Tag Archive | "Eureka Police Department"

18 Pounds of Bud Trimmed at Broadway Motel


Gang Member Jonas Semore Popped


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Eureka Police Department:

On 02/26/13, detectives from the Eureka Police Department
Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted a probation
search at a motel in the 2400 block of Broadway in Eureka.

During a search of the room, detectives located approximately 18 ½ lbs of processed and partially processed marijuana bud and over $9,000 in cash.

semoreAs a result of the investigation, Jonas (Randall) Semore was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for:

  • Possession of Marijuana for Sale, and
  • Maintaining a Space for Narcotic Activity

Additionally, Semore, age 40, is a validated member of a street gang and has multiple prior contacts with EPD over the years.

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, EPD noted.

* * * * * * *

We wonder why his Probation Officer wasn’t conducting the probation search?

His girlfriend, Rachael Squire-Hardy, was busted on FridayPerhaps she sang like a canary.


Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (3)

Mother Says Daughter Nearly Abducted in Eureka


–Description of Driver and Vehicle Made–


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The following came to us via a Facebook post and
we’re reprinting it here, per request.

We’ve chosen to omit the names of the mother and daughter
that were
originally provided for safety and privacy reasons
and we cleaned up some of the wording for clarity:



On Sunday February 24, 2013, my daughter (name omitted) was walking from Eureka High School to a friend’s home on J Street.

minivanWhen she reached Buhne & J Street, a (Hispanic) male driving an older, faded-red van pulled up next to her as she was walking and told her to get in the van.

She told him “NO!” and took off running.  He began to chase her.  When she reached the white church on J Street she ran around the side of the church and hid until her friend down the street, and her boyfriend, came and took her to a friend’s home.

She was then brought to me and we contacted the Eureka Police Department and made a report. EPD
released the information to surrounding law enforcement
and said they would contact me if they found the suspect.

(My daughter) was not injured, other than being very scared and crying for some time from the fear that creep made her feel.  She is OK.  I thank the Lord for keeping her safe and am so proud of her for doing what I taught her to do.  I’m also very proud of her for being able to remember so much detail about the van and driver.

If anyone should happen to see the van and/or driver described PLEASE call EPD (#441-4060; or, 911) and give them the location.  I want this creep found!

I have told all my girls no more walking alone, ever.  How sad it is a person cannot walk a few blocks on a sunny Sunday afternoon without trying to be abducted.  I thank you for any and all help.  Please share this if you want.  The more who read it, the better the chances are of him being found.

The description is as follows:

  • Hispanic male with greasy, slicked black hair down to his ears;
  • Wearing a white tank top;
  • Wearing a cross around his neck;
  • Bearing a tattoo of something written in Spanish on his right arm;
  • Driving a faded-red, older Minivan (pretty close in style as a Plymouth Voyager)
  • The Minivan has a cross hanging from the rear view mirror, a sticker on the back window, and a dent on the driver side door.

* * * * * * * *

To note and for what it’s worth, there are a few vague similarities between this incident and two others allegedly occurring near the same area about a year ago.

The Eureka Police Department finally put out an alert on the above for citizens– 5 days afterwards.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (4)

Thieves and Scoundrels


Four Reports of Humboldt Skullduggery


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


McKinleyville High Copper Wire Thieves:

Yesterday, February 25 at 1:30 p.m., the Humboldt County
stadiumSheriff’s Office received a call from McKinleyville High School reporting a theft of copper wire.

When the deputy responded to the High School, officials told the investigating deputy the unknown suspect(s) stole a large quantity of copper wire from the football stadium lights which are brand new.

The suspect(s) removed the access panels that exposed the conduit for the stadium lighting and removed it.

The high school is still evaluating the actual loss and wiredamage; however it is estimated to be at least $1000.00 in copper wire alone.

The suspects used a pulling object and hacksaw to remove the wire.  The cost of rewiring the football field could be extensive.

Officials told the deputy they believe the wire was removed on the night of February 21, 2013.

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.


Good Morning, Sunshine:

Arcata Police have arrested a women wanted on a burglary
warrant out of Redding.

Poor EricaErica Vancura was found sleeping in her car at the ‘Liquor Still’ parking lot off Giuntoli Lane Monday morning, February 25.

In her possession were medications that were reported stolen from a residential burglary that took place in Eureka, APD said.

Before searching her vehicle, police also found that she was wanted for a Redding burglary, too.

In addition to her Shasta County warrant, Ms. Vancura was also arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail for possession of stolen property, APD said.

Honey, we hope you can face the music and get into rehab before you wind up in prison.  Consider this a courtesy wake-up


Redcrest Marijuana Grow Investigation:

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

growingYesterday, February 25 at 1:00 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Community Response Unit served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant at the Englewood Industrial Park located at 26459 Highway 254–Avenue of the Giants– in Redcrest.

When deputies served the search warrant they located four marijuana grows inside buildings on the property.

Deputies seized three of the marijuana grows for a total of 839 marijuana plants which ranged in size from 2’ to 3’ tall.  One of the marijuana grows was determined to be medical marijuana and within state guidelines so it was not removed.

Deputies have identified suspects on the other grows and arrest warrants are being sought for their arrest for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.

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.


Car Thieves:

car thiefOn Saturday, February 23 at approximately 11:30 a.m., a Eureka Police officer, who was operating a patrol unit outfitted with the Automated License Plate Reader, received a “stolen hit” on a vehicle, which was traveling north on “E” Street near Sonoma Street.

The officer broadcasted the information to other EPD Units and the vehicle was quickly located still traveling north on “E” Street.

A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle which failed to yield for several blocks while traveling at low speeds, but failing to stop at posted stop signs, and driving erratically.

The vehicle eventually pulled into a parking lot at the Eureka Inn and a high risk traffic stop was conducted.

The vehicle was occupied by two subjects, who were taken into custody without incident.

The driver, identified as Thomas Dale Applewhite– 18-years-old from Eureka– was arrested and booked at the Humboldt County Jail on charges of:

  • Possession of stolen property
  • Failure to yield
  • Driving under the influence of a controlled substance and or alcohol
  • Driving without a license
  • Probation violation

Applewhite was released from jail on a promise to appear later on this same date.

inmatesThe passenger, identified as Kristina Campos, 25-years-old, from Eureka, was arrested and booked on a violation of public intoxication.

The registered owner of the vehicle was contacted and their stolen vehicle was returned to them at the scene.


(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

Mr. Sleepy Awakened by EPD


EPD Provides Supervision and Arrest for Parolee


Nodding Off With Cash and Heroin in Hand, Parole Agent AWOL


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


heroin fixOn Sunday at about 4:19 p.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department (EPD) were dispatched to the 2800 block of ‘F’ Street on the report of a suspicious male in a vehicle.  A witness reported a male subject had been sitting inside a parked vehicle for the past half hour in Henderson Center.

The male was reported to be “making strange movements” and appeared to be falling asleep …or more likely passing out.  Per the witness, a roll of cash was also visible in his lap.

An officer arrived on scene a short time later and approached the male, who was seated in the driver’s seat of a 4-door Nissan Maxima parked on the street in front of a business.

The officer observed that the male, later identified as Canyon Hodge, was slumped over and appeared to be asleep.  The officer also saw what appeared to be a large baggy of tar heroin in Hodge’s lap and a big roll of cash next to him on the passenger seat.

The officer recognized Hodge and knew he had a felony warrant for his arrest.

The officer roused Hodge with some difficulty and took him into custody on his warrant.

During a subsequent search of Hodge and his vehicle, the officer located approximately:

  • 43 grams of tar heroin (1 ½ ounces)
  • 3 1/2 grams of crystal methamphetamine
  • (1/8th ounce)A small quantity of processed marijuana
  • A digital gram scaleWritten records indicating recent heroin sales activity
  • $3,042.00 cash
  • Drug use paraphernalia

stressedMr. Sleepy,” appeared to be heavily under the influence of heroin and nodding off due to his partaking liberally of his own product, EPD said 

The cash was seized as suspected illicit drug sales proceeds to be turned over to the Humboldt County Drug Task Force for future asset forfeiture proceedings.

In addition to his warrant (alleging possession of a controlled substance), Hodge was arrested for:

  • Possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Parole violation

heron cardHe was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional facility for booking.  Hodge’s vehicle was also towed from the scene.

Mr. Hodge is well-known by law enforcement.

His parole officer was also undoubtedly woken up as well.  The PO was notified of his client’s pending failure, lack of supervision and drug testing, and ongoing criminal drug activity by EPD who cleaned up yet another mess for probation/parole officers sleeping at their desks.

* * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)




Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

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)

Firebomb Found in Eureka Front Yard


Deadly Device Detonated in Place


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On Sunday, February 17 at about 8:15 a.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department (EPD) were dispatched to the report of a suspicious bag in the front yard of a residence
located near the intersection of Hodgson and ‘F’ Streets.

A resident homeowner reported they’d just found a duffle bag
with wires and a battery visible protruding from it.  The bag was
partially hidden by some shrubbery in their yard, Eureka Police
Sgt. Steve Watson said.
bombResponding officers quickly ascertained the bag could hold an explosive device of some kind.  As a precautionary measure, officers blocked off the surrounding streets, set-up a wide perimeter around the suspected device, and notified and evacuated residents in the vicinity.

Assistance from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Bomb Squad was requested.  The Eureka Volunteer Patrol (EVP) responded to the scene to assist with traffic control.

After examining the bag, Sheriff’s bomb technicians determined it was an actual working firebomb device.

At approximately 10:55 a.m., bomb technicians rendered the device safe, in place, under controlled conditions.  This resulted in a small explosion and fire which was quickly extinguished.  There was some minor damage to the yard but no other property was damaged, and there were no injuries.

Had the duffle bag device detonated as designed and intended, it could have resulted in great bodily injury to anyone in close proximity to it, EPD said.

bomb2Once the device was neutralized, EPD evidence technicians began processing the scene and collecting evidence.  The firebomb contained wiring, a battery, a working circuit, and flammable liquid.

“We respond to these kinds of things often,” Watson said.

The investigation is continuing as to the intended target, motive, and suspect behind the placement of the firebomb.  There are no further details at this time, EPD noted.

The residents were smart not to touch or move the bag.  Anyone discovering a suspected explosive device is cautioned to stay away
from it, not to manipulate or move it in any fashion, and to call their
local law enforcement agency for further assessment, EPD said.

* * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, LocalComments (0)

Stabbing at the Bayshore Mall


William Whipple in Custody; Other Wanted


–Suspects’ Car Pictured Below–


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On Monday, February 11 at about 3 p.m., a male adult was delivered to the Saint Joseph Hospital Emergency room after suffering multiple sharp-force stabbing injuries and requiring emergency medical treatment, the Eureka Police Department reported today.

EPD released a picture of the suspects’ vehicle, asking for the public’s help in locating it or the occupants.

whippleThe victim was delivered to the hospital by a friend.  The injuries reportedly resulted from an incident that occurred in the parking lot of the Bayshore Mall.  The victim was stabbed multiple times and went to St. Joseph Hospital in critical condition, EPD said.

Eureka Police are unsure why the fight started between the suspect, William Whipple, and his unidentified male victim as they didn’t know one another.  It’s reported the victim is currently in stable condition and recovering after surgery.  Police are continuing their investigation by obtaining search warrants and questioning witnesses involved in the incident.

At this time, robbery does not appear to have been a motive and there is no suggestion that the victim was engaged in any kind of criminal activity with the suspects (like suggesting it was a drug rip-off), EPD said.

Based on information received from witnesses, William Whipple, age 23, was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for attempted murder in connection with this investigation.

The vehicle depicted in the attached parking lot surveillance image, below, is believed to be related to the suspects.

EPD asks that anyone with information about who may have been in this vehicle on February 11 to contact Eureka Police Detective Wilcox at 707-441-4315.

The Lost Coast Outpost has more about Mr. Whipple here.

car suspect








(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Mischief and Mayhem Abound


Multiple Reports by Law Enforcement Agencies


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Dead Body Found on Samoa Beach

dunesDeputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office recovered
a body near the Samoa Dunes yesterday morning.

Little information is available at this time regarding the details of the discovery, the identity of the man, or the circumstances of his death.

According to the HSCO, deputies brought the body of an unidentified man from the shoreline to land at about noon Sunday.


dunes2Officials said the body was discovered by ATV riders who happened to be passing by on the trails.

An investigation on the possible cause of death is underway, officials said.

The body was taken to the Humboldt County’s Coroner’s Office where personnel will examine dental records in an attempt to identify the remains.

More information will be made available from the Sheriff’s Office at a later time, the HCSO and Coroner’s Office said.


Attempted Smash ‘N Grab at Adventure’s Edge

glassThis morning, February 11 at about 4:43 a.m., Arcata Police Department officers were dispatched to the Adventure’s Edge business located at 650 10th Street for a burglary alarm.

An alert citizen also called APD to report the front window to the business was broken out and gave a description of the suspect.

Officers responded and found a large glass display window broken out of the business.  A bicycle, belonging to the business and still attached
to a security cable, was sitting outside the window.  

Officers checked the area and located a subject matching the suspect description one block away from the business.

After conducting an investigation, APD officers arrested 21-year-old Dylan Joshua Zingg of Crescent City for commercial burglary.

Zingg was taken to the hospital for injuries caused by the broken glass and later transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on burglary charges.


Stabbing at Sal’s

garfieldOn Februrary 9 at about 50 minutes past midnight, officers of the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to a reported stabbing at Sal’s Off-Broadway bar.

Upon arrival, officers found a male lying on the floor.  He was being attended to by patrons of the bar, due to bleeding wounds to his neck and throat area.  A second subject was located fighting with security and other bar patrons.

The security staff was trying to detain the subject, later identified as Clinton Robert Myers (27 years old of Eureka), who was bleeding heavily from the face.  Officers were advised by witnesses that Myers had stabbed the second subject in the throat.

Officers confronted Myers and after a short struggle, were able to take him into custody.  During this confrontation, Myers sprayed two officers in the face with blood that he expelled on them.

Medical personnel arrived on scene moments later and transported the victim to St. Joseph ER for treatment for his wounds.  Myers was also transported to St. Joseph ER for treatment, prior to being taken to the Eureka Police Department for questioning.

drinkingDetectives and an evidence technician were summoned to the scene to process the scene for evidence and interview the large number of witnesses to the assault.

Myers was eventually booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

He is being held on $50,000 bail.  This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Detective Harpham at 707-441-4305.


Sisterly Love and Assault

car crashOn February 7, at approximately 4:30 p.m.,  Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 1100 block of Vista Drive in McKinleyville regarding an assault with a vehicle that just occurred.

When the deputies arrived they met with the 39-year-old male victim.  He told the deputies his 36-year-old sister, Renea Soderberg, had been drinking alcoholic beverages and was angry with him.

His sister is transient, occasionally sleeps in his garage, and was upset after he told some of her friends to leave his residence, the victim said.  The situation went downhill from there.

She began yelling at him as he was getting into his white 2012 Ford F-350 pickup truck and backing out of his driveway.

cc6Ms. Soderberg then got into her silver 1998 Chevy Silverado Pickup truck and accelerated rapidly towards him.  She struck his vehicle in the driver’s side door, causing an approximately four-inch deep dent in the door.  She backed up and struck his vehicle again in the front.

A witness reported seeing her back up and strike the victim’s vehicle approximately four times.  Deputies found damage to the residence’s lawn caused by the spinning tires of Soderberg’s vehicle
during the assault.  The victim, her brother, was not injured.

Deputies located Renea Soderberg’s vehicle in the 900 block of Vista Drive, McKinleyville, with signs of fresh damage consistent with the victim’s account as to what occurred.  Deputies were unable to locate Renea Soderberg at that time.

On Februrary 8, at approximately 2:30 in the morning. deputies were dispatched to a report of a ’suspicious woman’ in the 1100 block of Vista Drive in McKinleyville.

When they arrived, they located Ms. Soderberg.

sisterly loveShe was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, where she was booked.

At the Correctional Facility, a small bag of methamphetamine was located on Soderberg by Correctional Officers during her booking search.  Soderberg was charged with the additional charge of possession of an illegal drug.

Her bail was set at $50,000.

* * * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

EPD Hot on the Trail of KIEM-TV Burglary Suspect


Camera Recovered; Search for Parolee Edward Vercoe Continues


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On the afternoon of January 28, detectives from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP)
responded to a neighborhood complaint in the 2500 block
of Union Street in Eureka.

The complaint alleged excessive foot and vehicle traffic coming from an apartment located in the alley.

Detectives contacted a female living in the apartment, who advised them one of the subjects living with her was Edward Charles Vercoe (Date of Birth: 12/28/69).  Vercoe is in on active PRCS Parole and is subject to search and seizure at anytime.

vercoeDuring a subsequent search, detectives located ½ gram of heroin and a Sony HD video camera they believed was related to a weekend burglary of News Channel 3.

Employees from Channel 3 were contacted and responded to the scene where they positively identified the Sony camera and related cables.  The employees from Channel 3 stated there are additional cameras and equipment outstanding.

Vercoe was not on scene at the time the search was conducted and is currently wanted for being in Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Stolen Property.

Anyone with information regarding Vercoe’s whereabouts can contact the Eureka Police Department, at (707) 441-4060, or call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373, EPD said.

* * * * * *

Another parolee/probationer on the loose without supervision or drug testing.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places


Beating Feet to a Climactic Finish


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


A “Good Relations” employee chased a young parolee through Old Town today after he attempted to purloin a spanking brand new sex toy.

Eureka Police Officers say Kevin Gillespie went into the
“Good Relations Lovers Boutique” on 2nd Street and tried
to steal a sex toy, KIEM-TV News’ Kelly May reported.

beating feetApparently Mr. Gillespie decided to use sticky fingers rather than employ the cash needed to purchase the preciously too-tempting self-gratification device.  An employee caught him red-handed doing the nakedly dirty deed of bold thievery.

Good Relations staff chased Mr. Gillespie through the Old Town area to G Street, where EPD officers caught up with him.  Without beating around the bush, Mr. Gillespie was promptly arrested
for theft.

Witnesses say the employee who chased Mr. Gillespie couldn’t help but titter and giggle as she related to responding officers what happened– and what he took.  A description of the tantalizing toy was not disclosed.  It was reportedly recovered intact.

A frustrated and embarrassingly flaccid Mr. Gillespie was booked into the Humboldt County Jail, sans toy and batteries.

* * * * * * * * * *

banannaNot exactly the brightest cookie in the crayon box, he’s obviously a few watts shy of a very dim bulb.

Body by God, mind by Mattel.


Article and photo sourced from KIEM-TV




Posted in Crime, Eureka, LocalComments (1)

Speedball Seizure and Bust in Manila


Nicholas Grant Robinson, Eureka, Arrested for Heroin and Meth


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On January 22 at about 6:30 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant on routine patrol noticed a
suspicious vehicle parked on Vance Avenue near
Highway 255 in Manila.

robinsonThe Sergeant contacted the sole occupant of the vehicle who he identified as Nicholas Grant Robinson, age 28, from Eureka.

The Sergeant checked Robinson’s name through his dispatch for any possible arrest warrants.  The dispatcher advised that Robinson was on probation for a narcotics violation and had a search and seizure clause.

The Sergeant then advised Robinson that he was going to search his person and his vehicle.  The Sergeant then located what appeared to be about ¼ of a pound of heroin hidden in the fuse box underneath the dash board in the vehicle.  The Sergeant also located about a 1/8 of gram of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

Robinson was then placed under arrest.  The Humboldt County Drug
Task Force was contacted to take over the investigation.

robinson2Humboldt County Drug Task Agent later arrived on scene with their narcotics detection trained dog.  No more narcotics were located in the vehicle.

Robinson was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for:

  • Possession for sales of heroin
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Possession of a pipe used to smoke controlled substances
  • Violation of probation

Robinson’s bail was set at $50,000 dollars.

Drug Task Force Agents and the Eureka Police Department then searched Robinson’s residence located in the 1600 block of “L” Street in Eureka.  Officers located numerous smoking pipes for controlled substances, and syringes in the residence.

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

* * * * * * * *

pied piper heroin









(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (1)

The Surprising Sums of Eureka City Hall


Crushed Under Salary and Pensions, Eureka is Broke


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Where did the money go?

Only nine months ago, Eureka Finance Director Paul Rodrigues painted a rosy picture.  Eureka was doing fine, fiscally speaking, he said.

Hank Sims of the Lost Coast Outpost gave us surprisingly different news on Wednesday.  Eureka is broke.

Not only that, we’re in debt.  The City is $7.8 million behind in its pension debt for employees.  The City– and specifically City Manager David Tyson and Finance Director Paul Rodrigues– want to adopt a bond issue covering the multi-million amount.

Even more surprising is that they want to make an end run around the normally required 2/3 ballot vote by having the bond issue remain off the ballot by seeking court approval instead of having taxpaying voters decide upon the measure.  The bond issue looks to have a whole cabal of embedded toxic and arcane financing instruments worthy of the winged monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.

This news comes on the heels of recent revelations that the McKinleyville School District and its trustees bought a high interest loan package of CABS– Capital Appreciation Bonds– and spent $72 million dollars to borrow $7-14 million and heaping the monstrous burden of debt onto unsuspecting McKinleyville property owners.


City Hall:  Who’s Minding the Store?


Long before these events occurred we had an inkling of the City’s runaway debt expenses.  Things just didn’t add up.

We were wondering, for example, why the five Eureka Ford police vehicles newly purchased by the City of Eureka at a cost of over $100,000 two years ago were still sitting unused and mothballed at the Eureka Corporation yard, exposed to the elements and seemingly rotting away without being put into service.  One has since been sold for a loss at auction.

The Eureka Police Department decided put the Fords aside in favor of purchasing some newer sexier Dodge Chargers to use instead.  We were given several explanations:  The Ford cruisers were awaiting light bars; they would be rotated into service soon; they were awaiting the start of next fiscal year’s budget.  None have happened.  The Fords are still sitting there, untouched, unmoved, and seemingly resting in a state of arrested decomposition like empty caskets awaiting cadavers.

Councilmember Marian Brady did bring the subject up, popping the question to our City Finance Man in a Eureka City Hall meeting nine months back.  Eureka’s Finance Director—a dapper panjandrum– gingerly skirted the issue.  He didn’t even attempt to give a cogent or congruent response.  Surprisingly, none of Eureka’s Councilmembers followed up on his blatantly non sequitur explanation that was dished out to them. 

They sat in dumbfounded silence, waiting for a few pregnant moments as the pea was adeptly shuffled under a different shell, and, resuscitated from their paused hesitation and obvious discomfort, moved onto the next item appearing on the agenda.  After all, they knew it was a waste of money– and they wouldn’t have to pay for it.  The taxpayers would.  Shuffle the pea, move on, and hope no one notices the difference.

We also took notice that City Manager David Tyson will be retiring with a percentage of his yearly retirement pay of $157,000.  Eureka’s incoming City Manager, William Panos, will be receiving a bit more, at $158,000.  Someone has to pay and pad those salaries.  That someone is you.

So we wondered: how much do these these municipal folks typically get paid per year?  Here’s a few numbers we came up with, taken from the California State Controller 2010 figures:

  • City Manager David Tyson:  $150,339 (His Assistant City Manager rakes in another $111,000)
  • City Attorney:  $135,960
  • City Engineer:  $121,739
  • Redevelopment and Housing Director:  $101,166
  • Public Works Director:  $98,495
  • Personnel Director:  $93,464
  • Finance Director:  $89,640

That’s just for starters.  There’s a lot more.  And remember, they all have additional staff and assistants on the payroll, too.

The City has 491 employees for an area of 9.4 square miles and 26,066 residents.  That’s one City employee for every 53 citizens.  The total City wage payroll comes to a whopping $16 million per year, or about $614 for every man, woman, and child in the city limits.  The average per capita household income in Eureka is $29,000.


The Police Department


Then we heard word that the Eureka Chief of Police, before Measure O was passed bolstering safety needs in our fair City, was paid roughly $133,000 in 2010– but his total wage compensation package bumped up to nearly $156,000, according to the California State Controller.

But there’s more.  The EPD Chief’s wages were followed by:

His Captain annually topping out at $112,500;

Two Lieutenants making approximately $107,000 each;

Nine sergeants pulling in $71,831 to $103,462 each;

And 89 other employees– ranging from 37 police officers to dispatchers to records specialists to an animal control technician, at different salary levels.  In all, there are nearly 100 EPD personnel fighting crime in various capacities in Eureka.

Perhaps we need it and this isn’t unusual given the complexity of police work nowadays.  Eureka, indeed, does have a fairly significant crime problem.  EPD deals with the unseemly ne’er-do-wells, scoundrels, rogues, vagabonds, and bugaboos infesting the City with skullduggeries that more genteel folks would prefer not to embrace.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that EPD officers can enjoy early retirement at age 50 with 90% of their salary for life.  A 3% @ 50 CalPers safety compensation package is standard issue for peace officers along with their weapons. 

It’s a costly proposition.  Every officer may very well be worth their shiny weight in gold– as are those Ford patrol cruisers the City wastefully put on ice and didn’t use.


The Fire Department:  Gold Plated Brass


So it didn’t surprise us, either, looking at some of the more shocking figures for the Eureka Fire Department (since reorganized as Humboldt Bay Fire).

According to the State Controller’s Office 2010 figures, the Fire Chief took home a tidy sum of $166,666.  Nice.

His two Assistant Chiefs hauled in nearly $108,723 and $119,643, respectively.  Very nice!

More surprising was the addition of even more shiny brass.  The above administrative positions were followed by– get this– a gaggle of 18 Fire Captains I/II– at salaries ranging from $56,088 to $104,195 each.   Those were followed by 11 Fire Engineers with salary levels of between $48,456 to $70,359.

Of course, every fire department needs basic firefighters towing the line and putting out fires.  We only have six of those, ranging in price from $43,932 to $61,951.  A bargain!

Altogether, the Eureka Fire Department had 40 employees in 2010– with nearly all having the same 3% @50 retirement package as police officers.

There aren’t so many fires these days as there were back in the days of yore.  Buildings just don’t burn down like they used to, given the current building codes, safety standards, and new materials for construction.  Nowadays, our fire department performs first responder/ambulance calls, conducts fire inspections, and instructs first aid classes when they’re not going to schools teaching kids about fire safety. 

Like EPD, the EFD/Humboldt Bay Fire also has a dangerous job to do; perhaps they, too, deserve safety pensions and retirement at the highest salary levels by age 50– even those hapless bureaucratic souls who push paper at a desk.  After all, they may trip over a chair getting up.

One can argue there are far too many chiefs and fat-cat administrators than there are troops in the trenches.  By retiring early, they’re set fairly well for life while the next round of recruits are to be similarly compensated. 

Because California has had a spiralling upward trend of government salaries– while it, too, goes broke– one can argue salary levels in Eureka are merely commensurate with the rest of the State. 

And so the problem continues unabated.


Public Works and Recreation


But, surprisingly enough, it wasn’t EPD or EFD’s figures that gave us cause for pause. 

Here’s the sum that truly amazed us: the number of allocated positions in one area of the City’s enchanted 9.4 mile realm:  Public Works.

Public Works has a staggering 162 positions dedicated to…  recreation workers

Seven pages worth in 2010, the State Controller reports, with salaries ranging between mostly paltry levels on the low end to a maximum $60,636 Recreation and Facilities Manager on the other.  The latter position carries a retirement package at age 57.  

Another position we saw was entitled Men’s Basketball Official, paying $46,101.   Now that’s a good gig.  Looking up the position again for this column several months later, it appears to have been since removed.

But due to the whopping number of recreation workers—162—we feel there must be some mistake.  Perhaps the majority of these positions are temporary, part time, vacant, frozen, or simply redundant in some way–a Twilight Zone of anomalies.  The City spent $512,847 per year on these wages in 2010 but the total budgetary allotment of the recreation positions comes in at a staggering $3 million. 

Heavens to Betsy.  That can’t possibly be true, can it?  Read it and weep, folks.

Of course, Eureka does have its share of crumbling, decaying, and downright miserable roads that the City Council members discussed recently, mutually wringing their hands and nodding their heads in unison and dismay over the given plight of our potholed thoroughfares.

Fortunately we’re pleased to report, and you’ll be overjoyed to know, Eureka has been working on that.  They have nine positions– 9! –set aside for maintaining our streets.  True, it’s not as many as our safety officers– or our recreation workers– but it works. 

And few of those roadworkers make as much as our noted basketball official.

But don’t take our word on this financial fiasco.  See the figures from the State Controller’s Office for yourself, and tell us what you think.


Feeding the Beast, Gouging theTaxpayer


However, you may want to know who are the lowest paid employees.  Surprisingly enough, the City Council.  They receive roughly $6,000 per year, plus health benefits, for their civic servitude.  And the Mayor?  He pulls in $7,500 and doesn’t have to vote unless it’s a tie.  He does have to remember to raise or lower the podium and turn on the microphone.

We won’t even venture to guess how those City pensions will be paid off in the future.  Measure O helped fill part of the fiscal gap, at least temporarily.  When it sunsets, they’ll ask for more.  Natch.

Things were rosy.  That is, until City Manager David Tyson, who doesn’t reside in the City limits, told us that all of a sudden they now need more money– and, lo and behold– his timing comes just before his own hefty retirement pension package comes due. 

How much more? $7.8 million in arrears, apparently, to cover employees pension costs, we were told.  We ask:  why weren’t the pension obligations budgeted, tracked, and paid for in the first place?

Where did the money go? 

We would venture to guess that, like the rest of California,  Eureka has become a runaway fiscal train, a lucrative Ponzi scheme for its own employees, enriching its base at the expense of taxpayers.

waste of moneyThen, of course, there have been the many costly lawsuits the City either settled or lost over the past several years.  But that’s another story altogether.

Maybe it’s time to draw in the reigns and finally say enough is enough– to debt, bonds, runaway pensions, and government servants gouging its citizens unmercifully.

Otherwise, they’ll be asking for money money soon. 

You can bet on it.


 * * * * * * * * *

stoogesWhen we first looked into the salary levels for Eureka we were simply astounded. 

The Humboldt Sentinel has been the only media outlet initially reporting on these surprising sums from the State Controller’s Office.

On April 1, 2013, Grant Scott-Goforth’s Time-Standard article, “State Website Shows Local Government Wages“  
later confirmed our suspicions. 

Goforth reported:

 Eureka paid $16 million in wages — the 10th highest total out of more than 100 cities with populations between 10,000 and 30,000.

 The Eureka City Council will approve the pension bond issue– and thereby sideswiping voters from a ballot vote– at their next meeting Tuesday, December 18 at 6 p.m. at the Eureka City Hall.

Concerned residents should call or contact their Eureka Councilmembers.  At the very least, request the item be pulled from the agenda/consent calendar for public discussion.  Otherwise, it receives immediate blanket consent.  Send or share this article.

You can reach Councilmembers by phone, e-mail, or fax using the links below:


Mayor Frank Jager, #441-4200

Marian Brady, Ward 1, #441-4169

Linda Atkins, Ward 2, #441-4168

Mike Newman, Ward 3, #441-4170

Melida Ciarabellini, Ward 4, #441-4167

Lance Madsen, Ward 5, #441-4171



Posted in Eureka, Local, PoliticsComments (24)

EPD Nabs Ferndale Man and His Stolen Truck


Dual Probationer/Parolee Running Amok Without Supervision… Again


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On Jaunary 21 at about 2:10 p.m., a Eureka Police Department patrol officer was conducting a probation search at a troublesome residence for complaints of
stolen property and drug activity located on the 100 block
of West Henderson Street in Eureka.

As the officer was searching a rear bedroom in the residence, he heard a knock on the back door.  The officer walked to the door and opened it. As he opened the door, he recognized the male subject standing there as David Scott Fournier.

FournierThe officer had arrested Fournier on two prior occasions for possession of a stolen vehicle.  Fournier was on active CDC parole for receiving/possessing stolen property.  He was also currently on formal felony probation for possession of a controlled substance.

Upon further investigation, the officer discovered Fournier had driven to the residence in a small 1984 blue Toyota pick-up truck which was parked along the street just south of the house.  A check of the truck’s license plate revealed it had been reported stolen out of Arcata on December 17.

Fournier claimed he bought the truck for $250.00.

The officer, however, noted the truck’s steering column had been
dismantled, exposing the wires to the ignition.

Fournier (age 48, of Ferndale) was arrested by the officer and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, and parole violation.

* * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)


Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Serious County DUI Enforcement Underway


Leave the Hot Toddies at Home


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Fortuna Police Department:

Humboldt County, CA – Heads up to holiday party-goers!

DUI2To help save lives this holiday season, law enforcement from 7 agencies are launching a special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown to stop impaired drivers and to save lives on our roadways.

The Humboldt County DUI Avoid the 7 Task Force is announcing that officers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers and will arrest anyone caught driving under the influence during the 19-day effort.  It’s in effect from now through New Year’s Weekend.

These enforcement efforts will include:

  • DUIride1 DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint
  • 6 local DUI saturation patrols
  • Roving DUI patrols
  • A Multi-Agency DUI Taskforce Operation
  • A Warrant Service Operation
  • And a Court Sting Operation

Thus far, DUI Arrests are up & DUI Fatalities remained at zero.

dui3From Friday through Sunday, December 14-16, officers representing 7 county law enforcement agencies arrested 12 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The CHP will also be deploying all available officers during two Maximum Enforcement Periods – Christmas and New Year’s Weekends.  The special enforcement crackdown will run from December 14 through January 1, 2013.

“Lots of folks will be out during this busy holiday season,
enjoying themselves and the holiday festivities, and we want
everyone to be safe on our roadways,” said Sergeant Charles
Ellebrecht of the Humboldt County Avoid the 7 Campaign.

dui4“That’s why we will be stepping up enforcement to catch and arrest impaired drivers.  Please be forewarned.  If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested.  No warnings, no excuses,” Ellebrecht said.

“No one ever thinks that their holiday celebration will end in jail, or worse, in a hospital or the morgue,” said Eureka Police Chief Murl Harpham.  “But for those who include alcohol in their celebrations and then get behind the wheel, this is too often the case,” Harpham added.

Heads Up – violators face:

  • Jail time
  • Loss of driver license
  • Steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job.

dui5The Avoid the 7 Coalition said there are three simple steps people can take to stay safe and out of trouble:

  1.   Plan ahead. If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Designate a sober driver or find another safe way home.
  2.   If you are impaired, find another way home.  Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. Our local AAA is also proud to offer its Tipsy Tow program which is available Monday, December 24th from 6:00 p.m. through Tuesday, December 25th at 6:00 a.m., and again on Monday,
    December 31st from 6:00 p.m. through Tuesday, January
    1st at 6:00 a.m.  The Tipsy Tow program is open to
    everyone. You do not need to be an AAA Member to take
    advantage of this service.hooking hoes2
  3.   Be responsible.  If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel.  If you see an impaired driver on the road,  report them – call 911!  Your actions may save someone’s life, or inaction could cost a life.

Media Notes:  To schedule an interview regarding Anti Drunk-Driving efforts, or request a ride-along with law enforcement during the holiday period, please contact Fortuna Sergeant Charles Ellebrecht at 707-725-1445, or by email at Cellebrecht@ci.fortuna.ca.us

* * * * * *

drinking2It’s a lot less hassle just to stay at home.

And– if you have a drinking problem or know someone who does, there is help.  Please call Alcoholics Anonymous at 442-0711 and regain life and health and the love of all things close and dear.



(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Drag Racing Juveniles Leave Destruction in Their Wake


Crash and Injuries Result


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On Saturday, December 15th at approximately 6:43 p.m., the Eureka Police Department and Humboldt Bay Firefighters responded to the intersection of Del Norte and I St for a report of an injury traffic collision, the EPD
reported in a release.

Upon arriving at the scene emergency personnel found a 2007 Chevy Malibu and 2001 Toyota Tacoma that were involved in the collision.

Parties from both vehicles were transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries.  A passenger from the Chevy Malibu was listed as being in critical condition, due to severe injuries sustained in the collision.

Witnesses to the collision reported that the male juvenile driver of the Toyota Tacoma was engaged in an illegal drag race with the female juvenile driver of a red Toyota Corolla just before the collision.

crashWitnesses estimated the speeds of the vehicles to be between 50 and 70 mph northbound on I St.  The Chevy Malibu was traveling westbound on Del Norte across I St and was broadsided by the Toyota Tacoma at what appeared to be a high rate of speed.  The collision caused the Tacoma to roll over as it continued north on I St and caused the Malibu to collide with a retaining wall at the intersection.

It appears that dangerous speeds (racing) were a major factor in this collision, however alcohol and/or drug influence on the part of the racers has not been ruled out.

The investigation into this collision is ongoing.  Any witnesses to the collision are asked to call Traffic Officer Tim Jones at (707) 441-4109.

It’s reported there is 1 patient with moderate injuries, 3 patients with minor injuries.

From Facebook posts regarding the accident:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to three important people to our Fortuna Boys Basketball program.  Justin Claus, Varsity player; Ally Seher, Varsity Cheerleader, and Grandma Pat Seher, Super Fan.

They were involved in a car accident last night after the game in Eureka.  Kids racing on H Street T-boned our loved ones!

Ally & Justin are okay.  Justin has been released from the hospital but Grandma Pat is still in ICU.  How fast your life goes from wonderful to fearful.

Send your thoughts and prayers to these families.  Hug your family and friends and let them know you love them.”

* * * *

“There was a tournament @ the high school, Fortuna vs Eureka. The red sedan and white Tacoma were racing down I st and hit the Chevy sedan who was crossing on Del Norte.  The Tacoma ended on to its top after rolling a couple times (I live a block away).  My neighbor said she watched it happen… they were going very fast down I St.

The passengers of the Chevy are OK which is VERY surprising given the condition of the car.”

* * * *

“The car that got hit was not racing because it was a high school student driving her grandma around.  The grandma is in the hospital and I guess it is’t looking good.

The red sedan left the scene.”

* * * * * * * *

The Times-Standard’s article by Kaci Poor, Suspected Street Racers leave 73-Year-Old Critical Condition,” is here.

Slow down and think, kids.  Fast Carma will kill you– and others.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)



Posted in Eureka, LocalComments (1)

Burglars Bungle Residence Twice


Trio of Crooks Arrested


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Yesterday, December 13 about 4 p.m., officers of the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the 1600 block of Harrison Avenue for a burglary in progress.

Mr. Dare

Dispatch advised that the victim had phoned earlier to report that his residence had been broken into and items of property were missing.  Minutes later, the victim re-phoned and stated that he believed the suspects had returned and were back inside his residence, the EPD release said.

While officers were responding, the victim advised that the suspects had exited his residence and were leaving northbound on Harrison Avenue. The victim followed the suspects and kept dispatch updated with the suspect’s description and whereabouts.

Upon the officers arrival, they located two suspects running southbound on Dean Street, towards 18th Street.  After a short foot pursuit, officers were able to stop and detain one suspect on 18th Street.  The second suspect was apprehended about a block south of this location.

Mr. Haslam

The victim was brought to both locations and positively identified both suspects. The two suspects were identified as Eric Thomas Dare, 32-years-old, Eureka, and Joe Alonzo Haslam, 34-years-old, of Eureka.

A search of the area located property that had been determined to have been discarded by the suspects during their flight.  The property included ski masks and gloves.

While the suspects were being interviewed, a search warrant was sought and issued for the suspect’s residence located in the 2400 block of 18th Street.  A search of the residence resulted in not only the recovery of most of the victim’s stolen property, but numerous firearms and a large amount of processed and unprocessed marijuana, and illegally possessed prescription medications.

Mr. Rogers

A third suspect was soon identified in the incident.  He was discovered to be Kevin Lee Rogers, 18-years-old, of Eureka.  Rogers was soon located and taken into custody in Blue Lake.  Rogers admitted to his involvement in the burglary and indicated that he had sold some of the stolen property at a local business.

As a result of the investigation, it’s believed that the victim’s residence had been burglarized earlier in the day– and that the suspects had returned a short time later to steal additional property.  At that time they were witnessed in the residence by the victim.

All three suspects were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility of charges of burglary and possession of stolen property.

Mr. Dare and Mr. Haslam were also charged with resisting arrest.  Additional charges regarding the located controlled substances will be added upon completion of the investigation.  All three suspects are being held on $50,000 bail each.

This is an open investigation and further details will be released as they become available.  Anyone with information concerning this case is urged to contact Officer Aubuchon at 707-441-4044, EPD said.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (2)

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)

Eureka Police Asks Your Help Finding These People


EPD Seeks Assistance Identifying Area Crooks Caught on Film


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


WinCo, EurekaOn Friday night, November 23, at approximately 6:00 p.m. the male suspect in these photos, below right,  stole a vehicle from the WinCo parking

The vehicle is a tan, 1986 Toyota pick-up with
California license plate # 3Z08468.

The tailgate, at the time of the theft and was primer black, rear center window missing, double horizontal tube bumpers, cracked front windshield, brown stripes down both sides of the truck.

The Eureka Police Department requests the assistance of the public to help identify the following suspect in the theft.

Please call 9-1-1 if you know the location of the vehicle.  If you can identify the male suspect in this photo, please call the Eureka Police Department at 441-4060 and leave a message with the information for Officer McElroy.

Please mention case number 3C12-10315.

* * * * * * * * *
Launderland, EurekaThis man is wanted for questioning in a theft at Launderland at 420 N Street on Friday, November 9, at approximately 7:00 p.m. 

Anyone with information on the man is asked to contact EPD at 441-4325 ext 2#.  Please mention case # 3C12-9844



* * * * * * * * * *

WinCo, EurekaThe Eureka Police Department would like to contact the female in this photo regarding a men’s black wallet that was accidentally left at a check stand at WinCo Foods on Monday, October 12, at approximately 12:30 p.m.

The female was in line behind the owner of the wallet.

She was with two small children.  A female child approximately 6-7 years of age and a younger boy aged 5-6 years of age.  The woman may be associated with a white SUV.

Anyone with information on the woman is asked to contact the department
at 441-4325 ext 2#.   Please mention case # 3C12-9925.

* * * * * * * * *

Eureka and LoletaThe Eureka Police Department is requesting the assistance of the public to identify two fraud suspects.

The two suspects went in to several local businesses and used a stolen Debit/Visa card to make several purchases in the Eureka and Loleta area.

The Visa/Debit card was stolen from the victim’s purse while she was at
work.  The crimes happened on October 25.

Suspects may be driving a dark colored SUV possibly a Chevy Tahoe.

Anyone with information regarding either suspect’s identities is urged to contact Police Services Officer Suzie Owsley at 441-4325, then 2#.

(Note:  all of these subjects may have been identified by the time of posting)

* * * * * * * * *

 (Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in CrimeComments (0)

Another Bust on ‘Uh-Oh’ Street


Upscale Eureka Neighborhood Sees Yet Another Raid


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Here’s the short story:

A home in the 3600 block of “O” Street in Eureka was raided yesterday by EPD’s POP unit and the DA’s Office
after they were both tipped off about marijuana growing activity.

The joint raid happened just before 9 yesterday morning.  In the basement of the home officers found 299 growing marijuana plants;  in another room, 136 pounds of harvested drying marijuana.  Half of the house was dedicated to cannabis cultivation.

Police said the commercial grow was operating in a rental home being occupied by 38-year-old Robert Brian Barfield.  EPD said Barfield told them he moved here from Georgia specifically to grow weed.  EPD and neighbors were not amused by the long-haired and scraggly looking interloper agriculturist.

“This is well outside the provisions of 215,” said EPD Sergeant Steve Watson, “and well outside the provisions of the City of Eureka’s medical cannabis ordinance.”

“It’s a for profit grow involving basically half of the entire basement area involving about a half dozen rooms,” Watson said.

Police also found Mr. Barfield in possession of a loaded rifle.  He was arrested for possession and cultivation of pot as well as maintaining a place for drug sales.

And here’s the official Eureka Police Department release:

On 11/20/12, at about 9:30 a.m., investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office served a search warrant at a residence on the 3600 block of ‘O’ Street, Eureka.

This was a joint operation conducted by investigators from both agencies.  The warrant was obtained by DA Investigators after both units received independent citizen complaints about a possible indoor marijuana grow at the home.

Investigators detained the sole resident, Robert Brian Barfield, 38, of Atlanta, Georgia, at the front door.

During a subsequent search of the spacious two-story residence, investigators discovered nearly all of the entire bottom-level (7-8 rooms) had been converted into a large-scale sophisticated indoor marijuana cultivation operation.  This included 4 dedicated grow rooms and a dedicated drying/trimming room.

Investigators located and seized 299 growing marijuana plants of varying sizes and 136 ½ pounds of already harvested, drying marijuana.

A loaded lever-action .30-.30 Winchester rifle was also located in Barfield’s bedroom.

During questioning, Barfield admitted he’d moved to Eureka from Georgia around 3 months ago for the specific purpose of growing marijuana.  He added this was “because it’s legal” here.

Investigators observed a potential electrical fire hazard associated with the indoor marijuana growing operation due to a substantial amount of unpermitted wiring etc.  Officials with the City of Eureka’s Building Department responded to inspect the wiring and PG&E was subsequently contacted to disconnect the electrical service to the residence.

Additionally, the unemployed Barfield was renting the residence from its out-of-state owners for $3,000.00 a month.  EPD will be contacting the owners so that they remedy the criminal activity and the unauthorized modifications made to their property.

During the search of Barfield’s residence, investigators learned he also rented a storage unit at a mini-storage facility located on Indianola Cutoff midway between Eureka and Arcata.  DA investigators obtained and served a second search warrant for the storage unit.  Numerous grow pots were found in the unit.

Barfield was arrested by POP investigators and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for:

  • Unauthorized planting/cultivating/harvesting/processing of marijuana
  • Possession of marijuana for sale
  • Maintaining a place for unlawfully selling/providing a controlled substance.

Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call:

  • The Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373
  • The Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095
  • Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding criminal activity, including drug activity, is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at (707) 445-7251 or
  • The Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line (707) 268-2539

* * * * * * * * *

The KIEM-TV report with pictures of the grow and the suspect, Mr. Barfield, is here.

This is the second major raid of an O Street residence in the tony ‘hood in little than a month.  The other raid was 9 blocks down the street.

If this keeps up, there goes the neighborhood.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Eureka Police Department’s Roll


Good Days for EPD, Bad Ones for Scoundrels


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Eureka Police Department has been on a roll lately making busts, according to the cornucopia of recent releases.

Squatters Wheel and Deal

On November 14, at about 10 in the morning, investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit conducted a probation search at an apartment located on the 1400 block of Bay Street in Eureka.  This was in response to complaints that non-renters had illegally moved into the apartment resulting in increased “traffic” there.

Investigators contacted Steven Nicholas Upton, age 22,  and his girlfriend, Beatrice Braheda Runner, 24, both from Eureka, inside the apartment.

A records check confirmed Runner had 5 active warrants for her arrest for offenses including:  possession of a controlled substance; petty theft; and possession of marijuana.  Ms. Runner was also currently on formal probation for possession of a controlled substance.

During a search of the apartment, investigators located a loaded .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, ammunition, and approximately 24 ½ ounces– or 1.5 pounds– of processed marijuana bud that was packed for sale in multiple bags.

Investigators also found additional evidence of drug sales activity including a:

  • Digital scale
  • Indicia indicating narcotics trafficking
  • Packaging materials
  • $1,550.00 cash (suspected drug sales proceeds)
  • And a large quantity of cutting agents including MSM and super lactose powder

The MSM was packaged in a manner and appearance made to look as if it was approximately 1 ½ ounces of crystal methamphetamine for sale in 5 individual baggies.

Upton and Runner were arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked for:

  • Possession of marijuana for sale
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Maintaining a place for the purpose of unlawfully selling, giving away, or using a controlled substance
  • And other drug related offenses

Additionally, Ms. Runner was arrested and booked on her warrants.


The R Street Bust Leads to Another 86 Pounds in Dinsmore

On November 13, the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) served a search warrant at a suspected marijuana sales house on the 1600 block of ‘R’ Street, Eureka.  The warrant was part of an investigation into a large scale commercial marijuana growing operation involving multiple suspects and properties.

During the service of the search warrant, resident Kevin James Hulcy, 30, of Eureka, was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a space for unlawfully manufacturing, storing, or distributing a controlled substance.

POP investigators located and seized approximately 24 pounds of processed marijuana bud packaged for sale, 5 firearms, $38,706.00 cash (suspected marijuana sales proceeds), and other evidence indicative of illegal, commercial marijuana cultivation.

During the course of the investigation, EPD investigators also obtained evidence identifying the location of a second rural property in the Dinsmore area associated with the suspects and their illegal marijuana cultivation and sales operation.  This information was relayed to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Community Response Unit.

That afternoon, Deputies, assisted by Agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force and a POP investigator, executed a search warrant at the property.

Approximately 86 more pounds of processed marijuana was located and seized on the property, some of which the suspects had apparently hastily attempted to hide.


Which Led to the Other Bust of Many Guns– But Little Weed

On November 15 at about 9:30 a.m., POP investigators served a search warrant on a second residence associated with the suspects’ commercial marijuana growing operation.  This residence was also located on the 1600 block of ‘R’ Street near Mr. Hulcy’s house– but the second property did not belong to Hulcy.

During a search of the two-story residence, investigators found evidence of a large recently harvested and trimmed indoor marijuana growing operation.  A substantial section of the residence–3 rooms in the back– had been converted into a marijuana cultivation and processing space. The grow appeared to have been for-profit in nature and was additionally out-of-compliance with Eureka’s Medical Cannabis Ordinance, EPD said.

Investigators seized 15 firearms from the residence including rifles, shotguns, and pistols.  Investigators also located and seized approximately a ½ pound of processed marijuana bud believed to be packaged for sale in multiple bags.

Officers also observed a potential electrical fire hazard associated with the indoor marijuana growing operation due to unpermitted wiring etc. PG&E was contacted to disconnect the electrical service to the residence.

Charges including:

  • Unlawful marijuana cultivation
  • Possession of marijuana for sale
  • And maintaining a place for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, or distributing a controlled substance

–are anticipated to be requested against the residents, who were not home at the time the warrant was served.


Small Potatoes:

At approximately 10 a.m., POP investigators also conducted a related probation search at a residence on the 900 block of ‘N’ Street Eureka. Travis Matthew Collins, age 28 of Eureka, was contacted and detained at the residence.  Collins was on felony formal probation for DUI.

During a search of Collin’s home pursuant to his probation status, investigators located a Winchester 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun and Remington 30-06 caliber semi-automatic rifle concealed under the mattress in his bedroom.  Investigators also found approximately 3 ounces of processed marijuana in his room.

Collins was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Pokey where he was booked for probation violation and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

This is an on-going investigation and additional arrests may follow.

As always, EPD asks anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity occurring in the City to please call:

  • The Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373
  • The Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095.
  • Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding criminal and drug activity, is encouraged to call the HCSO (707) 445-7251 or
  • The Sheriff’s Office Tip line (707) 268-2539.

* * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Another Bright and Early Eureka Bud Bust


Eureka Raid Leads to Another in Dinsmore


–James Hulcy Caught with the Goods–


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


They just keep on coming and going down.

On Tuesday, November 13, at about 8 in the morning, investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit served a search warrant at a suspected marijuana sales house on the 1600 block of ‘R’ Street, Eureka.

The warrant was obtained after the POP Unit developed information the residents were involved in a for-profit marijuana cultivation operation, according to the EPD release.

Resident Kevin James Hulcy, age 30 of Eureka, was detained during a traffic stop away from the residence.  During a subsequent search of the residence, investigators located and seized approximately:

  • 24 pounds of processed marijuana bud packaged for sale in 1/2 pound and one pound bags
  • 5 firearms,
  • $38,706.00 cash (suspected marijuana sales proceeds)
  • And other evidence indicative of illegal, commercial marijuana cultivation.

Investigators also found evidence of an earlier indoor marijuana grow in a detached garage behind the residence.

Hulcy was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a space for unlawfully manufacturing, storing, or distributing a controlled substance.

Similar charges are expected to be requested against a female resident (Hulcy’s girlfriend) who was not present at the time the search warrant was served.

During the course of this investigation, POP investigators also procured evidence identifying the location of a second (rural) property in the Dinsmore area associated with the suspects.  This information was relayed to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Community Response Unit.

That afternoon, Deputies, assisted by agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force and a POP investigator, executed a search warrant at the property.  A large amount of processed marijuana was located there.

Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373 or the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095.

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

* * * * * * * * *

Not the best location for a grow-op and/or sales.  Word has it many officers with different agencies live in that hood, not to mention nosy neighbors with eagle eyes and discerning noses.

There’s been spirited discussion on Facebook about the multitude of raids targeting marijuana by law enforcement.  Some feel too many busts and resources are devoted to pot cultivation– when meth should be the primary focus as the more dangerous and prevalent life-destroying drug in our community.

(Posted by Skippy  Massey)

Posted in CrimeComments (0)

Burglars Arrested With the Loot


EPD Nabs Thieving Couple 


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


On Thursday November 1 at about 12:30 in the morning, officers from the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the 3500 block of F Street in Eureka.  The victim reported there were burglars inside his residence.

As officers responded they contacted two suspicious subjects, a male and a female, in a vehicle about two blocks from the crime scene.  The subjects were dressed in dark clothing and were acting suspiciously, the report said.

We’re not sure what the ‘acting suspiciously’ was all about, but we’ll safely assume the couple were furtively dubious and questionably odd in their actions at the midnight hour.

Officers detained the subjects while other officers checked the crime scene.   When property from the crime scene was located on the subjects, they were arrested for burglary.

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle and additional stolen property
was found inside it.

Both suspects were booked into the Humboldt County Jail for burglary.

The suspects were identified as:

  • Rochelle Desiree Volpi, of Eureka, and
  • Kenneth Andrew Smith, of Fortuna.

This is an ongoing investigation, EPD said.

The Eureka Police Department encourages anyone with information concerning this odd crime to contact Detective John Luken at 441-4300– and refer to case 3C12-9564.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

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EPD Update on Barricade Suspect


Eureka Police Department Release Search Warrant Results of Jeffrey Wood


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Eureka Police Department gave an update on the arrest and search warrant of Jeffrey Wood.  Mr. Wood, after arming and barricading himself, held law enforcement
at bay in a seven-hour standoff in Eureka yesterday before
surrendering, as reported in the Humboldt Sentinel:

The Eureka Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division followed up on the arrest of Jeffrey Wood, at 328 Cooper Lane in Eureka, by serving a search warrant on the apartment.

Detectives recovered several large caliber handguns, a shotgun and a small caliber rifle.

Four expended 40 caliber cartridges, and one expended 38 caliber cartridge, were located inside the apartment.

Five bullet holes were also found in the walls, ceiling and doors of the house.  This evidence, along with other previously known facts, supports the allegation that Wood discharged a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.

One of the bullets passed through the front door, from inside to outside, with the bullet impact location and the bullet debris, spread in the direction of officers on scene.  This evidence, along with other previously known facts, supports the allegation that Wood resisted arrest by violence or threats of death to officers.

Detectives also located a hydroponic marijuana grow and other marijuana growing paraphernalia, along with three devices and the necessary chemicals, to process marijuana into hash oil.  Based on these findings, the allegation of manufacturing controlled substances has been added to Wood’s charges.

* * * * * * * *

Another case of arrested development and epic fail in the Big City.

KMUD’s radio interview with Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey speaking about this incident is here.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

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Halloween Hooligans on the Plaza


Rain Didn’t Dampen Wild Arcata Antics


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Despite rain, public announcements, and plenty of uniformed presence, Halloween-on-the-Plaza shenanigans blossomed again in a yearly ritual to too much alcohol.  More than an unruly intoxicated few were unceremoniously dragged away.

From the Arcata Police Department:

The Arcata Police Department along with officers from the Eureka Police Department, Fortuna Police Department, Ferndale Police Department, Rio Dell Police Department, HSU Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol patrolled the Arcata Plaza on Halloween due to past incidents of unruly behavior.

Halloween saw a couple thousand people in the downtown area once again.  While officers were successful in keeping the Plaza from being vandalized, some people in the crowd turned violent.
While arresting a female subject who had been involved in a physical fight, officers became surrounded.  Several objects were thrown at the officers from the crowd.  An APD sergeant was struck in the face with a bottle sustained a large laceration to his upper lip.  He had to be transported to Mad River Hospital and received several stitches.
The crowd continued to be unruly and several more arrests were made throughout the night.
Officers located a male subject with an AR-15 assault rifle
slung around his neck.  The firearm had an unusable unloaded magazine
in the weapon.  He also had a loaded operable 10 round magazine in his pocket.
The weapon was taken for public safety reasons.
During the evening there were nine Public Intoxication arrests.

Numerous medical aid calls occurred which consisted of a broken nose, broken jaw, severed ear (which were sustained during physical altercations in the downtown area) and other alcohol related issues.

There were approximately 101 calls for service during the night.

* * * * * * * *

Better luck next year?





(Posted by Skippy Massey)

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Cross-dressing Burglar Nabbed


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


And you thought bed bugs and things that go bump in the night were creepy and spooky.

Just before noon today, officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to a burglary report at the 2600 block of 6th Street in Eureka, according to the EPD release.
Officers were advised that a woman had returned to her residence and located a male subject hiding in her bed. The suspect fled out the door of the residence.  He got on a bicycle and rode towards West Avenue.

The victim began following the suspect from a distance, while updating the police of the suspect’s location, via her cellular phone.
At about 17th Street, the subject dropped the bicycle and fled on foot.  Officers searched the area and located the subject running southbound on County Lane.   A short foot pursuit took place and the suspect was quickly cornered in a nearby backyard.
The suspect was given multiple orders at gunpoint but he was slow to comply.  It became necessary to tackle the suspect and he was taken into custody without further incident.

The suspect was found to be wearing clothing items belonging to the victim.
The suspect was identified as Curtis Charles Combrink,45-years-old, of Eureka.  A database check of Combrink revealed that he is on active parole for burglary.

Mr. Combrink was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for booking on charges of burglary and resisting arrest. A parole hold was placed on Combrink and he’s also being held without bail due to his parole status.  
An ongoing investigation, information will be released as available, EPD said.

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Pedestrian Collides With Vehicle on Broadway

Another Alcohol Related Accident– This Time it’s the Pedestrian


Staff Report

Humboldt Sentinel


On Friday evening at about 7:45 p.m., Eureka police were dispatched to the southbound lanes of Broadway at 14th Street to a vehicle vs. pedestrian traffic collision.  The vehicle prevailed.

A preliminary investigation shows that a 23-year-old male was driving his 2002 Hyundai Accent southbound on Broadway in the right-hand lane approaching 14th Street, when he collided with a 57-year-old male who was in the roadway outside of a crosswalk, the Eureka Police Department reported. A witness reported that the pedestrian was almost hit earlier when trying to cross Broadway outside of a crosswalk.

 The driver of the vehicle was uninjured and showed no signs of impairment.

The pedestrian is well-known to the EPD and alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the collision.  The pedestrian was transported to the hospital with moderate to major injuries and remains in critical condition.

Driving in Eureka– and particularly on the Broadway thoroughfare– can be an especially dangerous gamble.  Look both ways, cross your fingers, say your prayers, and exercise complete paranoia and psychic awareness before driving in this wild and crazy City. 

The Eureka Police report there have been five deathly fatal traffic accidents within the city’s 14.5 square miles during the past eight months.  Two of those fatal accidents were on Broadway/Highway 101.  Three were alcohol-related.

Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions alone have resulted in 55 injury crashes harming 74 of our friends and neighbors in Eureka.

Numerous pedestrians have also been hit.  As the Sentinel reported, one serious clipping happened on Broadway only two weeks ago.  The pedestrian in that accident was transported to UC Davis for their injuries.

And then there’s the drunk and drug-challenged pedestrians and the two-wheeled speed demons for drivers to contend with, doing their best repertoire of herky-jerky moves and dancing the hokey pokey against crosstown traffic while floating on a cloud of purple haze.  Or crystal meth.  Or black tar.  Or all three.

Dancing with the Devil, if you ask us.

The Eureka Police Department is asking anyone who might have witnessed this collision to contact Senior Traffic Officer Gary Whitmer at 441-4232 or Traffic Officer Tim Jones at 441-4109.

Ah, alcohol and drugs– the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, LocalComments (0)

EPD POPs Prostitution In Old Town


Sting Operation Nets Six


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Thursday, October 18, the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP), assisted by patrol, conducted a “prostitution sting” in Eureka’s
Old Town area. 

This operation was in response to complaints of prostitution activity along 3rd Street west of the Humboldt
County Library, EPD said in a release.

Officers utilized male decoys or “Johns” (undercover officers) driving undercover vehicles. 

Three women were arrested after soliciting the “Johns” to pay them money for sexual acts performed upon them.

A female decoy was also used.  Three men were arrested
after they offered to pay the officer money to perform
sexual acts upon them.

Additionally, a male contacted the undercover officer and discussed prostitution-related topics with her (ie., the price of acts she might perform).

He left the scene prior to agreeing to pay money to the officer.  He was later contacted and warned about soliciting acts of prostitution.

During the course of the approximately 4-hour penetration, the following suspects were arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional facility:


Kristen Leilani Hill, 39, was arrested for loitering with intent to commit prostitution and soliciting an act of prostitution.

Heather Deanne Amador, 42, was arrested for loitering with intent to commit prostitution and soliciting an act of prostitution.

Casey Marie Hunter, 31, was arrested for loitering with intent to commit prostitution and soliciting an act of prostitution.


Jason Garrett Shields, 40, was arrested for loitering with intent to solicit prostitution, soliciting an act of prostitution and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.

Alexander Joint Smith, 25, was arrested for loitering with intent to solicit prostitution and soliciting an act of prostitution.

Luis Carlos Valdez-Leal, 21, was arrested for loitering with intent to solicit prostitution and soliciting an act of prostitution.

* * * * * * * * *

Prostitution in Old Town:  Selling souls and feeding habits and chasing the dragon one piece at a time for over a century.  Trick by trick, bag by bag, vein by vein, bottle by bottle, promising oneself only one more time, the very last time.

Maybe we should try using signs.

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Submerged Vehicle Found in Bay– But No Victims


Humboldt Bay Fire and Numerous Agencies Respond


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


From the City of Eureka and Humboldt Bay Fire Department’s press release:

Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a reported water rescue
at the boat ramp under the Samoa Bridge yesterday, Wednesday,
October 10, at 12:19 in the morning.

Upon arrival a submerged vehicle was discovered about 50 feet from shore.  Initial reports indicated that the vehicle had been occupied when it entered the water.

Humboldt Bay Fire swimmers were deployed into the water to attempt a rescue of any occupants.  Due to the submersion of the vehicle, darkness, and murky water, fire swimmers were unable to determine if there were any occupants still in the vehicle.  Humboldt Bay Fire swimmers are surface-based rescuers and do not have dive capabilities.

Swimmers secured the vehicle to shore to prevent it from drifting with the tide change and two tow trucks were requested to the scene to assist in moving the vehicle to a position which would allow the swimmers to gain access and rescue any victims.  Pacific Towing provided the tow trucks.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Humboldt Bay Port Authority responded to provide rescue capabilities for personnel and victims in the water.

During the incident, Eureka Police Officers were notified that a male subject possibly associated with the vehicle was located at the Adorni Center Amphitheater.  Additional information was obtained that there was possibly a second occupant still in the vehicle.

The male subject contacted by Eureka Police Officers was determined to be associated with the vehicle but was uncooperative and would not provide confirmation of the number of occupants of the vehicle or their whereabouts.

Humboldt Bay Fire continued with rescue operations for over an hour until a physician who had contact with the on-scene ambulance personnel advised that a successful resuscitation of a victim submerged for that length of time was extremely unlikely.

Due to the high risk to the rescue personnel, Humboldt Bay Fire swimmers continued with their operations, facilitating relocation of the vehicle to shallow water which allowed for entry into the vehicle and confirmation of no victims.

During the operations, personnel were rotated to prevent hypothermia.  One Humboldt Bay Fire swimmer experienced minor cold water exposure symptoms and was immediately removed and treated at the scene with no complications.

After the incident, the male subject contacted by Eureka Police began to cooperate.  He advised that he had been the only person in the vehicle. He was transported to a local mental facility for evaluation.  

The Arcata Fire Protection District responded to Eureka to provide coverage to the rest of the Humboldt Bay Fire response area.

The Humboldt Bay Fire commends cooperation of allied agencies and response of the U.S. Coast Guard and Humboldt Bay Port Authority boats providing support to the operation.

Photo Credit:  Humboldtfilm.org, Arcata Eye, Sue Field
(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, LocalComments (0)

Injured Pedestrian Airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center


EPD Asks Witnesses to Come Forward


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


On Saturday night, October 6 at 9:26 p.m., the Eureka Police Department responded to a traffic collision in the 2100 block of Broadway.  The collision involved a pick-up truck driving northbound and a pedestrian crossing Broadway.

Officers arrived on scene and spoke with the driver of the pick-up.  The pedestrian sustained significant injuries and was transported to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

She was later air-lifted to the University of California Medical Center at Davis due to the extent of her injuries and  remains in stable, but critical, condition.

After speaking with parties and witnesses, officers believe the pedestrian attempted to cross Broadway outside of a crosswalk, at night, during foggy conditions.

It appears the driver of the pick-up truck was operating his vehicle safely.

The Eureka Police Department reminds motorists to drive safely during foggy conditions and pedestrians to use crosswalks when crossing streets.

This is an ongoing investigation– and witnesses are encouraged to contact Officer Peter Cress (707) 441-4044.

(Please reference case# 3T12-384)

* * * * * * *

Broadway has been the location of numerous accidents and even fatalities over the past year.  It’s a very dangerous thoroughfare for both drivers and pedestrians alike, the latter frequently seen crossing the boulevard outside the designated crosswalks in haphazrd fashion.

The location of this accident, in the 2100 block of Broadway, sits between the Serenity Inn on one side, and Harbor Lanes Bowling Alley on the other.

These pictures of the nearby area from the CalTrans camera show how visibility at night is severely restricted.  During foggy conditions, visibility is virtually nonexistent.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eureka, LocalComments (1)

Eureka To Introduce New Anti-Homeless Laws

Sitting, lying, panhandling all targeted by latest bright ideas from City Attorney


By Charles Douglas
Humboldt Sentinel



It’s not every day when Eureka looks to follow the example of Arcata.

Turning decades of municipal rivalry on its head, Eureka is looking up to its smaller municipal brethren across Humboldt Bay — at least when it comes to firing off a fresh round of anti-homeless laws.

Fresh on the heels of a 4-1 Council approval of stiffening the ban on sleeping in public by boosting the legal definition of this famous crime from an infraction to a misdemeanor, City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson has cooked up two separate sets of amendments to city code on the eve of next month’s general election — one in which the sole dissenting Councilmember, Linda Atkins, faces stiff opposition for her Ward Two seat.

The first volley is a slight re-wording of Arcata’s decade-old law which bans sitting or lying on the sidewalk in a wide swath of the downtown and northtown areas — although the staff report is careful not to mention the dreaded A-word, but refer to examples in, improbably, Berkeley and Santa Cruz instead. Specifically, Eureka’s ordinance would set a 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. ban on the nefarious sitting-type behavior, and would set up 18 districts covering nearly all commercial and industrial areas of Eureka, along with adjoining residential areas. The obstruction of pedestrian traffic would also become a crime in the new ordinance.

“While the City currently has other laws that could address inhospitable behavior such as aggressive panhandling, that violation requires a citizen or merchant to sign a complaint and agree to appear in court before police can act,” Day-Wilson states in her report to the Council. “No one may be cited unless first notified by a police officer that he or she is sitting or lying in a prohibited area and is in violation of the law.”

“First time offenders would be charged with an infraction and either fined or ordered to perform community service. Repeat offenders would be charged with an infraction or misdemeanor at the discretion of the City Attorney.”

Cyndy Day-Wilson

Day-Wilson has taken a peculiar interest in prosecuting the lowest of the low-end, victimless crimes. Due to a series of severe budget cuts and grant funding fumbles, District Attorney Paul Gallegos has previously gone on record as stating that his office can no longer afford to divert scarce prosecutorial resources away from chasing down convictions for serious and violent crimes. Thus the City Attorney herself has spent a considerable percentage of her time in office this year fighting to convict local poor and homeless individuals on such charges as sleeping in public, open container, camping and panhandling — according to the staff report she wrote for this week’s meeting, her office has prosecuted over 300 such cases thus far in 2012.

Day-Wilson frankly admits in the second paragraph of her report on the anti-sitting ordinance that such laws are usually seen by opponents as “veiled attacks on the homeless.” She didn’t need any straw men to defend against, however, in her report introducing the second ordinance, given the proximity to Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen’s ruling last week which gutted almost all provisions of Arcata’s anti-panhandling ordinance.

Her proposal steered clear of the latest embarrassment to befall Arcata’s city attorney, Nancy Diamond, and instead stuck to a short-list ban on panhandling outside of automated teller machines and on public transit buses — along with the usual missive against aggressive panhandling, which wasn’t part of the successful lawsuit against A-town by Arcata civil rights activist Richard Salzman.

“The proposed ordinance is neither overbroad nor vague and is narrowly tailored to serve a substantial government interest,” Day-Wilson stated. “The goal is to protect citizens from the fear and intimidation accompanying certain kinds of solicitation that are an unwelcome and overwhelming presence…by imposing reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on solicitation while respecting the constitutional rights of free speech for all citizens.”

In a startling about-face, however, the anti-sitting ordinance sneaks in a casual deletion of the entire anti-sleeping law in Section 130.02 which the Council upped the penalties for this summer. There’s no word yet on whether the threat of litigation played a role in this proposed repeal.

In terms of the role these issues are playing in Atkins’ re-election efforts, her primary opponent, former Republican Central Committee treasurer Joe Bonino answered a question about the Occupy Eureka protest by saying: “I am advocating something that’s common sense. You definitely do not want people out there camping, which is what it devolves to. I mean, you can definitely have a lot of people sitting on the sidewalk. When we do our protests for political things, you know, the police come and say very nicely, you gotta stay out of the street, and you’ve got to stay on the sidewalk.”

Also at their first debate on Sept. 12 (which the Sentinel helped produce), held at the Community Media Center on the Eureka High School campus, both Atkins and Bonino were asked by Redwood ACLU treasurer Peter Martin if they agreed with criminalizing sleeping.

“It’s illegal to sleep in public, but also, there’s really no place for you to sleep in public anyways because no one wants you to sleep near there in front of their house, and so that precludes all sidewalks, all alleyways, everything and all private property,” Bonino said. “So it’s a tough question but I don’t think what the City did is a harmful thing.”

Atkins shot back, saying Bonino didn’t live in her neighorhood of Cooper Gultch, where she noticed homeless people sleeping in front of, behind of and down the street from her house.

“We have a really big problem of homeless people not having a place to sleep in Eureka,” Atkins said. “And the Council’s been hesitant to even talk about the idea of a campground located somewhere away from our tourist area where people could come and set up their tent and have a place that is safe and comfortable for them to sleep in.”

Bonino in his rebuttal said he would be willing to entertain the idea of a campground, so long as it was strictly run, along the lines outlined in the John Steinbeck novel The Grapes Of Wrath.



Both Ordinance 856 (anti-sitting) and Ordinance 854 (anti-panhandling) will be taken up by the Council this Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall — where sitting is as yet not a crime. If introduced, the ordinances would need to come back up for a second reading and formal adoption on Oct. 16.

Posted in Crime, Eureka, PoliticsComments (6)

Bad-Check Fraudster On the Loose

Eureka Police Asks Your Help Finding This Scamster Con Artist


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Some folks simply can’t be trusted.  This gal’s stolen checks are multiplying like litter, lies, and grief around town.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

This just in from EPD:

The Eureka Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance to identify the following female fraud suspect and a vehicle associated with her.

The female has been purchasing items at various stores (Safeway, Walgreen’s, K-mart, and WalMart) by using stolen checks.

The checks were stolen from the Humboldt Hill area of Eureka.

The female is described as:

  • White female adult
  • Heavy build
  • Straight dark colored hair (that is believed to be a wig or resembles a wig).
  • The suspect sometimes wears larger round clear colored glasses
  • On occasion carries a large blue bag style purse.

The checks are roughly written with the original payee name and the numerical amount scratched out and different names and amounts written in.

If asked, the suspect presents a stolen driver’s license as identification. 

The white truck is possibly a Mazda, extended cab, with a canopy.  There are distinct stripes on the driver’s side of the truck.  The woman is normally the passenger in this vehicle.

The photos will also be available on the department’s website and FB soon.   The Sentinel, though, has a few of them here.

Anyone with information on the suspect’s identity and/or that of the truck’s driver is urged to contact Police Services Officer Suzie Owsley at 441-4325 ext. 2.


Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

UPDATED: Fatal Hit and Run on Myrtle Avenue

Driver Flees After Striking Bayside Joggers; One Killed, Two Injured


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


SECOND UPDATE: The memorial jog event was subsequently cancelled at the request of the family.

UPDATE: An event has been organized on Facebook to commemorate this tragedy, coming up this Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8 a.m. at Three Corners Market in Freshwater. According to organizer Melissa L Tafoya: “This is going to be an informal gathering of runners, joggers and walkers to honor the three women who were hit in this morning’s hit and run accident on Myrtle Avenue and to remind all of us to share the road.”

California Highway Patrol officers were dispatched around 5:45 a.m. this morning following a call of three joggers injured by a vehicle, one of them suffering major injuries.

Deputy Coroner Ariel Gruenthal indicated later this morning that one individual was killed.  Two others were transported to the hospital with serious trauma following the hit-and-run traffic accident on Myrtle Avenue.  The name of the woman killed in the accident and pronounced deceased at the scene has yet to be released, pending notification of her next of kin.  All three joggers involved in the accident were female.

The two women brought to St. Joseph Hospital with possibly compound fractures and other injuries were Eureka residents Jessica Hunt, 41, and Terri Vroman-Little, 50, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The three joggers were running northbound on the west shoulder of Myrtle Avenue, south of Ole Hansen Road, at about 5:40 a.m. when a 2005 Kia Spectra driven by an unidentified suspect hit all three women, the CHP said.  For unknown reasons the vehicle left its lane of travel and struck all three of the female joggers.  A dog belonging to one of the joggers was also killed.

The driver of the vehicle fled the scene. The vehicle was later found abandoned by the Eureka Police Department on California Street, in Eureka.  Myrtle Avenue was closed between 3 Corners Market and Indianola Road for four hours following the accident.

Several possible leads are being followed up on as to the identity of the hit and run driver.  The accident– and locating the missing driver– remain under investigation, the CHP said.

* * * * * * *

KIEM-TV has their video report here.

The Times-Standard News has been posting updates here.

Readers will want to see our updated Sentinel article regarding the possible connection between this incident and the deceased woman found by the CHP in Hoopa hours later, taken from a timeline of the CHP incident log.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, Crime, EurekaComments (2)

Burglary Suspects Arrested Following Foot Chase

Fast Feet Lead to Sequoia Park and the County Pokey


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


After allegedly breaking into several Eureka homes Thursday morning and stealing some precious swag, two men were apprehended and thrown into the pokey after fleeing from officers into Sequoia Park.

Eureka Police Department officers responded to a residential burglary alarm September 20 around 8:30 a.m., and discovered the home on the 1100 block of Manzanita Avenue had been broken into.

While officers didn’t find anyone in the residence, they received a detailed description of two men who had been seen leaving the burgled house.  Witnesses in the neighborhood reported seeing two adult male suspects jump a fence at the location and run southbound on M Street.

An EPD plainclothes sergeant saw two men matching the description 45 minutes later, carrying multiple bags and walking two bicycles and pushing over bikes on O Street.  The sergeant attempted to contact them, at which point their fast feet fled into the forested trails and cover of Sequoia Park.  They abandoned their bicycles and bags.

The sergeant pursued the individuals and was able to detain one man– at gunpoint– about 30 feet off a trail.  He was identified as Travis Lee Morgan, 47-years-old, of Eureka.  The second suspect fled deeper into the woods and eluded capture.

The sergeant then put out an alert for other EPD officers to set up a perimeter around the park’s boundaries.

EPD Officer Wayne Rabang and K9 “Endy” conducted a foot search of the park.  The second supect may have been able to run but his scandalous scent couldn’t hide from Endy’s discriminating nose.

The K9 duo located and apprehended the second culprit, identified as Stewart Michael Anderson, 26-years-old, of Orange County, around 9:56 a.m., EPD said.

While the sergeant was out with Morgan, a neighborhood resident drove by and recognized the bikes that the suspects had been pushing over. The resident checked his O Street home and reported it, too, had been burglarized.

When suspects Anderson and Morgan were searched,  EPD officers found 50 pounds of coins, a laptop, a Nintendo Wii, jewelry and other miscellaneous items that were identified by homeowners as stolen.

When apprehended, Morgan was carrying a backpack filled with U.S. coins ($692.00 worth).  His pockets were stuffed with miscellaneous jewelry, cash, and other suspected stolen items.  Officers also located a laptop computer he dropped when he fled.

A total of approximately $2,200.00 worth of stolen property was recovered and returned to the victims.   A .30-.30 rifle that was reported stolen was also recovered in the yard of the residence.

Anderson was transported to St. Joseph Hospital as he sustained a possible head injury while fleeing.  Anderson told officers he had fallen down a 50-foot embankment.

Both Anderson and Morgan admitted to current drug use, and to committing the ‘O’ Street burglary.

Mr. Anderson and Mr. Morgan were arrested on suspicion of:

  • residential burglary,
  • possession of stolen items,
  • resisting arrest,
  • and violation of post release community supervision.

They were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  EPD said they expected additional charges would be filed for possession of the rifle recovered in the yard of the residence.

During the booking intake process, correctional officers located approximately 2 grams of tar heroin and 41 grams (over an ounce) of suspected hash concealed under Morgan’s clothing in his buttocks area.  Additional charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of concentrated cannabis are expected to be added.

Mr. Anderson was on both Post Release Community Supervision and formal felony probation for identity theft/fraud.  He told officers he had his Post Release Community Supervision transferred from Orange County to Humboldt County around March of this year.  Surprisingly enough, Anderson admitted he had previously been arrested for violation of his PRCS following his arrival in Humboldt County and said he recently finished serving 45 days in jail for that violation.  A check of Humboldt County Jail booking records confirmed an early August 2012 arrest.

Both Morgan and Anderson were initially being held on $50,000.00 bail.  However, the Humboldt County Probation Department which manages the PRCS program was contacted by EPD and probation holds were placed on both suspects.

The Eureka Police Department would also like to thank those citizens who aided in the suspects’ apprehension by quickly and accurately providing their descriptions and direction of travel
to officers.

Picnicking at the park returned to normal.

Stewart M. Anderson (left)      Travis L. Morgan (right)

* * * * * * * * *

Their names may be the same, but we’re not entirely sure whether the 47-year-old Travis Morgan arrested is related to our other Travis Morgan, age 27, here.

Reading the above, we hope the Probation Department can supervise its peeps adequately.  We are hearing of these repeated situations daily where it isn’t happening– and EPD and the HCSO are called in to clean up the mess.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, LocalComments (0)

Somersault-Turning Tweaker Travels to Emergency Room

Naked and Defecating and Duly Arrested


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


At 8:47 this morning, Eureka Police Department officers responded to the 1400 block of Broadway for a reported naked male who had “crawled” through a business near this location.  The male was last seen walking northbound on Broadway.

Officers located a subject who was partially clothed in the parking lot of the 76 gas station at 14th and Broadway.  The subject was doing backward somersaults and talking nonsensically, according to the Eureka Police Department’s report.

Upon contact by officers, the subject displayed objective signs of being under an extreme drug influence.

Officers attempted to detain the subject; however he stripped off his clothing and became combative.

A short altercation took place and the subject was soon restrained with the assistance of additional responding officers.  While restrained the subject continued to talk nonsensically– and attempted to defecate on officers.  He was taken into custody.

The Officers involved in the scuffle suffered minor bumps and abrasions as a result of the incident.

The subject admitted to methamphetamine use and was transported to St. Joseph ER for treatment due to the belief he may have ingested a high dosage of the drug.

The subject, identified as Timothy Edward Hansen, 42-years-old, of Eureka, will be charged with:

  • Being Under the Influence in Public,
  • Resisting a Police Officer,
  • and Assault on a Police Officer.

As the Sentinel reported, a lot of this– or something very strange–  has been going around this week.  Just another day in the Naked City.  Double sigh. 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (2)

EPD Nabs Suspected Pickup Truck Thieves

Parolees Frederick Scott, Jeffrey Aguilar, Tyrel Brannon held without bail


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Three men on active parole were caught in a stolen truck with a shotgun and other stolen property inside, according to the latest scoop from the Eureka Police Department.

Early this morning, an EPD officer met with the victim 0f a vehicle theft; shortly thereafter at about 7:45 a.m., the victim said she located her Toyota pickup truck parked on the 10 block of West Dollison Street in Eureka, with three unknown men inside the vehicle.

Frederick Scott

Responding to the scene, the EPD patrolman immediately scared off one of the men, who fled from the truck on foot. The other two suspects, 39-year-old Frederick William Scott and 24-year-old Jeffrey Omar Aguilar, were held at gunpoint until additional units arrived to complete their arrest.

Jeffrey Aguilar

The search for the third suspect succeeded fairly quickly, with 21-year-old Tyrel Gerrad Brannon located a short distance away; he initially tried to flee again, but the foot pursuit was cut short with the assistance of a K-9 unit and Brannon was apprehended in 20/30 park.

The search of the vehicle uncovered stolen property, along with a shotgun, according to a press statement by EPD sergeant Patrick O’Neill. The vehicle was then released back to its proper owner.

After their interviews at EPD headquarters, all three suspects were booked into county jail and charged with possession of stolen property. Due to their active parole status, none of them are eligible for bail, and none of them are allowed to possess a weapon — meaning additional charges connected to the recovered firearm may be forthcoming.

Tyrel Brannon

The investigation is ongoing under the direction of detective Ronald Harpham, and members of the public with more information are asked to contact him at (707) 441-4300.


Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Walmart Burglar Hunted Down


At-large parolee Donald Endicott arrested, held without bail

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

Fast action by the Eureka Police Department this afternoon caught the first known burglar to hit the new Bayshore Mall outlet of Walmart.

Law enforcement responded to the big box at 12:21 p.m. Sunday and were informed by Walmart security staff and witnesses that a man had entered the store and loaded into his cart two flat screen televisions and a surround sound system. The man allegedly exited the store with the items, without paying, and loaded them into a white pickup truck; as he was fleeing the scene, the burglar apparently backed the truck into a parked vehicle in his haste.

With security footage of the theft, the suspect and the vehicle with its visible license plate number in hand, the cops descended on the vehicle owner’s Eureka address, where they found the suspect vehicle parked outside. Upon contacting the registered owner, they were told that he had loaned his vehicle to another subject, who just so happened to be at the home.

Eureka Police Department personnel swiftly detained the suspect, 56-year-old Eureka resident Donald Thomas Endicott, as he matched the appearance of the burglar in the Walmart security footage. A further records check found that Endicott was at at-large parolee in violation of the conditions of his parole and subject to an immediate arrest warrant as an “armed and dangerous” suspect.

Booked into county jail on his parole warrant, Endicott will also be charged with burglary and hit and run. He is being held without bail as a parolee.

The EPD investigation is ongoing, according to sergeant Patrick O’Neill. Members of the public with information on this case are asked to contact EPD officer Ed Wilson at (707) 441-4060.


Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

EPD Nets Burglar of Mr Fish

Probationer Freshly Released From Jail, Reoffends in Less than 48 Hours


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


This morning officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to a burglary alarm at Mr. Fish Seafood Market located at 2740 Broadway, according to the EPD release.

Upon arrival, officers found a door of Mr. Fish had been forced open and it appeared items had been taken.  The business owner was contacted and requested to respond.

While awaiting the owner’s arrival, officers deployed a K-9 to attempt to track the suspect.

The K-9 led officers to the greenbelt area just northwest of Mr. Fish.  There, they located Shannon Lyn Hodgden, 38-years-old, of Eureka. Mr. Hodgden was in possession of items believed to have been stolen from the business. The business owner, Mr. Fish, later identified the items.

Hodgden was taken into custody for possession of stolen property and probation violation.  Mr. Hodgden is on active probation for theft-related offenses.

Hodgden was transported to the Humboldt County jail and is being held on $25,000 bail.

This is an ongoing investigation.  Anyone with information regarding this matter is urged to contact Sgt. Patrick O’Neill at 441-4081 ext. 6.

The North Coast Journal has a picture of his mug here.

Mr. Hodgden was released from the Humboldt County Jail on September 13 having “time served” for Grand Theft, Possession of Stolen Property, and vandalism.  Obviously the two weeks he was there wasn’t enough time.  On supervised probation and cooling his jets in the jail before flying the coop, we wonder what sort of case planning and supervision he received from his probation officer prior to, and at the time of, his departure at 12:35 in the morning, if any.

Poor oversight and opportunity makes the thief.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

EPD DUI Checkpoint Nails Stolen Car

3 Citations and 1 Arrest…but No DUIs


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


The Eureka Police Department set up a DUI checkpoint Friday night but failed to find any under-the-influence drivers to substantiate their grant funding targeting inebriated citizens behind the wheel.

But they did find other scofflaw violations at the ‘Papers, Please’ checkpoint.  And in a curious twist of events used a license plate reader effectively scooping up one criminal scofflaw as a side benefit.

EPD reported a total of 408 vehicles were screened between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Friday night to early Saturday morning, September 14-15.

An EPD patrol car equipped with a license plate reader was positioned at the DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint.  The license plate reader is capable of processing hundreds of plates per minute and quickly identifying them.

At about 10 p.m. the license plate reader alerted the officer that a stolen vehicle had entered the checkpoint.  The officer confirmed the license plate through the dispatch center, who advised that the vehicle was reported as stolen.  The vehicle, a four-door silver sedan, had apparently been reported embezzled from a local car rental company.

EPD dispatch contacted a responsible party from the car rental company who confirmed that the vehicle was outstanding and no additional payments were received extending the length of the rental.  The rental company requested that the vehicle be seized and towed from the scene.

Officers detained the driver and saw that she had a small child sleeping in a car seat in the back.  The EPD officers also smelled the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Officers searched the vehicle and located a small amount of marijuana bud.  But that wasn’t all they found.  They also discovered three large trays of marijuana “starter”– or “cloned”– plants, about 3” or 4” tall.   300 of them.

Since the driver had her three-year-old child with her, she was allowed to leave with a relative who responded to pick her up.

The 300 marijuana plants were seized as evidence.  The vehicle was towed from the scene.  The case will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges, the Eureka Police Department said.

The overall score?  Here was the tally of Friday’s DUI checkpoint:

  • 1 person was arrested because she had 4 outstanding warrants
  • 1 driver was cited for driving with an expired driver’s license
  • 1 driver was cited for driving while unlicensed
  • 1 driver was cited for driving on a suspended license, no proof of insurance and expired registration.  His vehicle was impounded.
  • 1 driver was given sobriety tests– but released because she was not DUI

We know DUI checkpoints are a proven enforcement tool reducing the number of persons hurt in alcohol-involved crashes.  Research shows that accidents involving alcohol drop up to 20 percent when checkpoints are conducted and publicized enough.

Officers check for alcohol and/or drug impairment, proper licensing and registration, and warrants.  Impaired drivers can expect jail time, license suspension, insurance increases, as well as the mandatory fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses exceeding $10,000.

And we understand the usual adclaimer required to ne mentioned in the EPD release:  “Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Eureka Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, targeting those who still don’t heed the message to designate a sober driver.”

OK, we got that.  But no Deucey-Deweys Friday night?  Looks like sober drivers are heeding the message quite well and staying off the sauce.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, LocalComments (0)

Attempted Murder in Manila

Mayhem and Machete Madness


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


On Thursday, September 13, at approximately 10:45 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a stabbing which just occurred in the 1900 block of Peninsula Drive in Manila.  The victim was reported to be at a neighbor’s home, bleeding profusely on the doorstep.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Deputies responded to the Thrilla in Manila scene– along with medical personnel– and met with the 38-year-old male victim from McKinleyville.  The victim had cuts, bruises, and ghastly gashes on various parts of his body, including a deep abdominal wound.

Observing his stomach-spilling condition, the victim was rushed immediately to a local hospital by ambulance.  

The deputies followed.  They interviewed the victim at the hospital while being treated for critical injuries.

The victim told deputies he was visiting his girlfriend  in Manila.  Suspect Travis Morgan, 27-years-old from Manila, entered the residence with another male suspect.  To note, Mr. Morgan is the brother of the victim’s girlfriend– and also lives in the same residence.

According to the victim’s account, Mr. Morgan and the other male assaulted him.  They began punching, stabbing, and striking him with a machete multiple times.

Later that evening around 11:30 p.m., Mr. Morgan also showed up at a local hospital.  Apparently Morgan was being treated for minor injuries sustained during the feisty altercation with the victim.

Eureka Police officers stood by with Morgan at the hospital until HCSO deputies arrived, taking custody over the attempted murder and mayhem investigation.

Mr. Morgan spoke with the Sheriff’s deputies and explained his version of the deadly altercation, claiming it all happened in self defense.  Dueling in the dunes, that’s all.  Machete madness?  Murderous mayhem?  No, not really.  Just a simple misunderstanding.

After Mr. Morgan was treated for his wounds, however, he was promptly arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility by the HCSO deputies on charges of:

  •  Attempted Murder,
  • Mayhem,
  • and Violation of Probation.

His bail is set at $500,000.00.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s detectives are actively working on this machete mischief case.  It’s an ongoing investigation, they said. 

Photographs of Morgan, and the name and photograph of the second suspect are not being released at this time for investigative reasons, they added.

As of this morning, the unfortunate victim remained in the hospital, being treated for injuries and still in surgery.  

Additional information will be released in the future as available, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said.

The usual adclaimer: Anyone with information 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.

UPDATE September 18, 2012:  The HCSO has released photos of Travis Morgan, left (in custody), and David Bullwinkle, right, who they are actively seeking.

Please see the Sentinel update article here for more information.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)





Posted in Crime, LocalComments (2)

Naked and Disoriented Woman Assaults EPD, Ambulance Staff

Spitting, Thrashing, Thrusting, and Evaluated


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


This morning shortly before 11 a.m., an officer with the Eureka Police Department was traveling eastbound on 5th Street in 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.  Exhibiting objective signs consistent of being under some type of drug influence, other officers responded to assist.

During this contact with the female, she became combative.  She attempted to assault EPD officers with items covered in bodily fluids. 

The officers were able to restrain the female on the ground.  City Ambulance was requested to come to the scene to assist in evaluating the female’s condition.

While awaiting for City Ambulance crew to arrive, 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 that was spat.

Once the female was restrained on a gurney, she was transported to St. Joseph Emergency Room for evaluation– and also for treatment of minor abrasions from thrashing about on the pavement.

This is an open case.  Charges of assault on emergency personnel and resisting arrest will be sought, the Eureka Police Department said.

(Sigh.  Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (2)

Eureka Police On a Scofflaw Roll

Two Crackhead Drug Busts in a Single Day


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Eureka Police were busy Wednesday judging from their recent releases:


Cocaine and Counterfeit Cash

On September 12, at approximately 1:15 p.m., investigators with EPD’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit served a search warrant at a residence on the 1200 Block of A Street in Eureka.  The warrant was prepared in response to information POP had received that a male going by the moniker “Youngster” was selling crack cocaine from an upstairs apartment there.

Upon announcing themselves and entering the apartment, officers encountered and detained a male who attempted to flee toward a back bedroom.  The male was subsequently identified as William Jaide Hall, 31, originally of Oakland, CA, whose AKA  moniker is “Youngster.”

During a search of Mr. Hall’s person, investigators located approximately 6 grams of powdered heroin and over 2 grams of cocaine.  Several pieces of crack cocaine were packaged for sale in multiple baggies.  Additionally, investigators located three counterfeit $100 bills in the apartment and written records indicative of drug sales activity.

Mr. Hall was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of heroin for sale, possession of cocaine base for sale, and possession of fictitious bills.


EPD Probation Search Discovers Stolen Property and Drugs

On the same day at about 10:30 a.m., investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit conducted a probation compliance check at a residence on the 100 Block of West Henderson Street in Eureka.  This was in response to complaints from neighbors and beat officers concerning stolen property and vehicles associated with the residence.

During a search of the residence, investigators found a purse belonging to Sara Jean Gibson, 25 of Eureka, who was visiting the home.  Inside Ms. Gibson’s purse, investigators located drug-use paraphernalia and a small quantity of heroin and methamphetamine.  They also recovered a stolen U.S. passport and checkbook belonging to the recent victim of a vehicle burglary in Arcata.

Inside another room in the residence, investigators found more stolen property taken during a recent theft from a vehicle in Eureka.

Ms. Gibson was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of stolen property, and probation violation. 

An arrest warrant alleging possession of stolen property is also pending for a resident who was not home at the time the probation search was conducted.

Additionally, an official with the City of Eureka’s Building Department responded to the scene to address unsanitary conditions of the premise, a large amount of rubbish and debris.  Due to the presence of two small children living there, Child Welfare Services was also called to the scene to assess the safety and living conditions in the home.

Lost Coast Outpost’s Kym Kemp has the booking photos until ours post.

Eureka Police reminds us that anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373 or the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at (707) 444-8095.

County criminal and drug activity should be directed to the Sheriff’s Office at 445-7251 or the HCSO tip line at 268-2539.


Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Dutch Bros. Coffee Robbed In Eureka

EPD Requests Public’s Assistance for Information of Suspect and Robbery


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Eureka Police is seeking the public’s assistance for information regarding the robbery of a coffee business this morning.

On Tuesday, September 11, at approximately 9:50 a.m., a male subject entered Dutch Bros. Coffee on the 1200 block of 5th Street in Eureka.  He reportedly pushed an employee aside and stole an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register.

Walking out of the business, the suspect fled Southwest on 5th Street, witnesses said.  No one was injured in the incident, according to the Eureka Police Department and KIEM-TV.

The subject is described as a white male in his 20s or 30s, about 6 feet tall, slender, unshaven, and last seen wearing tan pants, white shoes, and a dark green zipped hoodie (or hooded sweatshirt) with ‘Humboldt’ written on the lower waistband.

A picture of the suspect from surveillance video is shown here.

Anyone recognizing the subject or with information about the robbery is asked to call Eureka Police Detective Todd Wilcox at (707) 441-4315.

Don’t mess with our coffee, dude.
(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eureka, LocalComments (0)

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