A Humboldt County Sheriff ‘s Office raid Thursday morning on the 400 block of Francesco Place in Fortuna is tied to a state search warrant, according to local law enforcement officials.
Humboldt County Drug Task Force Lt. Wayne Hanson said he couldn't comment on the subject of the search warrant or discuss the raid. He said the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Fortuna Police Department, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Marshals Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration were all at the residence.
Sheriff's Office Lt. Steve Knight said his office led the operation after receiving community complaints about marijuana cultivation at the residence. He said deputies located 52 marijuana plants, ranging in height from two to three feet. He said the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, Fortuna Planning Department and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. were contacted after it was determined that the wiring for the marijuana grow was creating an electrical hazard.
Fortuna Building Inspector Jeff Baldwin said the marijuana plants were located in the garage. He said holes had been drilled in the garage's drywall to accommodate wiring outside of the house, including a wire that ran down an outside gutter and was illegally tied into an electrical box.
Two PG&E representatives arrived a little after 11 a.m. to turn off the home's power. A woman and a teenage boy were seen in the house as workers sealed off the energy meter.
Knight said two adult females and three juveniles were in the residence. No arrests were made, and the case is being referred to the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office for prosecution. Neighbor Calvin Weil said he never suspected his across-the street neighbors were growing marijuana. He said he didn't talk to them much, but that they always waved and were friendly when he saw them. He said he was under the impression that a large family lived there.
”It seemed to me that it was just an extended family, because quite a few cars come and go during the day,” Weil said.
Knight said the county is cracking down on marijuana grows due to community complaints. He said the sheriff's office has been busy serving search warrants at properties each day this week. He said state and federal agencies are lending them a hand in the crackdown.
”The sheriff has asked for outside assistance, and we're getting it,” Knight said.
The sheriff's office is asking anyone with information regarding this case or criminal activity to call 445-7251 or the sheriff's office crime tip line at 268-2539.