Five people were arrested in a multi-agency raid in the Bently Ridge and Etsel Ridge areas of Covelo on Thursday, June 25.
According to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and agents from the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, DEA, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service served six search warrants on properties adjacent to BLM and the Forest Service and believed to house a large commercial marijuana growing operation.
Four suspects determined to be Bulgarian nationals were arrested for cultivation and possession of marijuana and for using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Immigration was contacted and bail for these individuals was set at $45,000 each.
Those arrested were Radoslav Ivkoz Ayvazov, age 28, of Covelo; Petko Petkov, age 48, of Concord; Martin Kamenov Dzaynelev, age 28, of Walnut Creek; and David Dzaynelev, age 35, of Walnut Creek.
While serving the warrants, a site was located that was not part of the initial investigation. John Henry Ross, age 60, of Covelo was found tending a garden and was arrested. A firearm was found in his possession and it was determined that Ross has a past history of violent felonies. He was arrested and bail set at $50,000.
A total of 2,2000 marijuana plants were eradicated.
A raid was also conducted on corporate land in the Rose Creek and McGarvy Creek areas of Covelo by the COMMET team, as part of a DEA marijuana observation school. Nine students from agencies in California and other states were trained in marijuana identification from aircraft with the end result being a raid to confirm the presence of marijuana. During this raid, 7,714 marijuana plants were eradicated from three sites. No suspects were located.
On Monday, June 29, the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting kicked off its raiding season near the Red Mountain Campground. A large garden was found and 13,000 marijuana plants were eradicated. No suspects were identified.
Year to date, the COMMET team has eradicated 62,000 plants, made 30 arrests, and seized 33 firearms from 44 locations.