take and learn from NYC’s example. 

Consider it a signpost for our future.  An example that Eureka citizens can and should demand better from our leaders and take back their community, too– especially when the fat-cat bureaucrats, asking for more tax monies without future promise, seem unable and unwilling to do so.

It is up to the people to lead where their “leaders” have failed.

* * * * * * * * * *

For all of those who are striving to make Eureka and Humboldt County a better place to live, thank you.  You know who you are.  And a special shout-out goes out to Charlotte McDonald and Eureka Main Street.


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Blackfeet Tribe Thought Rez Drug Abuse Story ‘Needed to Be Told’


Staff Pick **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Welsh filmmaker Josh Cole’s Alive is about drug use, crime and ceremony on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

It inspired a tremendous reaction from Indian country:  some viewers praised the clip for its tale of drug abuse on the Rez and spiritual redemption; others felt it was exploitative and disrespectful of the ceremonies it depicts.

Cole filmed the video on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana, and worked with Blackfeet tribal members during the course of its creation.

A reformed drug addict himself, Cole has followed stories around the world where the worst drug abuse is common.  He feels it’s his mission through his films to try to steer people into recovery– as a thanks to those that helped him with his own addiction.

Shocked to hear stories about the reservations, he started researching and putting together a story based on the stuff he was told about.  “All my work is about the beauty that comes from hardship, and I wanted to tell the story of the spiritual awakening of a drug addict in a Native American community,” Cole says.

Several members of The Crazy Dogs Society in Browning are reformed alcoholics and they connected with Cole’s concept.   It was basically their own story, too, they said, and they regularly help those with addictions through ceremony on
the Rez.

Cole met with several community leaders of the Tribal Council and the Cultural Attaché of the Blackfeet Nation.  They gave him their blessing; he was allowed to shoot anywhere in Blackfeet territory.

The community basically backed the project, Cole says.

 “We were repeatedly told by various people how much they thought this story needed to be told.  I feel I could return there any time with my head held high,” he said.

“I’m also told the film has been very well received by people living not only on the Blackfeet Reservation but also on other reservations.   It still moves me when I think how much the people of Browning came together to help.”

Still, some scenes were controversial at first and taken into consideration.  Cole says:

“I was extremely sensitive when talking to the Crazy Dogs about the ceremonies and always said that we could shoot an alternative scene.

They spent a day or so discussing it with all members and they decided collectively they wanted the scene to be in the film.  They felt like they wanted it to be shown and I gave them many opportunities to make sure they were happy.  It meant a lot to me that they wanted to show this to the world.

They told me that they wanted to use the video to help to heal the youth of the Blackfeet Nation.  I should also say we didn’t film an actual ceremony — both the sweat lodge scene and the Sundance scene were mock ceremonies set up by the Crazy Dogs themselves to their exact specifications.

I had no control whatsoever over the look or sequence of the scene, nor did I want it.  I also had no interest in filming an actual ceremony — at every step of the process I was led by the
advice of the Crazy Dogs. 

I am ever grateful for that as I was led by a much greater knowledge than my own, as I am with most of my work.”

How does Cole respond to those critics sensitive to his portrayal?

He had this to say:

“I believe my portrayal of Browning is not negative.  It is ultimately a story of redemption and shows the elders of the community coming around the boy to heal him.

If you don’t show the darkness in a realistic way the young people I’m trying to reach will not take it seriously.  However, there is an element of drama as I want all my work to reach the masses, but it is always subverted as I believe I have done here.

You have to remember that in the States the concept of Native Americans living in severe poverty is old news, but in Europe people have no idea.  None!

I think this is something people here should know about.  So this video serves a dual purpose – to show Europeans some of the conditions on reservations and also to give a Native community an opportunity to show both its darkness and its beauty.

I want to thank again the Blackfeet Nation and the Crazy Dogs Society for all the love we were shown.”

 ~Via Josh Cole, Indian Country Today,
Vimeo, Evan Zimmer/Calvert Hall


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Where Are Your Teens Tonight?


Studying at the Library?  Yeah, Right.


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Our youth now love luxury.

They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and they love chatter in place of exercise.

They no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents and chatter before company; they gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.



We think that only “bad” kids get into trouble.  And that “good” kids never do.

We’ve got news for you.  They all do. 

All kids get into trouble.  They’re risk-takers, seemingly invincible, and yearning to be independent.  The hormones are flaring and they’re out the door to do who knows what.  It’s called fun. Or angst.

A long, long time ago it used to be smoking, getting into a fight, skipping class, smashing mailboxes.  Today, it’s alcohol, drug, and prescription med abuse, sexually acting out, running away, and more risky stuff– like blowing your mind out in a way-too-fast joyriding car or stupidly handling a gun while too high or drunk.

There’s a Beast and We All Feed It, above, is by Jake Bugg,  a 19-year-old singer-songwriter out of working-class Nottingham, England.  His songs paint a vivid, realistic, and sometimes violent picture of fights, drugs, poverty, and heartbreak happening with kids today.

Black Sugar, below, is a flick of a different flavor.  All kids– even those nice quiet middle class white kids living in the ‘burbs in big homes with swimming pools– find themselves on the riskier side of things when you, and they, least expect it.

Don’t kid yourself.  Each one is portrait of what’s happening with kids today. 

Few, if any, survive their teens.  They take love, perseverance, tenacity, sweat, tears, prayers, lighting candles, and the list could go on.

Remember when you were young?


Black Sugar from Hank Friedmann on Vimeo.


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Prisons and Muppets


John Oliver’s Detailed Take




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


How bad is the mass incarceration problem in the US?

So bad that Sesame Street featured a muppet with a father in prison to help the 2.7 million American children with an incarcerated parent understand what just happened.

Incarcerated people, parents or not, face a system that subjects them to often horrific conditions.

The touchy issue of racism is also brought up by John Oliver in the above HBO clip.

“It reminds me of a joke,” John Oliver quipped yesterday on Last Week Tonight.  ”‘Black people who commit drug offenses, they go to jail like this, whereas white people …don’t go to jail at all.”

Watch him walk through, in considerable detail, every problem of our corrections system from the epidemic of prison rape to the perverse incentives created by prison privatization to the alleged use of sugar to treat wounds in prison clinics.  He covers more ground quickly than we can possibly touch on here.

Whether you agree with his reasoning or not, and whether you care, is another matter altogether.  Prisons have more than their fair share of psychopaths, sociopaths, murderers, rapists, the habitually violent and criminally-minded peeps, and just plain badass dudes.

But make no mistake:  the American prison system is one screwed-up hell pit carved out by institutionalized racism, despicable politics, corporate greed and other reprehensible factors that– culturally– we’ve mostly agreed to ignore.  For the most part it’s out of sight and out of mind.

The issues facing our nation’s rapidly growing incarcerated population isn’t attractive to focus on.  It’s a brutal and sad dilemma and one that’s easy to dismiss because a lot of people can’t find it in their hearts to care about criminals.

There’s nothing cute about prison advocacy.  Which is why John Oliver cares enough to use humor, song, and adorable muppets to get Americans to actually give a whit.


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Disturbing Levels of Drugs Found in Drinking Water


Long Term Health Effects Grow, EPA Study Says


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Traces of prescription drugs have been found in far greater quantities in US drinking water supplies than
previously thought, an EPA study has claimed.

A report on drinking water carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency has found samples of at least 25 different drugs, including medication to treat heart conditions, in supplies coming out of wastewater treatment plants.

Medication to treat high blood pressure was not only the most commonly traced drug, but also found in the highest quantities.

Health officials say that the traces of the drugs, which include over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, pose a low risk to humans.

But they have also said that there is no credible research to predict the effect that the cocktail of drugs could have on humans or wildlife.

Environmental lawyers are now calling for more tests to be carried out on the water supply to find out what the long term effects of drinking it could be.

Nick Schroeck, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in Detroit, Michigan, told The New Republic: “All of these drugs out there on the market are going to be discharged into the environment and we don’t know what the effects are because there’s no requirement to do an assessment on the front end.”

“We’re not trying to scare anyone, but we need to know what these chemical compounds will do to the environment and what are the long term effects for humans.”

The study will be published in the Environmental Pollution Journal in January, 2014.

Scientists examined samples from 50 large wastewater plants testing for 56 drugs.  Though the EPA was surprised by the results according the The New Republic, one of the reasons for the high numbers is that better technology is available to trace the tiniest quantities of drugs.

But it could also be down to the fact that we are taking more medication than ever.

A Mayo Clinic Study from earlier this year found that 70 per cent of Americans now take prescription drugs compared to 48 per cent five years ago.  The drugs find their way into the water system when our bodies release them when we urinate or if old drugs are flushed down the toilet.

Another reason for an increased amount of pharmaceutical drugs in waste water treatment plants is if the producers of such drugs are possibly dumping them into the public waste water system.

It remains to be seen whether these discoveries are uniform in all municipal water systems and if they are the detected chemicals of the entire pharmaceutical product or are only component ingredients passed on through human consumption.

The EPA study is significant because further research and detection could determine whether pharmaceutical companies have been spiking municipal water supplies by simply flushing excess or defective chemical products into public water systems.

* * * * * * * *


(Via Yahoo News and Discovery.com)

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The Big Fortuna Hash Explosion


Severe Burns for Two Adult Victims; 
Nearby Infant Uninjured



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



It was a big boom with wickedly turn-of-the-ugly burns
in the Friendly City of Fortuna last night.

From today’s Fortuna Police Department’s report:

On Monday November 11, 2013 at approximately 10 pm, the Fortuna Police Department Communications Center received numerous 911 calls from subjects reporting an explosion at an apartment complex located at 137 12th Street in Fortuna.

One caller reported that a “hash lab” had exploded.

A Sergeant with the Fortuna Police Department arrived on scene and located two male subjects who had sustained severe burns to their upper torsos, arms and heads.

Responders from the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department and City Ambulance arrived within minutes and assisted the injured males.

The two injured subjects were identified as Kenneth Nevers of Fortuna and Joseph White of Oakland.

Both of Nevers and White were transported to Fortuna’s Redwood Memorial
Hospital. They were later airlifted out of the area for treatment of severe burns.

Officers were able to locate several subjects who claimed to be within the apartment at the time of the explosion.  One of the subjects was a three month old infant.  The additional subjects—and baby– were reportedly uninjured.

While officers were checking the apartment, they observed items consistent with a butane process hash extraction lab.  They also located the area of the explosion and fire in the bathroom.

This is an open investigation and further details of the bake and quake will be released as they become available.

The Redheaded Blackbelt’s Kym Kemp has unsparingly sharp comments by readers of the whole hash-making affair breaking bad in the Friendly City.

* * * * * * * * *

People as slow and stupid as Darwin turtles never cease to amaze us.


Via Fortuna Police Department, the Redheaded Blackbelt and the Humboldt Sentinel

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Herbal Supplements Often Are Not The Real Deal


What You’re Buying May Not Be What it Seems


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The buyer should beware.

Americans spend an estimated $5 billion a year on unproven herbal supplements that promise everything from fighting off colds to curbing hot flashes and boosting memory.  But now there is a new reason for supplement buyers to beware: DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds.

Using a test called DNA barcoding, a kind of genetic fingerprinting that has also been used to help uncover labeling fraud in the commercial seafood industry, Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies.  They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice.


Questionable Practices and Dubious Ingredients

Consumer advocates and scientists say the research provides more evidence that the herbal supplement industry is riddled with questionable practices.  Industry representatives argue that any problems are not widespread.

For the study, the researchers selected popular medicinal herbs, and then randomly bought different brands of those products from stores and outlets in Canada and the United States.  

To avoid singling out any company, they did not disclose any product names.

Among their findings were bottles of echinacea supplements, used by millions of Americans to prevent and treat colds, that contained ground up bitter weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, an invasive plant found in India and Australia that has been linked to rashes, nausea and flatulence.

Two bottles labeled as St. John’s wort, which studies have shown may treat mild depression, contained none of the medicinal herb.  Instead, the pills in one bottle were made of nothing but rice, and another bottle contained only Alexandrian senna, an Egyptian yellow shrub that is a powerful laxative.  Gingko biloba supplements, promoted as memory enhancers, were mixed with fillers and black walnut, a potentially deadly hazard for people with nut allergies.


Adulterated Substances and Outright Fraud

Of 44 herbal supplements tested, one-third showed outright substitution, meaning there was no trace of the plant advertised on the bottle — only another plant in its place.

Many were adulterated with ingredients not listed on the label, like rice, soybean and wheat, which are used as fillers.

In some cases, these fillers were the only plant detected in the bottle — a health concern for people with allergies
or those seeking gluten-free products, said the study’s lead author, Steven G. Newmaster, a biology professor and botanical director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph.

The findings, published in the journal BMC Medicine, follow a number of smaller studies conducted in recent years that have suggested a sizable percentage of herbal products are not what they purport to be.  But because the latest findings are backed by DNA testing, they offer perhaps the most credible evidence to date of adulteration, contamination and mislabeling in the medicinal supplement industry, a rapidly growing area of alternative medicine that includes an estimated 29,000 herbal products and substances sold throughout North America.

“This suggests that the problems are widespread and that quality control for many companies, whether through ignorance, incompetence or dishonesty, is unacceptable,” said David Schardt, a senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group.  “Given these results, it’s hard to recommend any herbal supplements to consumers.”

Representatives of the supplement industry said that while mislabeling of supplements was a legitimate concern, they did not believe it reached the extent suggested by the new research.

Stefan Gafner, the chief science officer at the American Botanical Council, a nonprofit group that promotes the use of herbal supplements, said the study was flawed, in part because the bar-coding technology it used could not always identify herbs that have been purified and highly processed.

“Overall, I would agree that quality control is an issue in the herbal industry,” Dr. Gafner said. “But I think that what’s represented here is overblown.  I don’t think it’s as bad as it looks according to this study.”

The Food and Drug Administration has used bar-coding technology to warn and in some cases prosecute sellers of seafood found to be “misbranded.”  The DNA technique has also been used in studies of herbal teas, which showed that a significant percentage contain herbs and ingredients that are not listed on their labels.

But policing the supplement industry is a special challenge. The FDA requires that companies test the products they sell to make sure that they are safe. But the system essentially operates on the honor code.  The FDA audits a small number of companies, but even industry representatives say more oversight is needed.

“The regulations are very appropriate and rigorous,” said Duffy MacKay of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a supplement industry trade group.


Bar Coding for Truthful Ingredients

DNA bar coding was developed about a decade ago. Instead of sequencing entire genomes, scientists realized that they could examine genes from a standardized region of every genome to identify species of plants and animals. These short sequences can be quickly analyzed and an electronic reference library called the International Barcode of Life Project contains over 2.6 million bar code records for almost 200,000 species of plants and animals.

Some of the adulteration problems may be inadvertent.  Cross-contamination can occur in fields where different plants are grown side by side and picked at the same time, or in factories where the herbs are packaged.

Dr. Gafner of the American Botanical Council said that rice, starch and other compounds were sometimes added during processing to keep powdered herbs from clumping, just as kernels of rice are added to salt shakers.

But that does not explain many of the DNA results.  For instance, the study found that one product advertised as black cohosh — a North American plant and popular remedy for hot flashes and other menopause symptoms — actually contained a related Asian plant, Actaea asiatica, that can be toxic to humans.

Those findings mirror a similar study of black cohosh supplements conducted at Stony Brook University medical center last year.  Dr. David A. Baker, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine, bought 36 black cohosh supplements from online and chain stores.  Bar coding tests showed that a quarter of them were not black cohosh, but instead contained an ornamental plant from China.

Dr. Baker called the state of supplement regulation “the Wild West,” and said most consumers had no idea how few safeguards were in place.

“If you had a child who was sick and 3 out of 10 penicillin pills were fake, everybody would be up in arms,” Dr. Baker said.

“But it’s O.K. to buy a supplement where 3 out of 10 pills are fake.  I don’t understand it.  Why does this industry get away with that?”

(Via Google News/New York Times)

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DEA Arrogance and Stupidity


Lawsuit:  Drug Enforcement Agency Tramples On Common Sense


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


By Robert Kahn
Courthouse News

Every so often, powerful government officials pull a stunt
so arrogant and stupid you have to wonder whether they’ve
lost their minds.

Such was the case in a lawsuit filed in Houston this week against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Courthouse News reporter Cameron Langford wrote in his Thursday story:  “DEA officials ‘commandeered’ a small businessman’s truck and left him to pay for the damage after it was ‘shot to smithereens’ in a shootout in Texas between federal agents and the Zeta drug cartel.”

That’s right:  Without telling the businessman, who owned two trucks, the DEA arranged for him to hire an undercover snitch to drive a load of dope in one.  But the Zetas got wise, shot the truck to pieces, killing the snitch and wounding a sheriff’s deputy – and the DEA stuck the businessman with the bill for the bullet-riddled truck.

Then the DEA had the brass to demand to search the poor businessman’s house.

No one who has had to deal with the DEA will doubt this story.  It reminds me of a man I met when I worked as a paralegal inside U.S. immigration prisons.

This fellow had a signed letter from a death squad threatening to kill him for working with the DEA, but I couldn’t help him apply for political asylum.

This was in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration was arming, training and covering up for death squads who were murdering and torturing to death thousands of innocent people in Central America.

The fellow with the letter from the death squad was not innocent.  He was a drug dealer.  He told me so. The DEA got him busted in his home country and turned him into a snitch.  With his help, the DEA intercepted a ship carrying more than 1,000 tons of marijuana, then blew his cover and left him at the mercy of the cartels.

He fled to the United States, was busted by the Border Patrol and sent to an immigration prison, where he told me his tale.

He showed me the letter from the death squad, which stated clearly, in Spanish, that they would kill him for working with the DEA.  He saved the envelope, too, with the postmark.  He showed me two newspaper articles about the bust of the ship.

There was no question that the DEA had turned this guy and then thrown him to the sharks.

I couldn’t help him because he didn’t qualify for political asylum.  He was a criminal.

I told his story to our attorneys and asked if there was anything we could do for him, as he was a dead man in his home country.

The next day, news of the Iran Contra scandal broke, and the DEA snitch got lost in the shuffle.  I don’t know what happened to him.

Also lost in the shuffle, by a spineless U.S. press, was that Uncle Sam’s criminal intermediaries were allowed to fly planeloads of cocaine and marijuana to the United States after the CIA contract planes had been emptied of missiles for the ayatollah.

This was a key element of the Iran Contra deals, but practically no one remembers it, or was informed of it at the time.

I have no beef with the frontline agents of the DEA who are brave men and women.  They risk their lives every day dealing with murderous scumballs.  If they turn the scumballs into snitches on their bosses, so be it.

But there is no excuse for the DEA to entangle an innocent businessman in its toils, at the cost of half of his “fleet” of trucks; nor to make him pay to repair his truck after the DEA-inspired bloodbath; nor to endanger his life because the shootout, which made the evening news, made him, according to the federal lawsuit, “fear, of course, that his identity would be discovered by the Zeta cartel and that they, believing he had cooperated with … the Task Force, might seek retribution.”

It’s arrogance and stupidity like this that is making the United States hated around the world, and now, even at home.


(Courtesy and via Robert Kahn/Courthouse News)

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For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana


Gallup Poll:  Support Surged 10 Percentage Points in Past Year, to 58%


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



For the data wonks of marijuana, this is making the
rounds from the Gallup Poll today:

WASHINGTON, D.C.– For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans– 58%– say the drug should be legalized.  This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization.

Public support for legalization more than doubled in the 1970s, growing to 28%.  It then plateaued during the 1980s and 1990s before inching steadily higher since 2000, reaching 50% in 2011.

A sizable percentage of Americans (38%) this year admitted to having tried the drug, which may be a contributing factor to greater acceptance.

Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans’ tolerance for marijuana legalization.  Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating.

Last week, California’s second-highest elected official, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said that pot should be legal in the Golden State, and advocates of legalization are poised to introduce a statewide
referendum in 2014 to legalize the drug.

The Obama administration has also been flexible on the matter.  Despite maintaining the government’s firm opposition to legalizing marijuana under federal law, in late August Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced the Justice Department would not challenge the legality of Colorado’s and Washington’s successful referendums, provided that those states maintain strict rules regarding the drug’s sale and distribution.

The movement to legalize marijuana mirrors the relatively recent success of the movement to legalize gay marriage, which voters have also approved now in 14 states.  Public support for gay marriage, which Americans also overwhelmingly opposed in the past, has increased dramatically, reaching majority support in the last two years.


Independents Fueling Growth in Acceptance of Legalizing Marijuana

Independents’ growing support for legalization has mostly driven the jump in Americans’ overall support.

62% of Independents now favor legalization, up 12 points from November 2012.  Support for legalization among Democrats and Republicans saw little change.  Yet there is a marked divide between Republicans, who still oppose legalizing marijuana, and Democrats and Independents.


Young Adults More Likely to Support Legalization

Americans 65 and older are the only age group that still opposes legalizing marijuana.  Still, support among this group has jumped 14 percentage points since 2011.

In contrast, 67% of Americans aged 18 to 29 back legalization.  Clear majorities of Americans aged 30 to 64 also favor legalization.


The Bottom Line

It has been a long path toward majority acceptance of marijuana over the past 44 years, but Americans’ support for legalization accelerated as the new millennium began.

This acceptance of a substance that most people might have considered forbidden in the late 1960s and 1970s may be attributed to changing social mores and growing social acceptance.  

The increasing prevalence of medical marijuana as a socially acceptable way to alleviate symptoms of diseases such as arthritis and mitigating side effects of chemotherapy may have contributed to Americans’ growing support.

Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States.

Advocates of legalizing marijuana say taxing and regulating the drug could be financially beneficial to states and municipalities nationwide.  But detractors such as law enforcement and substance abuse professionals have cited health risks including an increased heart rate, and respiratory and memory problems.

With Americans’ support for legalization quadrupling since 1969, and localities on the East Coast such as Portland, Maine, considering a symbolic referendum to legalize marijuana, it is clear that interest in this drug and these issues will remain elevated in the foreseeable future.

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By Art Swift and Gallup.com
Images by the Humboldt Sentinel

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Bolivia’s Growing Cocaine Problem


Coca Growers Ambush Bolivian Security Forces, Take Hostages



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


LA PAZ, Bolivia—  Coca growers in Bolivia ambushed soldiers
and police who were destroying illicit crops used to make cocaine,
killing one and taking hostages, the government said yesterday.

A police officer and an army lieutenant died from gunshot wounds after a Bolivian cocaine eradication effort went awry in a raging gun battle.  A local coca grower said the farmers were only trying to protect their crops in a country where the government considers more than two-thirds of Bolivia’s coca crop to be legal. 

Bolivia is one of the world’s top three cocaine producers in what has become a flourishing multi-billion dollar international drug industry.

On Sunday, a police officer became the second member of a government eradication squad to die of gunshot wounds from an ambush by coca growers, who authorities said continued to hold eight eradicators hostage.

Ten more members of the joint military-police team suffered gunshot wounds and 10 were injured by blows in Saturday’s attack in a rural area of the remote municipality of Apolo, about 90 miles north of La Paz, Interior Minister Carlos Romero said.

It was the first fatal attack on an eradication team since President Evo Morales, a coca growers union leader, was first elected nearly eight years ago.

A bullet perforated the stomach and pancreas of the police officer who died Sunday, the Interior Ministry said.  He also said the army lieutenant who died Saturday suffered a
gunshot wound that pierced a lung.

A local coca grower, Gregorio Cari, told reporters that security forces had attacked with tear gas and gunshots.  Cari said the growers were only trying to protect their crops.

“I have information that the comrades were provoked,” Cari said.  He said the growers took the hostages for their own security and were seeking dialogue to prevent “confrontation.”

The government considers more than two-thirds of Bolivia’s coca crop to be legal and dedicated to traditional uses such as alleviating altitude sickness and fatigue.  Joint military-police teams eradicate unapproved coca fields, and the official in charge of the effort, Felipe Caceres, said more than 35 square miles had been destroyed this year.

Bolivia is the world’s No. 3 coca producer after Peru and Colombia, according to the United Nations, and reduced the area under cultivation for two consecutive years to 98 square miles in 2012.

While coca is legal in Bolivia, the production of cocaine is banned.  The government is aiming to eradicate excess crops that could be diverted to illicit markets, but US officials firmly believe Bolivia’s coca leaves are being processed
into cocaine whose main destination is Brazil,
Argentina, the US and Europe.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales rose to prominence as a leader of the six coca-growing federations of the Chapare region of central Bolivia.  Critics, including Cari, say the president favors his Chapare supporters over growers in other regions.  However, two-thirds of coca cultivation destroyed this year was in Chapare, compared to one-third in the Apolo and Yungas regions near La Paz.

Reflecting public sentiment, Morales also expelled the US Drug Enforcement Administration in 2008, accusing it of inciting political opposition.

The US government says the result has been a rise in cocaine trafficking and related violence in Bolivia that is fueled by official corruption.  Effective this month, the US halted all counter-narcotics aid to Morales’ government.

Only a week ago Bolivian authorities arrested Luis Cutipa, the head of the government agency that commercializes coca, alleging he diverted 35,000 tons of leaves to relatives that were supposed to have been destroyed.

Prosecutors say Luis Cutipa is accused of influence peddling, negligence and other crimes.  His job is to regulate the transport and sale of legal coca and seize leaves that exceed legally permitted production quotas.  It is not clear what happened to the coca leaf that was allegedly diverted.  A political ally of President Evo Morales, Cutipa is also accused of doubling the price of licenses for coca vendors.

In early October, members of a Bolivian drug trafficking gang in threw a bag containing more than $1 million from a low-flying plane but missed their target.  The bag was seized by Bolivia’s anti-drug police, who later made several arrests.

The cash was supposed to be collected by other gang members on the ground in eastern Santa Cruz province, said Interior Minister Carlos Romero.  The authorities say the money– in US dollar bills of various denominations– was wrapped with a seal from a bank in neighboring Paraguay.

Bolivia has had an association with coca leaves stretching back to the time of the Incas.   The country has already been selling coca-based products such as toothpastes, liquors, flours and food products, and has recently introduced a coca-derived soda named “Coca-Colla”.


(Via Google News, BBC, and Youtube/CocaLand)

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Krocodil, Flesh-Eating Drug, Reported in Chicago


Krokodil Tears: Toxic Mix of Codeine, Solvents, Used in Lieu of Heroin



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


More possible cases of the use of krokodil, the flesh-eating drug
popular in Russia and Eastern Europe as a cheaper alternative to
heroin, have surfaced in the U.S., this time in a Chicago suburb,
health officials said.

Dr. Abhin Singla, director of addiction services at Chicago’s Presence St. Joseph Hospital, last week reported treating five people with signs of addiction to krokodil, an injected drug that provides a heroin-like high but leaves gangrenous wounds and scaly, green flesh.

“It is a horrific way to get sick.  The smell of rotten flesh permeates the room,” he said in a news release issued by the hospital.  ”Intensive treatment and skin grafts are required, but they often are not enough to save limbs or lives.”

Singla said in a telephone interview Friday that three women in their 20s arrived in the emergency room last weekend with rotting flesh.

He said the patients told him they’d been injecting krokodil, the word for crocodile in Russia, where the drug’s use first became common.  He said two more men reported using the drug later in the week.  Two of the women left the hospital against medical advice, and one underwent surgery to remove large amounts of gangrenous skin, Singla said.

“It’s pretty frightening,” said Dr. Syed Bokhari, a surgeon who said he treated the woman.

“When she came in, she had the destruction that occurred because of this drug over about 70% of her lower body,” Singla said in an interview with CBS2 in Chicago.

The drug first became popular internationally as a cheap alternative to heroin, accomplishing a similar “high” for about 10% of the price, Singla said.  In Russia, up to 1 million people are estimated to use krokodil, according to New York’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

Singla worried that the area’s “burgeoning heroin epidemic may have created a tolerance level to the point where users are now looking for cheaper and better highs.”

The emergence of possible krokodil abuse in Illinois follows reports last month of Arizona physicians treating patients who claimed to have used krokodil.  For now, the cases in Arizona, Illinois and elsewhere in the U.S. remain unconfirmed. 

Photographs of addicts with gruesome wounds from krokodil use are easy to find on the Internet, accompanied by stories about widespread use in Russia and the Ukraine, as well as unconfirmed cases of krokodil use in Arizona, Utah and Nevada.

The recipe for the drug, a homemade form of desomorphine, is gag-inducing:  codeine tablets are mixed with solvents like lighter fluid or cleaning products and cooked on a stove top.

The drug reportedly cropped up in Russia and in the Ukraine, where codeine is available over the counter and heroin is difficult to get.  But Chicago-area public health officials and experts who deal almost daily with heroin addicts voiced skepticism that krokodil has arrived in the region, or that it is likely to become widespread.

Some addiction experts questioned Singla’s reports.  The wounds associated with krokodil use — infected abscesses that have become gangrenous — also are common among users of other injectable drugs, a symptom of using dirty needles and sloppy injection technique, said Dan Bigg, director of the Chicago Recovery Alliance, which serves thousands of drug users at needle exchange clinics.

“In 24 years of almost daily contact with opiate users, I have never seen it, nor have I heard of anyone who has used it,” Bigg said.  ”There would be no reason to use it here.  Codeine is not readily available.  Heroin is easily available, and costs $5 or $10 (per dose).  Why would someone want to mix gasoline with their drugs if they didn’t have to?”

Horror stories about krokodil will serve little good, said Kathleen Kane-Willis, director of the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, and may harm long-term
efforts to address a burgeoning problem of heroin and
prescription painkiller addiction.

“This might have been people who got a hold of (impure) heroin, or haven’t used clean needles, but those are problems that don’t depend on using krokodil,” she said.  ”If you’re out there scaring people about something that isn’t really happening, it’s not useful when you have a real problem that is happening.”

The horrific images of “krok” addicts, their skin peeling like zombies, also makes the addicts seem subhuman, Kane-Willis said.

“It doesn’t help to demonize these people,” she said. “It’s like they’re not people anymore. You’ve turned them into crocodiles, even.”

Dr. Singla, an addiction specialist for 16 years, said krokodil is often cheaper and the high is three times stronger than alternatives.  He added that the wounds are markedly different from those that come from infected needles. 

“This is going to get worse, much worse,” Singla said. 
“In most cases, users die in two years.”

Cook County hospitals have yet to report any cases of krokodil-related illness, or users seeking treatment for krokodil addiction, said Dr. Steven Aks.  “We haven’t seen it,” said Aks, an ER doctor and toxicologist at Stroger Hospital.  ”I don’t really get why someone would use it here.  Heroin isn’t hard to get.”

Frank LoVecchio, co-medical director of Phoenix-based Banner Poison Control and Drug Information Center, which first received reports of krokodil use in Arizona, said confirming the drug’s use requires the original injected substance and not merely positive identifications of codeine or morphine metabolites in a suspected user’s urine. 

“The DEA and our legal department have said that to confirm the cases, they would like the original substance,” said LoVecchio, which they have been unable to provide.

“It’s difficult,” LoVecchio said. “You’re asking someone who is a drug user if they still have what they injected and is willing to give it to the authorities to have it checked.”

One of the reasons that federal officials want the original substance tested before confirming the use of krokodil is that the same kind of symptoms could be caused by other forms of drug abuse.  For instance, heroin contaminated with acids, gasoline or paint thinners could destroy a user’s flesh and internal organs, LoVecchio said.  

Intravenous drug abusers could develop abscesses and lesions from repeated infections by the bacteria Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.  And those who use krokodil would also likely test positive for MRSA infections, LoVecchio said, because the drug abuse compromises the immune system.

Nevertheless, LoVecchio said his “gut feeling” is that some of the reported cases were credible.

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Move over, meth. 

We viewed over a hundred images of krokodil use and they were all insidiously ugly on a scale we haven’t seen before.  We chose not to use them here.  They’re that horribly wicked and stomach-churning.

If you want to know more, Vice.com has an article here and a video here.

(Sourced from LA Times, ChicagoLand, Chicago CBS2, and Vice.com)

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Marijuana News


Cannabis Nugs From Across the Nation


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Most Californians Support Weed Legalization

Sacramento– California voter’s support for marijuana legalization has hit a record high — no pun intended.

A survey released Wednesday by the Public Polling Institute of California found that 52 percent of the state’s residents advocate the legalization of marijuana, marking the first time a majority of the state has supported legalizing the drug.

On top of those record stats, 60 percent of likely California voters supported legalization, and 68 percent said the federal government should not intervene in states’ jurisdiction on marijuana…

…You can read more in the Huffington Post


Medical Marijuana Web Services Raises Concerns

Boston – Massachusetts’ nascent medical marijuana law has sparked a recent flurry of new Internet companies promising to match patients with doctors who will certify they need the weed for health reasons, a phenomenon that has dismayed the state’s medical society and raised concerns with the board that regulates physicians.

A number of the companies are run by entrepreneurs with no medical background, which the Massachusetts Medical Society said raises questions about the quality and safety of the care.

Some of the sites, the society said, appear to be tiptoeing just inside state rules, which require a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” be in place before marijuana can be prescribed.

“The fact that you have people with no medical pedigree launching these companies is testament that this is purely a money-making operation,” said Dr. Ronald Dunlap, a cardiologist and president of the medical society.  “These people are working around the edges.”

…You can read the rest of the story in the Boston Globe article here


Humboldt’s Massive $21 Million Marijuana Seizure

Eureka, Ca.– On September 24, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (CERT) eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Barnum Timber Property in the Garberville area.

Deputies located and eradicated 9,056 growing marijuana plants ranging in height from 4 to 6 feet tall. Deputies also found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage caused by the clearing of brush and timber along with a stream diversion.

The following day, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by CERT eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site again on Barnum Timber and adjacent private property in the Garberville area.

This time, deputies located and eradicated 5,717 growing marijuana plants of similar height.  Once again they found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage by the clearing of brush and timber, along a with stream diversion.

They also found a trail of marijuana leaves which they followed to a residence.  A search warrant was obtained for the residence. Upon serving the search warrant on the residence, deputies discovered the residence was being exclusively used to process and dry marijuana.  Deputies located and seized 600 pounds of marijuana from the residence.  No one was in the residence when the search warrant was served.

On next day, September 26, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the CERT eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Benbow State Park property and adjacent private property.

Deputies located and eradicated 6,750 growing marijuana plants at this location along with a stream diversion and other environmental damage.

The estimated value of the total marijuana seized, the HCSO said, is conservatively valued at a whopping $21 million dollars.


Florida Attorney Argues Marijuana is Safer and More Effective than Oxycontin

Florida — Claiming that medical marijuana would be a safer, non-addictive and more-effective alternative to OxyContin, Orlando attorney John Morgan condemned the prescription pain killer in a speech Friday to argue that many of its users would be far better off smoking pot.

It was a rare presentation in the normally conservative region.

Speaking to the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, Morgan said that OxyContin, a commonly “prescribed and abused” pain medication, kills 16,000 people a year and addicts many more.

He claimed marijuana, which is illegal in Florida and most states, is comparatively harmless and more effective…

The Orlando Sentinel has more here


New Hampshire Begins Medical Marijuana Introduction

Concord, N.H.– A committee helping to implement the state’s new medical marijuana law started its work on Thursday by supporting two proposed changes to the law.

The law, passed three months ago, will allow seriously ill patients diagnosed with cancer, Crohn’s disease and other conditions to have up to 2 ounces of marijuana obtained from dispensaries.  It also created a 15-member committee to help the state write rules to implement the law and track how it works.

On Thursday, members backed two revisions that lawmakers will consider later:  one regarding how much time the state will have to approve or deny applications from patient caregivers, and the other regarding confidentiality of the dispensaries’ locations…

The details are with the SF Gate


West Virginia Legislators Argue for Medical Marijuana

Charleston, W.Va.– Advocates and some doctors agree marijuana can alleviate symptoms of some medical conditions.  But the federal government doesn’t, and that gives some West Virginia lawmakers pause when contemplating state legislation to legalize medical marijuana.

Explaining how states negotiate the situation played a central role in two presentations given Wednesday during a joint state Senate and House health committee meeting., Karmen Hanson, a health policy expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Matt Simon, a lobbyist and analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project, presented ways other states have handled legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

At the moment, the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug.  That classification is reserved for substances that offer no medicinal benefits and have a high propensity for abuse, Simon said.

Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for medical use, and President Barack Obama’s administration has said it will not try to criminally prosecute people who follow the laws in that state.

Still, the federal classification makes West Virginia lawmakers uneasy…

Read the rest in the Charleston Daily Mail


Can the United Nations Block Marijuana Legalization?

New York – The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board’s latest annual report expressed dismay at the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado and urged “the Government of the United States to take necessary measures to ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties in its entire territory”.

This led many media outlets to report that the US had violated the UN drug control treaties to which it is a signatory.

US obligations under the treaties, and indeed the broader international future of marijuana legalization, are complex matters.  But the essential points can be summarized in the following 4-part Q&A…

Read the full Huffington Post piece here


Eureka City Council Makes Move to Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Or did they?


* * * * * * * *

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Crime Does Not Pay


–Most of the Time–


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Humboldt County’s Criminal Activity as Reported by Law Enforcement–


Unsupervised Probationer Steals Vet’s Car for a Wild Meth-Fueled Ride

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, 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 of 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 violation of his Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) and violation of probation.

Mr. 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 was supposedly supervised by the Humboldt County Probation Department– which is an oxymoron in itself.

May we kindly suggest the Probation Officer spend more time supervising clients
than Facebooking friends on work time?


Thunder in the Thorns

On September 1, at approximately 12:00 midnight, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call regarding a man and woman being assaulted.  They were injured as a result of the assault and were now on the side of road at the Samoa Blvd and State Route 255 intersection in Manila.

When deputies arrived on scene they met with the victims, a 48-year old man and his 23-year old wife, both from Eureka.  

Deputies saw the male had visible bruises and cuts to his face, and swelling on his head.  The female was bleeding from the top of her head.  Medical was summoned to the scene by the deputies to treat the victims.  Both were conscious and able to speak.

The female victim told the deputies that earlier she was at the intersection of State Route 255 and Samoa Blvd in Manila when she was approached by two men.

The men accused her of stealing a wallet.  She denied stealing the wallet and the suspects left.  At approximately midnight the suspects returned and started assaulting the female and her husband in their campsite which is near the State Route 255 and Samoa Blvd intersection in the woods.

The suspects used a stun gun against her husband and beat him with a wooden cane.  She also witnessed one of the suspects point a rifle at her husband.

The suspects grabbed her purse and threw the contents all over the ground.  She screamed and the suspects struck her with the cane in the head, then left the area.

The suspects stole the victim’s wallet during the assault.  She believed they left the area in a light brown pickup truck or jeep.  Deputies also saw the female had injuries to her head and leg.  The male victim related a similar story to the deputies as to what occurred.


.357 Thwarts Eureka Peeping Tom Scoundrel

On September 2, at 3:45 am, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a home invasion in progress in the 300 block of Oak Street in Eureka.

When deputies arrived they met with the 29-year old female victim who was visibly upset.  The female told the deputies she was in her bedroom when she heard someone attempting to open her sliding glass door.

She walked into her kitchen and saw a white male adult wearing a black hooded sweatshirt , blue jeans and black boots attempting to force entry into her residence.  The suspect was unable to open the door because the victim had placed a dowel in the sliding mechanism.

The female victim armed herself with a .357 revolver which she brandished at the suspect who fled the scene immediately.  The victim told the deputies she had no idea who the suspect was.

Deputies checked the residence and surrounding area for the suspect but were unable to locate him. They found where the sliding glass door screen had been opened from the outside.

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


A Little Alcohol and Knife Play at the ‘Ol Watering Hole

On August 31, approximately 12:10 am, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a stabbing victim being treated at Mad River Community Hospital Emergency Room (ER).

When a deputy arrived at the ER he met with the 32-year old male victim who resides in McKinleyville.  The deputy saw the victim had several cuts on his body and a puncture wound on his right arm.

The victim told the deputy he was at Central Station Bar, McKinleyville, at approximately 11:30 pm when he got into an argument with a Hispanic man.  He and the Hispanic man exited the bar to talk further.  When they did three other Hispanic males followed them outside.  The Hispanic male suspect and the victim got into a heated argument outside the bar.

The suspect then pepper sprayed the victim in the eyes and started stabbing the victim with a pocket knife.  

After stabbing the victim several times, the suspect fled in a blue four door “Mazda Type” sedan with dark tinted windows.  

Deputies checked the area, but did not locate the suspect or vehicle. A be-on-the-lookout was placed for the suspect and his vehicle.

The suspect is described as: Hispanic male adult, approximately 5‘8” tall, 145 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes.  He was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, and white plaid shorts.  The suspect had a teardrop tattoo next to his eye area.

The victim was treated and released from the hospital.

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


Booty Bandit Wife-Beater Druggie Busted

On September 1st 2013, at approximately 2330 hours an officer with the Fortuna Police Department was dispatched to the National Nine Hotel for the report of a possible domestic violence restraining order violation.

The reporting party reported that William Shawn Tillman, 27, had violated a court order and was currently walking away from the hotel.

The officer located Tillman in the parking lot of Chevron and subsequently detained him for a violation of the court order.

During a search of Tillman’s person the officer located the following items:


· An unloaded firearm
· A hashish lab
· Marijuana
· Methamphetamine
· Concentrated cannabis
· Digital scales

Tillman was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Jail on the following violations of law;

· HS 11377(a) F
· HS 11357(a) F
· HS 11379.6 F
· PC 273.5 F 
· PC 273.6 M

During the booking process at the Humboldt County Jail, Tillman was found to have a glass methamphetamine pipe and approximately 20 grams of hashish concealed within his body cavity.   

Mr. Tillman was also charged for smuggling controlled contraband into a correctional facility.

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Iron Mike Tyson’s Rare Confession


‘I Did a Lot of Bad Things, and I Want to be Forgiven’



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Mike Tyson talking about love and forgiveness?

Anyone who thinks Mike Tyson has moved beyond the demons that plagued him during his tumultuous boxing career should listen to what the former heavyweight champion had to say during a promotional news conference for ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights.”

Tyson, 47, opened up about his ongoing struggles with drugs and alcohol, saying he’s constantly at war with himself as he attempts to make amends for the mistakes he’s made.

“I haven’t drink or took drugs for six days, and for me, that’s a miracle,” a teary-eyed Tyson said during the news conference.  “I’ve been lying to everybody else that think I was sober, but I’m not.  This is my sixth day.  I’m never gonna use again.”

Tyson’s comments came in response to him talking about trying to make amends with Teddy Atlas, his former trainer whom he had a falling out with in the early 1980s.  Tyson knew Atlas was going to be at the “Fight Night Fights” event, and said he struggled at first with how he would handle a possible meeting with him.

“I didn’t have a good thought in mind about that at first, because I’m negative and I’m dark,” Tyson said.  “And I wanna do bad stuff.  I wanna hang out in this neighborhood alone (while pointing to his head), that’s dangerous to hang out in this neighborhood alone up here, right?  It wants to kill everything.  It wants to kill me, too.

“Maybe it was overwhelming to Teddy and he didn’t get it yet.  But he has to know this is sincere.  I don’t wanna fight you no more.  I was wrong.  I’m sorry.”

Tyson went on to describe how he wants to change his life before it’s too late.

“I did a lot of bad things, and I want to be forgiven,” he said.  “I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die.  I’m on the verge of dying, because I’m a vicious alcoholic.”

* * * * * * * *

For those alcoholics and users silently suffering everywhere, Tyson’s message hits home that there is help if you want it.  You don’t have to be alone.  Like Mike, go and seek it.

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(Via the LA Times)

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Slingin’ Dope in the Big City



The Dicey Life of Hustling in the Big Apple



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



This mini-documentary by Vice.com gives a rare look into the dangerous life of a New York City drug delivery-man named Nim, a street hustler who started dealing drugs in the Big Apple at the age of 13.

Twelve years later, he says he’s selling $100,000 a week– anything you want, 24/7– with his subordinate ballers working round the clock supplying people with all the dope they want.

Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not the glamorous MTV life of wild parties, piles of coke,  Crown Regal, and loose pretty babes hanging around all the time that you might expect.  It’s more about doing the business than it is doing the pleasure.  Or as Nim puts it, it’s “all about the money.”

It also a business that wears on you.  Nim knows he’s not going to be in it forever.  He’d like to be able to leave it all behind someday and go sailing away with his girlfriend to somewhere more pleasant than the place hs is now.  After all, no one retires in NYC.  You only work there, make your stack, and then leave for somplace else.

Sooner or later he knows you’re going to have to learn the hard way— getting busted, robbed by rivals, having your stash ripped off or your stack jacked, or just pissing off someone around you. 

It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.  You don’t grow old in the game, you get out or you get hit.

* * * * * * * *

For another side of the dirty business, check out our other Sentinel piece, Going Undercover as a Mexican Drug Lord.

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Going Undercover as a Mexican Drug Lord


A Dirty Business on Both Sides



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Since the 1970′s, Latin America– specifically Mexico and Columbia– have been home to some of the most violent
and sophisticated drug trafficking organizations in the world.

What initially started as a small cocaine smuggling business has, in the last thirty years, blossomed into an enormous multi-national drug empire.  

Traffickers today have enough capital under their control to develop sophisticated smuggling routes, buy state of the art equipment, pay off law enforcement and politicians, and control large portions of the banking industry to secretly ship large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and meth to the United States.  Their smuggling and banking operations have expanded into areas of the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East.

This situation has been disastrous—multiple drug cartels busted and dismantled with newer ones rising to the top taking their place.  The result has been a bloody carnage and on-going civil war to reap huge profits from the drug industry.

The DEA believes there are more than 400 active drug smuggling organizations in Latin America today.  Cocaine and other drugs are shipped to every industrialized nation in the world and the illicit profits remain incredibly high.

In the above video, former undercover DEA agent, Celerino Castillo III, tells us about his experiences with training torture and death squads, uncovering cocaine labs, and how the cartels control both sides of the banks and border.

Tomorrrow, we present another side of the same coin:  Slinging Dope in the Big City.

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Humboldt County Crime Stumbles Onward


Copped Crusaders KO County Knuckleheads



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Meth Dealer Busted, Brought to Jail, then Released!

Today, July 3, Problem Oriented Policing (POP) detectives and patrol officers from the Eureka Police Department served a search warrant at the 1300 block of McDonald Street in Eureka.

The search warrant service was due in part to numerous neighborhood complaints regarding suspected drug activity coming from this location.

During the service of the search warrant, detectives located approximately 2 ½ ounces of methamphetamine locked inside a small safe.

Besides the meth, digital scales, police scanner and additional items of interest were seized and booked in as evidence.

As a result of the investigation, Mark Burdick, age 45, was taken into custody for Possession of Methamphetamine for Sales.  We’re guessing the police scanner sucked and didn’t help all that much.

Mr. Burdick was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  However, due to jail overcrowding, he was cited and released, free to wheel and deal in the dealer-friendly city of Eureka for another day.

No wonder they call it Tweakervile.


Sexual Predator Nabbed

Keep it to yourself and in your pocket, mister.

On July 2, Humboldt County Sheriffs Detectives assisted by Cal Fire Law Enforcement Officers served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant and a Humboldt County Superior Court arrest warrant for an online sexual predator in the 6100 block of Purdue Drive in Eureka.

The warrants were the result of a two month long Internet investigation in which Michael Alan Brunner, 53-years old, attempted to lure a 14 year old girl from out of state to have sexual relations with her.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office detectives were notified that Brunner had contacted a citizen whom he thought was a 14-year old girl.  The girl was actually an adult and Mr. Brunner attempted to have sexual relations with her, the HCSO reported.

During the contacts with the citizen, the detectives learned Brunner had hooked up a webcam and performed sexual acts on the camera, thinking the presumed 14-year old was watching.

When Sheriff’s detectives spoke with Brunner at his residence he admitted the offenses.  Detectives arrested Brunner on an arrest warrant they had obtained for the felony crimes of sending harmful manner with the intent to seduce a minor, and contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense, and also a misdemeanor charge of distribution or exhibition of sexual materials to a minor.

Detectives searched Brunner’s home and seized various electronic devices which will be forensically examined for evidence.

Mr. Brunner was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on the arrest warrant and with a bail set of $50,000.00.

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.


The Fun Police Squash Illegal Fireworks

Too much fun brings too much heat.

On July 1 at approximately 9:20 pm, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the area Holly Drive and Central Avenue in McKinleyville when the he saw several displays of illegal aerial fireworks coming from the area of the 1700 block of Holly Drive.

The deputy also saw an Arcata Fire Department Engine in the same area where the illegal fireworks were coming from. 

The deputy met with the Arcata Fire Captain who told him he saw the fireworks and responded to the area also.

The Fire Captain told the deputy he observed flaming debris strike a roof across from the home where the fireworks were being discharged and that some of the illegal aerial fireworks nearly struck the Arcata Fire Department Engine because they were being fired horizontally.  The Captain said he made contact with two adult males in the front yard of a residence and told them to stop discharging the fireworks.  Make it happen, Captain.

The deputy contacted a 34-year old Eureka man and a 36-year old McKinleyville man identified as shooting off the fireworks.

One of the men admitted to residing in the residence where the fireworks were being discharged from but denied trying to strike the fire engine intentionally.  The deputy found three expended illegal fireworks in the grass next to the suspects which were seized as evidence.  Making matters worse, Fire Department personnel found a neighbor’s vehicle damaged by the illegal fireworks.

No more firework fun for them.  The Sheriff’s Deputy submitted a criminal case to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office against the two unidentified men. 

They’re requesting charges of possession of fireworks not registered by the State Fire Marshall and possession of dangerous fireworks without a permit.

Both are misdemeanors subject to fines up to $1000 or county jail time of up to one year.

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


Lack of Probation Supervsion:  Mr. Rothwell and His Stolen Gun

Probationers without supervision lead to more criminal skullduggery.

On July 2 at 12:30 am, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy was patrolling the area of Myers Flat after receiving a report of shots fired in the area.

As the deputy drove by Myers Flat Road and Highway 254 he saw two male adults.  The deputy contacted the males and learned one of the males, Travis Lee Rothwell, 28,  from Garberville, was on probation with a search clause.

The deputy detained Rothwell and asked him if he had any weapons.  Mr. Rothwell told the deputy he had a gun that was concealed in the front of his pants but it had just slipped down his pants leg.

The deputy searched Rothwell and located an unloaded Smith and Wesson Thompson Center Arms .22 caliber rifle that had been sawed off to approximately one foot in length.  A records check on the weapon revealed it was stolen.

Rothwell was arrested for possession of stolen property, carrying a concealed firearm, possessing a short barreled firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation.

He was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where his bail was set at $50,000.  It is unknown whether his Probation Officer will keep him detained or if he gets immediately sprung and whether or not Mr. Rothwell will be supervised or left to his own firearm devices.

The other male was released at the scene.


Lack of Probation Supervision: Raymond Pohr and His Heroin

Probationers without supervision lead to more work for law enforcement.

On July 1 at 8:45 pm, Arcata Police Department officers conducted a probation search at the residence of an adult probationer on Eye Street.

After contacting the subject, Donald Raymond Pohr, age 71 of Arcata, a search was conducted at his residence per the terms of his probation.

During the search of Pohr’s residence, officers located a half ounce of suspected heroin.

Some of the heroin was already packaged for sale into half-gram increments, along with other items indicative of narcotics sales. 

The approximate street value of the smack was $1,100, APD said.

His Probation Officer was nowhere to be found as it went down.  APD cleaned up the matter and Mr. Pohr was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on the following charges:

•H&S 11351- Possession for Sales

•PC 1203.2 – Violation of Probation


Whopping Meth Bust:  Largest Ever Made in Eureka

It’s a doozy of drugdom.

On June 28 at 12:32 pm, an officer with the Eureka Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for an observed traffic violation.  The driver had multiple identifications but didn’t have a valid license to operate a motor vehicle.

A K-9 unit from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department was summoned to the scene along with a detective from the Eureka Police Departments POP unit. 

Lo and behold!  As luck or intiuition would have it, the K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle.  Manna from heaven.

As the officers on scene went to detain the driver he struggled with them and fled on foot.  The driver was located and arrested a short distance later.  He was identified as Alain Omar Carbrera-Madrigal, 28-years old.

During the search of the vehicle, officers located a hidden compartment and seized approximately 6 ounces of methamphetamine.

Information was obtained which lead the Investigating Officer and POP Detective to an apartment on the 800 block of 8th Street in Eureka, which was rented and occupied by Carbrera-Madrigal.  Officers made contact with a female suspect at the residence who was identified as Lizabeth Cabrera-Madrigal.  She identified herself as Alain’s wife.  EPD officers secured the apartment and obtained a search warrant to search the apartment.

During the search of the apartment the astute officers located and seized a whopping 6.6 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, the largest ever such bust in Eureka.  That wasn’t all.  They also found $170,000 in cash.

Mr. Carbrera-Madrigal was arrested and booked into Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of:

  • Resisting arrest with violence
  • Transportation of methamphetamine
  • Possession of methamphetamine for sale
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Providing a false name
  • Driving without a license 

Not a US citizen and likely the mule in the matter, he’s being held on an Immigration Hold until being sprung back over the border.  That’s how it typically works, if you didn’t know.

Ms.  Carbrera-Madrigal was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of possession of methamphetamine for sale and maintaining a residence for the distribution of a controlled substance.

Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.

* * * * * * * *

Cheeky monkees.  What will they do next?

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Drug Couple Arrested for Heroin Sales and Probation Failure


Tweedledee and Tweedledumb Taken in Tandem Bust


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Some people are slow learners.  Really slow.  Their belt doesn’t go through all the loops and their cheese fell off
the cracker. 

Take this for example:

On Monday, June 24, patrol officers and detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted a vehicle investigation in the 400 block of “N” street in Eureka.

There, detectives contacted Thomas Grzymski, 35, and Jessica Grzymski, 24.

While one detective was speaking to Mr. Grzymski at the driver’s door, Ms. Grzymski was seen concealing an item in her sweatshirt.  Because of Thomas’ probation terms and for officer safety reasons based on Jessica’s actions, both occupants of the vehicle were detained.

What was found in Ms. Tweedledumb’s shirt isn’t known.  It could have been a gerbil.  Or a ferret.  We haven’t the foggiest idea based on the EPD report we were given, so just use your imagination here.

The detective’s investigation on “N” street led them to the Grzymskis’ travel trailer parked in Manila.  OK.  Now we’re finally getting somewhere.

As a result of that investigation the nosy detectives struck oil.  Black gold.  Texas tea.  More likely, black tar.

They found and seized a whopping:

  • 8.9 ounces of heroin
  • 1.7 ounces of methamphetamine
  • And 10.6 grams of marijuana

So sad:  Thomas Grzymski was taken into custody for:

  • Possession of Methamphetamine for Sales
  • Possession of Heroin for Sales
  • Possession of Brass Knuckles
  • And Probation Violations

More sad:  Jessica Grzymski was taken into custody for:

  • Possession of Heroin for Sales
  • Possession of Methamphetamine for Sales
  • And Probation Violations

Both the Tweedledee and Tweedledumb Grzymskis were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked on the above junkie charges.

To note, this wasn’t Thomas Grzymski’s first trip around the block, though.

The dim bulb was recently arrested on April 22 at a local motel.  At the time he was found to have 1.6 ounces of heroin, 1.2 ounces of methamphetamine, and in possession of a stolen laptop computer.

Some folks never learn, even when they’re on Probation.

But you gotta love’ em:  A junkie will steal your stuff, and then help you look for it.  And remember, kids:  Never fall in love with a person who loves heroin because it’s always, always, the other mistress– and a far better lover than you. 

True Love, Breaking Bad.  Sugary sweetness stuck on you.

Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.


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The Westminster Dog Show. On Acid.


Why?  We Don’t Know Why

(A Strangely Different VIDEO)


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


By Jonathan Smith

The Westminster Dog Show is a hellscape packed to the gills with Midwesterners and dogs who receive more attention and have better lives than at least 40 percent of the world.

The amount of misplaced love and resources funneled into these pooches on a daily basis is enough to make a stone-cold sober person uneasy.   

But yesterday Brayden discovered that being thrust into the middle of the whole ordeal, while tripping acid, was a great way to kill an afternoon.

Brayden said he was “starting to feel a little weird.”  He looked up at the “little black mountain” that surrounds his building’s staircase and wanted to climb it.  We advised Brayden against climbing on a structure with nothing to prevent him from leaping 40 feet onto the pavement below.  He said, “Don’t worry, I do this all the time” and sprinted up the incline.  When he reached the top he started grinning like an idiot, repeating that line from that crappy movie about being a  Golden God.

Eventually I managed to coax him down and we headed to Madison Square Garden.

We walked through the press entrance into an empty hallway with an out-of-use turnstile pointed at the wall.  Brayden thought this was absolutely hilarious and kept strolling through it and smooshing his face up to the cinderblock wall, laughing hysterically and doing the whole routine all over again.

On our way back out to the ring, Brayden got stuck in front of the escalator.  Staring at the conveyer belt of faces provided by a moving staircase while tripping on acid could easily occupy the better part of one’s day.  

smileWhen we pulled him away he said, “I just wanted to touch everyone’s faces.  They all looked so weird.”

As everyone knows, when you’re tripping there are good-vibe-givers and bad-vibe-givers.  This person dressed up as a dog sent Brayden his first wave of anxiety.  “I really don’t like that dog, I can see through its nose that there’s a mean Asian lady in there,” he kept saying…

  …You can catch the rest of Jonathan Smith’s story– with pictures– here at Vice.com.

* * * * * * *

Heavens to Betsy, we don’t know why anyone would want to trip the light fantastic in New York City, at Madison Square Garden, during the Westminster Dog Show, blazed out of your gourd on LSD for the first time, gonzo style.

Pardon us, but we’ll stick to chai tea, the family dogs, and a nice sunny trip to the beach, Humboldt style.

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Crime and Criminals Amongst Us


The Beat Marches On


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


A smattering of police reports:

Lack of Post-Release ‘Supervision’ for Bodhi Tree Has Its Deadly Consequences

Eureka– The Eureka Police Department named Arcata double-murder suspect Bodhi Tree as a person of interest in a recent Eureka shooting yesterday.

Eureka Police confirmed to the Times-Standard they’re looking at Mr. Tree in connection to a shooting that happened May 15th at an apartment in an alley off of “J” Street, about one block from Eureka High School.  The victim, 24-year-old Rhett August, was hospitalized after being shot in the torso.

Police say they’re not making any arrest yet, but have leads and information indicating Tree as a suspect.

BodhiEPD says they do not have the weapon that was used at the Eureka shooting.  Arcata police are still searching for the gun Tree allegedly used in the Arcata homicides.

Mr. Tree has pleaded not guilty in court for Saturday’s double homicide of Arcata High School student Christina Schwarz, 18, and Alan “Sunshine” Marcet, 28.

Humboldt County Probation Department Chief William Damiano confirmed Mr. Tree was released from state prison only a month ago and placed under post-release community supervision.

“He would have been released either way, either on parole or through (post-release community supervision) realignment,” Damiano said.

We suspect Mr. Tree failed his probation supervision agreement?  That is, if there was any community supervision to begin with.

marco poloWe have been seeing these probation fails happening all too often lately.  The problem, as we’ve seen from countless police reports read, is that the probation or parole officer is nowhere, never, or ever to be found.  Like:  Nada, Presto, and Abracadabra– and he’s gone like a rabbit down the bunny hole.

Under the prison realignment post supervision program, the County Probation Department has received oodles of cash from the State to supervise returning felonious clients.  Have they been doing so?

Supervision can and does work.  That is, if you actually do it, keeping clients on the appropriate leash of rehabilitation, drug testing, and oversight.  Not so in Mr. Tree’s case, it seems.

We hope the community and courts actually look into what the level of supervision was that Mr. Bodhi had after he was released from prison last month.  Our probation fails and the subsequent dearth of supervision are having deadly consequences lately– as in the case of Jason Warren. There have been numerous others.  The Sentinel has been reporting on these routinely during the past two years.

help catIt’s been a disturbing pattern to see.  It’s all too quietly slipped under the rug, conveniently blamed on prison realignment being the current catch-all panacea du jour, and Poof!  The problem disappears, the buck is passed, and everyone’s feet can go back on the desk for another day.

Expect this modus operandi excuse to happen again.  Repeatedly, as we’ve seen.



argumentFortuna– On Wednesday, May 22nd around 9 in the morning, officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to the 900 block of 8th Street in Fortuna for the report of property owner/tenant dispute in an apartment.

Upon arrival officers contacted Michelle Fink, 28, and Joel Guevara both of McKinleyville within the apartment.  During the contact it was learned that Guevara was currently assigned to felony probation for narcotics related offenses in Humboldt County.

During a search of Guevara’s property officers located 121.8 grams of suspected heroin, 1.2 grams methamphetamine, 11 methadone pills, drug paraphernalia and documents consistent with the trafficking of narcotics.

Joel Guevara was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Jail, he was charged with the following crimes;

  • HS 11350 – Possession of a HeroinGuevara
  • HS 11379 – Possession of Methamphetamine
  • HS 11364 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  •  PC 1203.2 – Violation of Probation

Michelle Fink was arrested and transported to the Fortuna Police Department, where she was released on a citation for the HS 11364 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Another probationer running amok without supervision and drug testing?  When folks are as sharp as bowling balls they need their own lane and a wide berth of gutter to fall themselves into.

* * * * * *


gas station knockoffArcata– On Thursday, May 23 at about 9:28 am, APD officers were dispatched to a robbery that had just occurred at the Patriot Gas Stationat 1675 Giuntoli Road in Arcata.

 Officers were advised the suspect had fled on foot southbound on Valley West Blvd.  Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

 The suspect was described as a dark-complected male adult about 5’10″ tall and 170 pounds.  The suspect was last seen wearing grey zip up jacket, a green beanie, and sunglasses.

 The suspect mentioned having a weapon, but no weapon was displayed or seen.  The suspect left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

What?  No Hot Pockets?  Obviously a pepperoni shy of a pizza and a few Doritos short of a bag upstairs.

Anybody with information on the suspect’s identity is asked to call the Arcata Police Department at #822-2248

* * * * * * *


MIA Evert




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EPD Halts Traffic Scofflaw In His Tracks


Traffic Stop Leads to Drugs, Warrant, and Arrest


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On May 12, at about 7:30 pm, a Eureka Police Department officer on uniformed patrol saw a black 1999
Mercedes sedan
traveling westbound on the 200 block of
14th Street in Eureka. 
The officer conducted a traffic en-
forcement stop on the Mercedes
for an observed vehicle
code infraction.

The driver of the Mercedes, later identified as Steven Nicholas Upton,
yielded on the 1300 block of ‘A’ Street.

UptonUpon contacting Upton, the officer recognized him.  He recalled Mr. Upton was presently wanted for a recent felony domestic violence offense and subsequently took him into custody.

Mr. Upton is well-known by police.

During a search to his arrest, the officer located several grams of marijuana and drug use paraphernalia on Upton’s person.

Mr. Upton, unemployed, was also suspiciously found to be in possession of multiple $100 and $50 dollar bills.

Additionally, Upton’s 32-year-old male passenger was on felony probation.

Officers conducted a search of Mr. Upton’s vehicle.  Under the driver’s seat, officers found a loaded .40 caliber Walther P99 semi-automatic pistol.  A criminal history check confirmed Mr. Upton was a convicted felon– and thus prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
The young Mr. Upton, at the tender age of 23, was again arrested by EPD.  This time he was pinched for:

  • traffic stopCarrying a concealed loaded firearm in a vehicle
  • Being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm
  • And being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition

He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Pokey where he was booked on the aforementioned felony offenses, in addition to the separate domestic violence charge.

We don’t know what happened to the drug charges, traffic violations, the passenger or the money.  Loitering about somewhere, we think.

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Arcata Man Terrorizes, Drugs, Assaults and Kidnaps Elderly Female Victim


Self-Proclaimed Mongol Gang Member, Mr. Lundin Takes a Trip to the Pokey


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On April 22 at approximately 11:55 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of possible kidnapping
victim being treated at a local hospital emergency room.

A deputy respond responded to the hospital and met with the 63 year old female victim.  She told the deputy she was home alone at approximately 8:00 p.m. of the same day at her residence in the 2500 block of Central Avenue in McKinleyville when she heard a knock at the door.

She opened the door and Eric Eugene Lundin, 63 years old from Arcata, grabbed her by the neck and pushed his way into the residence.  He began shouting at her accusing her son of stealing marijuana from him as he shoved her backwards.  He made her sit on the couch in the living room of her residence as he continued shouting at her.  He then removed two handguns from his pockets.  One handgun was a silver-colored semi-automatic handgun and the other was a black semi-automatic handgun.

Lundin set the guns on the coffee table in front of her and then removed a pill bottle from his pocket and ordered her to take three pills which he gave her.  He told her the pills were methadone and it was the easiest way to make her overdose.

Lundin repeatedly told her she was going to die, while also stating several times he was a member of the Mongols motorcycle gang and they do not leave witnesses.  After the victim took some pills he placed the black semi-auto handgun to her temple and told her to call her adult son and have him come home.  He then stuck her television with the handgun breaking the screen and grabbed her cell phone and threw it across the room, destroying it.

Lundin ordered her into his pick up truck parked in front of her residence.  He drove the victim around from McKinleyville to Arcata while telling the victim all the places he could hide her body.  Lundin eventually dropped the victim back off in front of her home and told her he only wanted to scare her.

A Be-On-the Lookout (BOLO) was placed for Lundin to area law enforcement agencies.  Arcata Police located Lundin at his residence in Arcata in the 1100 block of G Street in Arcata.

Mr. Lundin was arrested at the residence for:

  • Kidnapping
  • Assault
  • Brandishing of a firearm
  • Burglary
  • Being a convicted felon in possession of firearms
  • Administering drugs to commit a felony
  • Vandalism
  • Transportation and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Deputies also recovered two loaded semi-automatic handguns.

Lundin was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked and his bail set at $100,000

The victim was admitted to the hospital.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Tip Line 707-268-2539, the HCSO said.

* * * * * * * *

Wait ’til the Mongols hear about this one.  We suspect they won’t take kindly to a dimwitted knucklehead pulling these sorts of stunts while using their name in vain.  Keeping up appearances, they get a little touchy over this kind of thing.

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Two-Time Losers At It Again


How Many Chances Do Probationers Get When They’re Not Being Supervised?


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On April 18 Eureka Police Department officers and detectives responded to a motel at the 4000 block of
Broadway to investigate a stolen car in the parking lot.

During their investigation, Robert Tyson (age 32), Casey Hunter (age 31) and Daniel Silva (age 28) were contacted inside one of the rooms and arrested for unrelated charges.  The motel room, registered to Tyson and Hunter, was searched as a result of Tyson’s probation terms.

The search yielded a stolen laptop computer, 191.5 grams of Marijuana, 25.7 grams of Hashish, 32.4 grams of Heroin, 63 grams of Methamphetamine, and various prescription pills.  Also collected were numerous laptop computers and other electronic items, suspected of being stolen property.

Mr. Tyson was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale, Possession of Concentrated Cannabis for Sales, Possession of Heroin and Prescription Medication for Sales, Possession of Stolen Property, and an outstanding warrant.

Ms. Hunter was arrested for Possession of Stolen Property and an outstanding warrant.

Mr. Silva was arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine and an outstanding warrant.

All three subjects were transported and booked into the Humboldt County Jail.

The stolen vehicle, which originated the investigation was recovered and towed to a local tow yard.


stupid people aheadBut this isn’t Mr. Tyson and Ms. Hunter’s first time around the criminal drug block.  They were popped only six months ago– under similar circumstances– at the Royal Inn in Eureka.  Here’s what happened back then:

On 11-26-2012 at about 1000 hours the Humboldt County Drug Task Force conducted a probation search at a motel room located at the Royal Inn on 5th Street, Eureka.  Agents contacted three subjects in the motel room, who they identified as:

  • Casey Marie Hunter, age 31
  • Robert Eric Tyson, age 31
  • And Steven Michael Ridley, age 27.

When Agents searched the motel room they located about 50 Vicodin pills that Agents learned were being sold at $2.00 dollars a pill, 3 pounds of marijuana, ½ of an ounce of methamphetamine, a methamphetamine smoking pipe and a loaded .22 caliber revolver.

Agents arrested Robert Tyson for being armed in commission of a felony, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of Vicodin for sales, possession of marijuana for sales and for violation of probation.  Mr. Tyson was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $ 50,000 dollars.

Agents arrested Steven Ridley for an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest for a narcotic violation, for possession of methamphetamine, for violation of probation and for possession of a methamphetamine smoking pipe.  Mr. Ridley was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and is currently being held without bail, because of his outstanding arrest warrant.

Agents arrested Casey Hunter for possession of a methamphetamine smoking pipe.  Ms. Hunter was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked and released on her promise to appear in court.

This case is still under investigation by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.

* * * * * * *

loservilleOnce again we ask the question:  how many chances does one get flaunting their probation?  Where were the Probation Officers providing court-ordered supervision for their drug-addled felons?

It’s both a shame and a crime when the Eureka Police Department and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office have to come along and clean up these messes when the Probation Department is either unwilling or unable to do so.  The Sentinel has reported this happening repeatedly and we’ve given example after example showing this to be the case, yet the non-supervision problem continues unabated.

Perhaps someone needs to wake up from their desk and start doing the job they’re supposed to do.  It’s no wonder EPD leaves out the Probation Department while giving the following advice for citizens:

Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call EPD’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

‘Droopy’ Goes Down. Again


–And Jonas Semore, Too.  Again.


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


We hope someone gets the memo.

On April 3rd, just around lunch time, a Eureka Police
Department officer on uniformed patrol observed a suspicious vehicle up to no good stopped in an alley between O and P streets, and north of the 1400 block of 6th Street, in Eureka.

The officer saw a female suddenly exit the 4-door sedan and quickly walk into the fenced backyard of a nearby known drug house.  It appeared the female was attempting to avoid contact with the officer, EPD said in their release.

The officer approached the vehicle and contacted the driver whom he immediately recognized as 40-year-old Jonas Randall Semore of Eureka.  The officer knew Semore to be on felony searchable probation for possession of a controlled substance for sale and also a documented local gang member.


Mr. Campbell

The officer then recognized Semore’s rear passenger as Scott Ryan Campbell, age 36, of Eureka. Campbell was also on searchable probation and a documented local gang member going by the moniker of ‘Droopy’.

Officers detained both subjects.  A records check on Campbell revealed a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest for possession of drug use paraphernalia.  During a subsequent search of Campbell pursuant to his probation terms, officers located a large baggy of crystal methamphetamine (approximately 17 ½ grams or over ½ ounce).  Droopy went down, getting busted again.

Semore’s driver’s license was confirmed suspended for DUI. Officers also found Semore to be in possession of $4,590 cash although he is unemployed.  The cash was seized as suspected drug sales proceeds due to the circumstances and additional evidence uncovered at the scene.


Mr. Semore

Mr. Campbell was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on his warrant and for fresh charges of possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale and probation violation.

Mr. Semore was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was busted for driving with a suspended license and probation violation.  Again.

Mr. Semore got popped only a month ago with 18 pounds of weed.  Even though he was on felony probation at the time and in violation of his terms, Semore was let out of jail in short order.

Officers found items in the suspects’ car identifying the female passenger who walked away as Dawn Shonea McElroy, age 23, of Eureka.  Records checked revealed McElroy has a felony warrant for her arrest, but alas, like a little bird that’s flown, she got away.

She remains outstanding as of the time of this report, EPD noted.  Well, there’s always tomorrow.

We beg the question in regards to Mr. Campbell and Mr. Semore:  Both are on probation, both are well-known to law enforcement, and both are gangbanging felons with lengthy histories.

Both were recently busted and then released by a too-permissive District Attorney and judge.  Both supposedly were under supervision by their local probation officers with drug and search clauses.

AWOL2 JPEGOur question?  If they’re going to be released into the wild blue yonder, why aren’t they being supervised appropriately under their court-ordered conditions at the very least?

In what’s becoming the new normal lately, the Sentinel has uncovered more than two dozen examples of this very same AWOL behavior happening repeatedly– again and again– in the past year.

We hope someone at the office wakes up and gets the memo to do their job.

The good news?  They didn’t kill anyone like Jason Warren allegedly did when he, too,  was prematurely sprung without supervision.

* * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

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Humboldt Crime and Skullduggery


The Beat Goes On


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel




scam block

Eureka– On 3/20/13, the Eureka Police Department received a report of a computer-related scam that’s now affecting some local residents. Victims are reporting a pop-up message that appear on their personal computer and is purportedly from the “Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division.”

The message, which appears to be a form of malware/virus known as “ransomware,” states: “The work of your computer has been suspended on the grounds of the violation of the law of the United States of America.”

It further declares, “This computer has been blocked.”

The message remains locked in the front of one’s screen and the user is unable to close it or access other programs.  It essentially freezes the computer.  The message instructs the user that to “unlock” the computer they are “obliged to pay a fine of $300.00.”  It further states they must pay this fine through “MoneyPak” within 48 hours by using Green Dot MoneyPak that’s available through Walmart, Kmart, Rite Aid and other major retailers.

If the fine has not been paid, it threatens the user will become the subject of criminal prosecution without the right to pay the fine.  The warning asserts once you pay the “fine” your computer will be unblocked.  The “fine” is paid by entering your $300.00 MoneyPak code into a box on the pop-up warning screen and clicking ok.

The warning screen is very convincing with logos from Homeland Security as well as major retailers such as Walmart.  Walmart and the other retailers are not associated with this scam.  Alternate versions of this same scam may use the FBI’s logo.

scamAnyone receiving this message should not enter a MoneyPak code or any other payment method into the screen.  Users should file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at:


Additional information concerning this scam may be found at the following Internet links:





Mr. Ross

Mr. Ross

Fortuna– On March 20, 2013 at about 07:30 am, officers of the Fortuna Police Department served a search warrant on a residence located in the 2300 block of Newburg Road.

During the execution of the warrant officers located over:

  • 12 grams of suspected methamphetamine packaged for sale
  • Additional packaging materials
  • A digital scale and $3,000 in US currency

Phillip Allen Ross (50) of Fortuna was arrested on the following charges:

· HS 11379: Possession of controlled substance for sale
· HS 11377: Possession of controlled substance.
· HS 11364: Possession of drug paraphernalia
· HS 11366.5 Maintaining a drug house

Mr. Hutchins

Mr. Hutchins

James Eugene Hutchins (52) of Fortuna was arrested on the following charges:

· HS 11364: Possession of drug paraphernalia
· PC 1203.2 Probation violation

Both Ross and Hutchins were transported to the Humboldt County Jail where they were booked without further incident.




BrinsonFortuna– On March 20, 2013 at about 2:00 am, a Vancil Street resident reported that he believed someone had just taken several items from his vehicle. While officers were in the area, the initial victim re-contacted the department to report that he had seen a white two-door older model car in the area which he did not recognize.

Officers continued to search for the vehicle and at about 2:30 am, a sergeant observed a vehicle matching the description leaving the area.  Based on the information received as well as several observed vehicle code violations, an enforcement stop was conducted in the area of Main Street and Harlan Way.

The occupants of the vehicle were identified as 25-year-old Edward Brinson Jr. of Eureka, and a 15-year-old male of Eureka.

burglarUpon further investigation, officers observed burglary tools and suspected stolen property in the back seat of the vehicle and determined that Brinson was on Felony Probation for Possession of Stolen Property and had an extensive history of theft related convictions.

Brinson and the minor were both taken into custody.  During a search of Brinson’s person, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

Mr. Brinson was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked on the following charges:

- Petty Theft with a Prior
- Grand Theft
- Possession of Burglary Tools
- Possession of Stolen Property
- Possession of Methamphetamine
- Violation of Probation
- Vandalism

big glassesThe minor was transported to Humboldt County Juvenile Hall and booked on the following charges:

- Grand Theft
- Possession of Burglary Tools
- Possession of Stolen Property
- Possession of Concentrated Cannabis

Currently, the department has identified eight victims all of which reside in the northern portion of Fortuna.

The Fortuna Police Department is asking that any additional victims or witnesses contact the department at 707-725-7550.



sovereignEureka– On 3-18-13, at about 3:30 pm, an officer with the Eureka Police Department received a tip about a male subject passed out inside a white van parked on the 1500 block of 2nd Street, Eureka.   The officer responded to the location and located the white Chrysler van in the parking lot of the apartment building there.

The officer approached the van and observed a male subject, later identified as Michael Edward Sovereign, slumped over in the driver’s seat.  Nodding off.  Again.

The officer woke Sovereign who stated he was “just taking a nap.”  A records check revealed Sovereign was on formal felony probation for possession of a controlled substance.  His probation terms included submitting to search and seizure. 

During a subsequent search of Sovereign’s person pursuant to his probation conditions, the officer located a baggie containing approximately 12.3 grams (nearly ½ ounce) of crystal methamphetamine. 

napThe officer then conducted an additional probation search at Sovereign’s nearby apartment.  Inside Sovereign’s room, the officer located a realistic air soft pistol with its safety markings removed, drug use paraphernalia (glass meth pipe), and a hockey puck-sized piece of suspected concentrated cannabis/hash (approximately 41.2 grams or 1 ½ ounces). 

Sovereign, age 67 of Eureka, was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of a controlled substance and probation violation.




NSMITFortuna– Six people were arrested, assault rifles were seized, and thousands of marijuana plants were uprooted Wednesday after a three-year investigation by a state drug task force uncovered a pot-trafficking ring, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

Michelle Gregory, a California Department of Justice spokeswoman, said North State Marijuana Investigation Team (MSMIT) agents served 12 search warrants in the Rio Dell, Fortuna and Bridgeville areas of Humboldt County, and also in the cities of San Francisco and Sonoma.

Investigators from state and local law enforcement agencies found 2,896 plants, 400 hundreds pounds of processed pot, 44 weapons, 15 high-capacity magazines, 2 ounces of cocaine, 2 ounces psychedelic mushrooms and $74,000 in cash.

The pot was being sold illegally on the street throughout the United States.  “We have shut down an illegal, multi-state operation,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement.

NSMIT2Eric Sordal, 31, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, marijuana cultivation and possession of assault weapons.

Also arrested were:

  • Jamie Gilbert, 35
  • Scott Moore, 31
  • Emory Ayers, 64
  • Shawn Mitten, 35
  • Alvin Machado, 27

They were being held on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale and other charges.

Officials said two additional warrants were served at a Coldwell Banker office and a Fortuna storage unit.

donutIn 2010, NSMIT agents received a tip and launched an investigation.  The DOJ task force was assisted by a gaggle of agencies– …almost everyone EXCEPT the Donut Police.

The participating law organizations were:  the Alcohol Beverage Control, California Highway Patrol, Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, DEA, Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, Siskiyou County-wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force, and Trinity County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s a whole lotta folks, folks.



fair1Ferndale– You might recall our previous story on the alleged Brown Act violations by the Humboldt County Fair Board.

Now another member of the Humboldt County Fair Board has resigned from his position, as controversy continues with fair management, and a looming grand jury investigation into the board’s actions.  Two board members have been subpoenaed by the Grand Jury, and possibly more.  And they’re not talking about it, either.
Humboldt County Fair Director Ken Christen announced his resignation “effective immediately” in a formal letter to the board, stating, “I can no longer support the current board and the path they have chosen to take regarding the fair manager and the direction in which the fair is headed.”
horsieChristen added a thank you to Stuart Titus for his 22 years of work with the fair.  It was the non-renewal of Titus’ contract that sparked controversy and investigation into the board.  Don Becker and John Burger resigned from the fair board in early February.
The remaining members– those still standing and present, that is– are set to meet in a regularly scheduled session on Monday.

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Arrested Development


Flee and Spree Leads to SoHum Chase and Arrest


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the HCSO:

On Monday, March 18 at 1:00 in the morning,  a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office deputy patrolling the area of Blue Slide Road and Price Creek Road near Rio Dell area saw a grey 1989 Toyota pickup truck parked in a turnout, in the same vicinity where the Suddenlink fiber-optic vandalisms had been occurring.

As the deputy drove by he saw a subject standing outside the truck’s driver side door wearing a black backpack.  When the deputy made a u-turn to investigate what the person was doing, the truck sped away south on Blue Slide Road.

The deputy sheriff attempted to pull the car over but the truck failed to yield.  Instead, the pickup sped up to speeds in excess of 60 mph.

The deputy initiated a pursuit as the truck accelerated to 70 mph as it approached Rio Dell City limits.  The truck failed to stop for a stop sign and then entered US-101 southbound at speeds of 50 to 80 mph.  It then exited US-101 at the Pepperwood exit, continuing southbound on State Route 254– Avenue of the Giants.  While traveling southbound on State Route 254 the truck weaved into both lanes of traffic.  Due to public safety concerns the deputy terminated the pursuit.

PetersonA few minutes later the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers who were responding to assist the deputy spotted the pickup truck on Dyerville Loop Road in the Garberville area.  The truck again started to flee from the CHP car;  however it lost control and crashed in the 2700 block of Dyerville Loop Road.

The pickup truck rolled over during the crash and traveled approximately 400 feet down a hillside.  The driver, who was the sole occupant in the pickup truck, was taken into custody by the CHP.   He received minor injuries in the collision.  The CHP officers located a loaded Colt handgun in the vehicle, along with a variety of illegal drugs.

The deputy joined the CHP officers on the scene and the driver, Michael Joseph Petersen, 29-years-old from Garberville, was arrested for:

  • Felony evasion
  • Possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle
  • Possession of illicit drugs
  • Possession of hashish
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Resisting arrest
  • Driving unlicensed
  • Driving under the influence

bensonMr. Petersen was taken to a local hospital for his injuries and was treated and released.  He was then transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where his bail was set at $50,000.

There is no indication Petersen was involved in the Suddenlink vandalisms, the HCSO said.

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


* * * * * * * *

If he were any slower, he’d be going backward.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Local, SoHumComments (0)

Monday’s Mayhem Stew


Humboldt’s Stinky Slurry of Crime Reports


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Cracked Nuts:  Mr. Nutt’s Wild Ride

EUREKA– This morning, March 18 at about 9:30 a.m., numerous citizens called EPD to report a possible DUI driver
northbound on Broadway approaching Wabash Street.

NuttIt was reported that the suspect vehicle, a silver 2008 Toyota 4-Runner, possibly hit a sign pole, was driving on the wrong side of the road on Broadway, and driving on the sidewalk.

EPD officers located the vehicle, facing northbound in the southbound lanes of Broadway at 15th street.
Several citizens were out in the roadway attempting to get the driver, 24-year-old Tanner Nutt of Arcata, to stop.

An officer stopped his patrol car several yards in front of Mr. Nutt’s vehicle which was now traveling at a very slow speed.  The officer activated his emergency lights, but Mr. Nutt didn’t stop, and he allowed his vehicle to collide with the front of the patrol car.  The officer attempted to get Mr. Nutt out of his vehicle, but he refused commands to open the locked doors.

Fearing that the driver could possibly back up and continue driving– injuring himself or others– and not knowing if the driver was under the influence or experiencing a medical issue, officers broke out the driver’s side window and opened the door.

While trying to get Nutt out of the vehicle he started resisting and became combative.  Officers removed Nutt from his vehicle and placed him on the ground into a safe handcuffing position where he was detained.

Nutt and one officer sustained minor cuts from broken glass.  An ambulance was summoned to the scene to check on Nutt’s health.  He was taken to the hospital where he was treated for minor facial cuts from the broken glass.

crazy driverOfficers concluded that Mr. Nutt was not experiencing a medical issue– but was driving under the influence of suspected heroin and medications.

Witnesses on scene advised that Nutt had been driving northbound on Broadway at a high rate of speed in the center turn lane and passing other traffic.  Nutt then swerved into the southbound lanes and onto the north sidewalk where he collided with a metal street sign pole.

According to witnesses, Nutt failed to stop at a red light at Wabash while driving on the wrong side of the road.  Once across the intersection, Nutt sideswiped a vehicle that was stopped for the red light.  The other driver and his 5 month old daughter were un-injured.

crazy driver2The Nutt continued driving and drove up onto the north sidewalk and almost ran over two pedestrians who had to jump out of the way.  One of those pedestrians said that Nutt’s vehicle brushed up against him as he jumped out of the way but he was not injured.

Mr. Nutt then slowly began to drive northbound in the southbound lanes of Broadway until he collided with the police car.

Numb Nutt was soon cleared from the hospital and booked into the Humboldt County Jail for DUI, and Hit and Run.

Officers will also seek additional charges of:

  • Possession of medications without a prescription
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Driving on the sidewalk
  • Failure to stop for a red light

EPD would like to thanks the numerous callers and witnesses who either remained on scene or came back to the scene to provide a statement.  Anyone who may have witnessed this incident, but was not contacted at the scene is asked to contact Senior Traffic Officer Gary Whitmer at (707) 441-4232.


Grab ‘N Go

EUREKA– On March 16 at approximately 2:40 p.m., officers from the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to a report of a theft suspect who had stolen merchandise from a business in the 3400 block of Broadway– and was now at the Bayshore Mall stealing from a department store.

ValentiBefore officers could arrive, the suspect walked to a second business in the mall and again began concealing items on his person with the intention of stealing them.
Officers confronted the suspect inside the department store.  He immediately refused to stop, and began running from the contact officer.

The suspect ran through the store aisles and around shoppers.  As a second officer approached the suspect, he shoved the officer to the ground, violently causing the officer to strike the back of their head on the hard floor.

The suspect lost his balance as a result of the collision, and was subdued and taken into custody. Items from all three thefts were located and recovered from his clothing.
shoplifterAs officers were attempting to walk the suspect to a patrol vehicle, he attempted to pull away from their grasp and escape.  The suspect again had to be taken to the ground.

The suspect was eventually secured in a patrol vehicle.

Once the suspect was secured the officer who had struck their head became dizzy and nauseas and was transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment by ambulance.  A second officer who was also injured during this arrest was treated at St. Joseph Hospital.  Both officers were later released.
shoplift messageThe suspect was identified as Joseph Robert Valenti, 33-years-old, from Eureka.  Mr. Valenti was transported to St. Joseph Hospital for medical clearance for injuries he sustained during his arrest.

Once cleared for booking, Valenti was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on two counts of battery against a Peace Officer causing injury, felony resisting arrest, three (3) counts of burglary and probation violation.

Mr. Valenti is being held on $300,000 bail.


Heroin, Hash, Stolen Camera, and Junkies POP-ped

EUREKA– On March 13, detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) served a search warrant in the 300 block of West Buhne St.  The warrant service was in response to complaints of suspected drug activity coming from an apartment at this location.

junkies2During a search of the apartment, detectives seized approximately 2.5 grams of suspected heroin, 8.8 grams of hashish, 4 ½ lbs of marijuana “shake”, drug paraphernalia (including uncapped syringes), and a firearm.

Detectives also seized several suspected stolen cameras, including a confirmed stolen KIEM-News Channel 3 video camera.

As a result of the investigation, Jon Scott David, age 38, and Kerry Ann Draeger, 36, were taken into custody and booked into the Humboldt County
Correctional Facility.

meth roadBoth David and Draeger were charged with

  • Possession of Heroin
  • Possession of Heroin for Sales
  • Maintaining a Residence for Narcotic Activity
  • Child Endangerment
  • Possession of Stolen Property

David was booked for the additional charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

*Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.


Stolen Trailer and Firewood

EUREKA– You might remember our post on this.  EPD came out with a release today– albeit 6 days later– and the photo shown here.

trailerOn March 13 at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, this Jeep pulled over in the 900 block of W. Harris and hooked up their vehicle to the trailer with full of firewood for sale.

The grey Jeep and the turquoise-colored sedan pictured are suspect vehicles in the vehicle theft case.  After the theft, the suspect vehicles– traveling together– turned southbound onto Nevada Street from Harris Street. 

Anyone with information regarding the drivers or location of either vehicle is encouraged to contact Officer Ed Wilson of the Eureka Police Department at 707-441-4060.

Please refer to case # 3C13-2015.


Sunny Brae Burglar Caught

ARCATA– On March 5, 2013, Investigators from the Arcata Police Department received information regarding the identity of an individual believed to be responsible for numerous burglaries in the Sunny Brae area over the past months.

dickinsonThrough the course of the investigation, 36-year-old Timothy Dickinson of Arcata was identified by witnesses as burglarizing a home in Sunny Brae. Dickinson’s vehicle, a 2000 Oldsmobile has been identified by additional witnesses leaving the scene of several other burglaries. 

On March 17, 2013, acting on a tip from a citizen, officers from the Fortuna Police Department located Dickinson in the 700 block of Fortuna Blvd.

Dickinson was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on burglary charges.


Nailed While Nodding Off

PerezARCATA– Arcata Police say a man was found unresponsive Saturday in his car, parked in the 4200 block of West End Road in Arcata.

Taking a closer look, officers determined the individual was very much alive.  He was, however, nodding off due to being under the influence of narcotics.

They also found a syringe filled with what is believed to be heroin in his vehicle, and “unlawful” prescription drugs.

The individual, identified as Jesse Perez, was arrested for two separate narcotic drug charges and lodged in the County Pokey.


Fled and Arrested and Lodged

BurkeARCATA– During Friday’s alcohol Shoulder Tap operation, Arcata police arrested a wanted parolee– not only for furnishing alcohol to a minor, but also for being in possession of stolen property and absconding from the APD officer.

After being confronted by police that he bought alcohol for a minor in APD’s Shoulder Tap sting operation, the suspect fled on fast feet.

After a short chase he was caught, arrested, and taken into custody.  The individual, identified as James Burke, 40-years-old of Galt, was lodged in the County jail. 

An officer received minor injuries from the pursuit.

Mr. Burke has been charged with resisting and obstructing an officer, possession of stolen property and furnishing alcohol to a minor.


Ukiah In-Home Care Provider Busted for Severe Neglect

UKIAH– On March 11, the Ukiah Police Department began an investigation into the current severe medical condition of a 32-year-old Ukiah woman who has a number of long term illnesses requiring her to have constant care, making her a legally dependent adult.

care providerOn March 7, the woman was transported via ambulance from her South State Street Apartment to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center due to an undisclosed medical condition.  It was determined the woman had severe life-threatening medical conditions that were related to substandard care for her underlying and ongoing medical issues, from which she is unable to provide for her own care and needs ongoing care provider assistance.

The Ukiah Police Detectives immediately took over the investigation and spent many nonstop hours following up on leads and information. They obtained a search warrant for the apartment that the woman lived in with her boyfriend/in-home care provider, Thomas Winkle.  Based on the severity of the woman’s condition, an arrest warrant was obtained for Winkle’s arrest for neglect and abuse of a dependent adult.

doctor deathDetectives obtained and served a search warrant at the residence and discovered that the condition of the residence and the bed that the woman had been occupying for many months was extremely unsanitary.  These conditions directly resulted in the woman’s current life threatening medical conditions.

Thomas Winkle, the woman’s live in boyfriend and in-home paid care provider of more than two years, was arrested for severe neglect and abuse of a Dependent Adult.  He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

The investigation continues and Mr. Winkle may be charged with further crimes depending on the outcome of that investigation.



Cali Drug Kingpin Goes Down

SAN DIEGO– A 40-year-old San Diegan was sentenced Friday to 17 1/2 years in prison for dealing 30 to 40 pounds of methamphetamine a month.

bad breakingSilvano Hernandez Jr., pleaded guilty to RICO charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.  He was one of 36 people arrested last year in a roundup of the Mexican Mafia, a prison-based gang.

“Hernandez admitted to participating in the organized criminal activity of the Mexican Mafia,” prosecutors said in the statement.  “Specifically, he admitted to distributing, on average, 30-40 pounds of methamphetamine per month in San Diego.”

Officials seized nearly $150,000 in cash from his home when they arrested him, and a 2011 Lincoln sedan worth $50,000, the U.S. attorney said.

Hernandez was one of 36 individuals arrested last year as part of Operation Carnalismo, an investigation that targeted the Mexican Mafia’s criminal activity.

lotta methThe Mexican Mafia is described as a notorious, violent prison gang that controls and benefits from a large portion of the criminal activity committed by Southern California Hispanic street-gang members.  The largest source of revenue for the Mexican Mafia is from drug trafficking, however, in order to maintain their territory gang members have committed murders, kidnappings, and extortion.

Thirty of the 36 people arrested last year have been convicted and 14 have been sentenced so far, prosecutors said.  Hernandez’s 210-month sentence is the stiffest stint handed out so far.

* * * * * * * *

wayne and garthIt’s been wild busy crazy for law enforcement lately.

Here’s our two thumbs up.

Even as the Eureka Police Department issues press releases 5-6 days late, or sometimes not at all.  They also decided to do away with their ‘Most Wanted’ List for the public’s awareness.  It was too time consuming updating 10 photos every two weeks; besides, the public doesn’t need to know anyway.

But, in all fairness, it’s also taken nearly 2 years to find a replacement for the Police Chief.  Oops!  We bad.  They haven’t found a replacement yet.  Not even close to finding one.  Nada, oopsie, and negligent.  My, how time flies.  Well, this is why EPD and the City  get paid the big bucks.

C’mon guys.  You do a good job.  Get the ball rolling and be nice to the public.

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Naked Woman Needles EPD Officer


Nude, Drunk, and Combative, Old Habits Die Hard


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On March 7th at about 7:13 pm, officers with the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the intersection
of 3rd and M Street for an indecent exposure call.  Officers
Carlsonwere advised that a female was at this location wearing
only a bra.

While officers were responding, they were updated that the
female was now nude.
Upon arrival, an officer located the nude female in the roadway.  The female, later identified as Marissa Nichole Carlson, 23-years-old of Eureka, was standing in a rigid manner and displayed objective signs consistent with drug influence.

carlsonThe officer attempted to speak with Carlson, in an attempt to evaluate her medical and mental condition.  Carlson refused to speak and clenched her fists.

Due to Carlson’s aggressive and irrational behavior, combined with the safety hazard of her standing in the roadway, the officer attempted to detain Carlson.

Carlson struggled with the officer, but was soon detained,
with the assistance of other responding officers.
eureka dormant geneWhile Carlson was being handcuffed, officers located a hypodermic syringe in her hand. It was later determined that Carlson had the syringe in her fist at the time she was contacted and she had assaulted the officer with it during the struggle.  The officer sustained a needle scratch across his upper shoulder.
Carlson was not injured during the struggle; however City Ambulance was summoned to the scene to check for medical issues regarding her drug influence.

She was transported to the St. Joseph Emergency Room for medical clearance for booking into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF).  Carlson was later booked into the HCCF on charges of:

  • Assault on a police officer
  • Resisting
  • Under the influence in public
  • And having an active felony warrant for her arrest

Carlson is being held on $100,000 bail.
This wasn’t her first time around the block, either.  Ms. Carlson had a remarkably similar run-in previously with the Eureka Police Department about 6 months ago on which the Sentinel reported.  The EPD release at the time stated:

totally wastedOn 9-13-2012 at about 10:56 am, an officer with the Eureka Police Department was traveling eastbound on 5th Street at the 1100 block, when he observed a naked female subject standing on the north curb acting irrationally.

The officer attempted to contact the female to evaluate her medical and mental condition.  The female exhibited objective signs consistent with drug influence.  Other officers responded to assist.

During this contact with the female, she became combative and attempted to assault officers with items covered in bodily fluids.  Officers were able to restrain the female on the ground and City Ambulance was requested to the scene to further assist in evaluating the female’s condition.

While awaiting City Ambulances arrival, the female attempted to thrust her head into the pavement.  Further restraint became required.

Upon the ambulance personnel’s arrival, the female began spitting at the officers and ambulance staff.  One officer and one ambulance staff member were hit by the spit.

rulesOnce the female was restrained on a gurney, the female was transported to St. Joseph ER for evaluation and also treatment for minor abrasions from her thrashing about on the pavement.

This is an open case and charges of assault on emergency personnel and resisting arrest will be sought.

Judge JudyDouble-Sigh and mercy me.  This young girl needs some intervention in a serious way.

Long familiar to law enforcement over the years, we hope she gets the message, the help, and the rehab counselor she so sorely needs.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, LocalComments (2)

Large Meth Bust in Seaside Trinidad


Three Arrested; Three Ounces of Methamphetamine and $7K Seized


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On Friday, Februrary 22 at 9:45 a.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy working patrol in Trinidad City limits stopped
a Grey 2005 Jeep Cherokee for a traffic violation– failure to
wear seatbelts– in the 200 block of Main Street in Trinidad.

meth pipeAfter the vehicle stopped, the HCSO deputy ran a wants and warrants check on the driver, identified as  Rachael Squire, aka Hardy, 21-years-old, from Eureka.

Ms. Squire-Hardy was driving on a suspended driver’s license and was on probation for drug possession with a search clause.  She also had a warrant out for her arrest for possession of stolen property.

The deputy also checked wants and warrants on the three passengers in the vehicle.

One of the passengers, Esteban Domingo Arredondo,
32-years-old from McKinleyville, had warrants for his arrest for
possession of illicit drugs and possession of stolen property.  He
was also on felony probation for burglary and drug possession with
a search clause.

meth pipe2Another female in the vehicle, Michelle Lynn McDaniel, 21-years-old from Eureka, had a warrant for her arrest for petty theft and three counts of possession of stolen property.

After arresting three of the four occupants of the vehicle, deputies conducted a probation search of the vehicle.  They located approximately 3 ounces of suspected methamphetamine, along with approximately $7,000.00 in cash.

Arrendondo, Squire and McDaniel were all arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, the HCSO said.

Esteban Domingo Arredondo was arrested for:

  • Warrants
  • Transportation of methamphetamine
  • Possession of methamphetamine for sale
  • Violation of probation
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Arredondo’s bail was set at $115,000.00.

dance skeletonRachel Squire aka Hardy was arrested for:

  • Transportation of methamphetamine
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Violation of probation

Her bail was set at $55,000.00.

Michelle Lynn McDaniel was arrested for transportation and possession for sale of methamphetamine.  She was booked and released on her own recognizance.

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

* * * * * * * * *

Still more probationers running amok without supervision?  Good grief.

The Humboldt Sentinel has reported on over a hundred similar situations in the past year after we started paying attention, and noticing that there was something seriously wrong in our law enforcement system.

We noticed there’s a wide gaping black hole of criminal accountability where there shouldn’t be one.

failThe County Probation Department should start monitoring their clients, testing them, and actively supervising them per their court-ordered dispostions.  That’s their job and that’s what they get paid the Big Money for.

This is truly bordering between the negligent and the ridiculous and the inept as these repeated examples of probation fails are showing time and time again.

The community, its citizens, and law enforcement, deserve better.  Criminals, adjudicated by the Courts and given conditions of probation to avoid prison sentences, need to be held accountable and supervised.


(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

A Life of Drugs and Crime and in Humboldt


Multiple Busts in Arcata and Eureka Over Several Days


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



On Wednesday, 2/20/2013, police officers from the Arcata
Police Department conducted a probation search of a
motel room at Motel 6 on Valley West Blvd.   The person
registered to the room was Barton Gonzalez, age 25.

Gonzalez, who is on felony searchable probation, was also wanted on a felony charge for forgery.

Officers knocked on the motel room door and observed several subjects inside the room when Gonzalez answered the door. Upon identifying the persons in the room, the officers learned that one subject, Benjamin Crowder, age 32, had an outstanding felony warrant for a parole violation.

Both Gonzalez and Crowder were arrested on the outstanding felony warrants.

A third subject, Kevin Casey, age 29, was found to be in possession of prescription medication not prescribed to him, heroin, packaging for the sale of heroin and $4200 in cash.  Casey was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of heroin for sales. 

All three subjects– Gonzalez, Crowder, and Casey– were booked into the Humboldt County Jail on their related charges.

* * * * * * *


JohnsonOn Tuesday, 02/19/13, detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) contacted Michael Gordon Johnson, age 53, in the 2500 block of ‘C’ Street.  During a search of Johnson, who is on active parole, officers discovered 38.7 grams, or approximately 1.4 ounces of heroin on his person.   

Johnson was taken into custody and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional facility for possession of heroin.

* * * * * * *


GarciaHardyOn Monday, 02/18/13, detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP), responded to an apartment complex in the 1600 block of ‘C’ Street to investigate alleged narcotic activity.

As a result of their investigation, Tessa Lynn Garcia, age 22, was taken into custody for Maintaining a Residence for Narcotic Activity and Probation Violations.


Daniel Scott Hardy, age 24, was also taken into custody in the same apartment for Possession of Burglary Tools and Probation Violations.

* * * * * * *


On Monday, 02/18/13, detectives with the Eureka Police Department’s
ortizProblem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted a narcotics enforcement at an apartment complex in the 800 block of ‘H’ Street.

During their investigation, detective’s contacted Joel Renaldo Ortiz, age 32, in the alley at the north side of the complex.

Ortiz, who is on probation several times over, displayed symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance.  During a search of Ortiz, officers discovered a syringe and 12.9 grams, or approximately ½ ounce, of Methamphetamine in his sock.   

Ortiz was taken into custody and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional facility for Possession of Methamphetamine and Probation Violations.

* * * * * * *

big nose judgeAnyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.

In the City of Arcata, call the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428.

In the County of Humboldt, call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7521.


* * * * * * *

AWOLWhat do the the above multiple busts have in common?  Heroin and meth?

No.  Their Parole and Probation Officers were AWOL– and nowhere to be found assisting law enforcement.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)







Posted in Arcata, Crime, Eureka, LocalComments (0)

EPD POPs Two Street Drug Den


Meth, Marijuana, Paraphernalia– and Children– Found


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Yesterday, December 10 at 10:30 in the morning, investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem
Oriented Policing (POP) Unit served a search warrant at an
apartment building located on the 1500 block of Second Street,
Eureka.  The warrant was obtained in response to multiple complaints
and tips POP received concerning suspected drug use and sales activity
occurring at the suspect’s apartment.

Investigators detained half a dozen individuals in the apartment, including a 52-year-old male relative who arrived after they had secured it.  The male was carrying a concealed digital gram scale with methamphetamine residue on it, drug use paraphernalia, and a pair of police-issue handcuffs with a key.

A stun gun, pepper spray, and a hidden container—a stash can for concealing contraband– were later seized from the subject’s vehicle outside.  He was detained and released pending further investigation. However, criminal charges for
unlawful possession of a stun gun and tear gas by a prohibited
person will be requested against the male as he’s a convicted
felon and on probation for DUI.

During a search of the apartment, investigators located approximately a ½ pound of processed marijuana, drug use paraphernalia including a meth pipe, and further evidence of drug sales activity including a digital gram scale.

Two children, a brother and sister, 11-years-old, were also present in the home.  Due to unsafe living conditions of the drug house and other on-going issues negatively affecting their well being, Child Welfare Services (CWS) was contacted.  A social worker responded and took the children into temporary protective custody.

The primary suspect, Michael Edward Sovereign, 66, of Eureka, was not home at the time the warrant was served.

At about 11:37 AM, investigators located Mr. Sovereign driving on the 2700 block of Harris Street in Eureka.  Mr. Sovereign was detained following a traffic stop.  Methamphetamine, drug sales packaging materials, and another digital gram scale were located during a search of his vehicle and person.

Investigators then searched a second related location near Redwood Acres Fairgrounds.  Several more grams of methamphetamine, packaging materials, and yet another digital gram scale were found inside a hidden container there.

Mr. Sovereign was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Slammer where he was booked for possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale.

His bail was set at $50,000.  Mr. Sovereign posted bail later that afternoon
and was released from custody.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Whopping Pounds of Meth Found in Simple Arcata Traffic Stop


Saturday’s Bust Was One of the Largest in City’s History, but…


Sunday’s Bust Now Pushes Total to 3.5 Pounds

–Updated Below–


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


A traffic stop led to a search that led to a large seizure– one pound–  of methamphetamine and a felony narcotics arrest for an unlucky individual by the Arcata Police Department Saturday.

After the traffic stop at about 3:30 in the afternoon on Samoa Boulevard, 28-year-old Eureka man was booked on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.

Officials said an Arcata police officer pulled the man’s vehicle over and the driver did not have a license.  The identity of the man and the reason for the traffic stop were not released by Arcata police.

The officer noticed the man was acting very nervous.  With assistance from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Narcotics K-9 team, a vehicle search was conducted.

The K-9 was attracted to a concealed compartment in the dash of the vehicle, and, after a hand search, officers found four ounces of suspected methamphetamine.  But that wasn’t all they found.

Officers learned the subject was renting a mini-storage unit in Arcata, and more narcotics were being kept there, officials added.  How they came to that conclusion is unknown, unless the culprit sang like a canary squealing himself off and chatting away in a tweaker-induced haze with flittingly incoherent thoughts and his jibs flapping amok.

However the case, astute and sober police officers obtained a search warrant for the storage unit.

Lo and behold, officers and task force agents found what they came for:  four more ounces of methamphetamine in the storage unit.  Hot on the tweaker’s trail, they continued to poke around until they discovered another half pound of meth.

In addition to the whopping amount of speed, officers also found and seized more than $1,700 in cash, they said.

Officials estimate the street value of the seized suspected narcotics—a full pound of crystal meth– at $18,000.

The unnamed suspect was hauled off to the Humboldt County slammer and lodged into a cell without much information or details given.  One of the largest seizures of methamphetamine made in Arcata, the  investigation is ongoing, APD said.

 But… wait!  Hold the presses.  We have an update:

KIEM-TV News reported this appears to be a separate bust altogether that happened on Sunday but following Saturday’s mini-storage bust above.  They reported:

Over $50K– 3.5 Pounds–  of Meth Seized by Arcata Police

“Arcata police seized over $50,000 dollars worth of meth after they obtained a search warrant on a storage unit located in Arcata.

“On Sunday around 1:45 a.m., officers found 3.5 lbs of methamphetamine having an estimated street value of $50,000 to $60,000 dollars, along with scales and packaging materials.

“This is part of a 2-year investigation into a methamphetamine trafficking organization.

“One arrest has been made, but no names have been released.  Officers say the investigation is ongoing.”

 The whodunnit mystery and meth amounts continue…

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, CrimeComments (0)

Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No


–A Truly Bizarre Tale– 



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Pitching a no-hit game in baseball is an extremely rare and difficult thing to do.

In fact, only 279 major league games have been no-hitters since baseball’s inception in 1875, an average of only two per year.

You’ve heard all too much about performance enhancing drugs from baseball greats like Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, and Barry Bonds.  Of the all the no-hitters ever thrown in the Big Leagues, one can only guess how many were aided by steroids.

We can say without question that only one was ever thrown on acid.

Pittsburgh Pirate Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter against the Padres on June 12, 1970, under the influence of LSD.  He threw a no-hitter despite being unable to feel the ball or see the batter or catcher clearly.

As he recounted:

I can only remember bits and pieces of the game.  I was psyched.  I had a feeling of euphoria.

I was zeroed in on the catcher’s glove, but I didn’t hit the glove too much.  I remember hitting a couple of batters, and the bases were loaded two or three times.

The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn’t.  Sometimes, I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him.  I chewed my gum until it turned to powder.

I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate.

Ellis pulled it off, apparently with flying colors and light trails.  He walked eight batters, struck out six, and beaned a few.  The Pirates won the game, 2-0.  And we would have thought acid to be a performance inhibitor.

Ellis reported that he never used LSD during the season again, though he continued to use amphetamines.

After suffering through substance abuse problems most of his life, he entered a drug treatment program and remained sober in his later years, working as a drug abuse counselor for prisoners and baseball players.

Dock Ellis died of cirrhosis of the liver in 2008 at the age of 63, a condition weakened by years of abuse and a previous heart attack.

The above 4-minute clip is an interview he gave to radio producers Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel, airing on NPR’s Weekend America a year before he passed, set to animation by artist James Blagden.


Posted in History, SceneComments (1)

US Dept of Veteran Affairs Must Disclose Secret Drug Documents


1950s Experiments Done with Cooperation of Army, CIA, Nazi Scientists


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Army and CIA experimented on thousands of soldiers with dangerous drugs during the Cold War, dosing them with mescaline and other chemicals that left them with lasting impairments, the Vietnam Veterans of America says.  With the help of Nazi scientists, the Army and CIA used veterans as human guinea pigs at the Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick, Maryland, their federal complaint states.

The Edgewood experiments were one of the key projects for the recruitment of over 1,500 Nazi scientists and technicians in ‘Project Paperclip,’ some of whom played a pivotal role in the testing of psychochemicals and development of a new truth serum.  Over half of these Nazi recruits had been members of the SS or Nazi Party.

The experiments, whose true nature often was not disclosed to the human guinea pigs, left many veterans with medical problems for decades, according to the 2009 class action suit.

The Army covered up the experiments conducted in the 1950s and denied medical care to the soldiers suffering from a number of maladies including post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and memory loss.  Soldiers were given mescaline, LSD, barbiturates and other drugs to test the effects.  The army wanted to find ways to paralyze, confuse, hypnotize and secretly kill enemies, and promised the soldiers they would get medals for participating.

Anne Youderian of the Courthouse News Service tells us more about the recent developments of this ongoing suit.


VA Must Disclose Veteran Drug Test Documents

Courthouse News


(CN) – Veterans won another court order requiring the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hand over more documents about its Cold War-era drug experiments on thousands of Vietnam veterans.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in Oakland, Calif., said the documents requested were “squarely relevant” to the claim that the government failed to adequately notify veterans of the chemicals they were exposed to and what that exposure might do to their health, in her ruling of July 19, 2012.

The Army and the CIA, with the help of Nazi scientists, used at least 7,800 veterans as human guinea pigs for testing the effects of up to 400 types of drugs and chemicals, including mescaline, LSD, amphetamines, barbiturates, mustard gas and nerve agents, the Vietnam Veterans of America and individual soldiers claim in a 2009 class action.

The government covered up the true nature of its experiments, which began in the 1950s under code names such as “Bluebird,” “Artichoke” and “MKUltra.”

In “Project Paperclip,” the Army and CIA allegedly recruited Nazi scientists to help test various psychochemicals and develop a new truth serum using its own veterans as test subjects.

“Over half of these Nazi recruits had been members of the SS or Nazi Party,” according to the class action. “The ‘Paperclip’ name was chosen because so many of the employment applications were clipped to immigration papers.”

Veterans say the government was trying to develop and test substances that could trigger mind control, confusion, euphoria, altered personality, unconsciousness, physical paralysis, illogical thinking and mania, among other effects.

The experiments in Army compounds at Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick, Maryland, left many veterans with debilitating health problems for decades. Veterans say the government has since refused to provide proper medical care.

In their latest bid for disclosure, the Vietnam Veterans of America sought documents revealing the VA’s processes of identifying and notifying soldiers who were potentially exposed during the chemical and biological tests.

The department claimed the documents were shielded by the deliberative process privilege, which protects the decision-making processes of government agencies.

As in previous rulings, Corley ordered the VA to turn over most of the documents requested.  She said the privilege either did not apply to the documents sought, and the veterans “have demonstrated a sufficient substantial need to overcome the qualified deliberative process privilege.”

Corley rejected the VA’s claim that the plaintiffs already have “an abundance of information and documents” about its notification and verification processes.

“The Court agrees that considerable discovery has been provided on this subject; however, having reviewed the thousands of pages of documents submitted for review, the Court notes that these processes are far from clear or consistent, and in fact, seem to have undergone numerous modifications over time,” Corley wrote.

She ordered the VA to disclose more than 40 documents, which she deemed “both relevant and unavailable from other sources given that the documents reflect processes which have evolved over time.”

* * * * * * *

Article courtesy of Annie Youderian and Courthouse News.

Courthouse News Chris Marshall’s 2009 previous article is here, and Chris McCann’s April 2012 article can be found here.

More background about the Edgewood Arsenal experiments can be found here.

The Vietnam Veterans of America 2009 class action suit is here.

On a similar subject, readers may be interested in our Sentinel article on the secret syphilis experiments conducted in Guatemala around the same time.

Posted in National, PoliticsComments (1)

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