Tuesday, 18 June 2024

REGIONAL: Dozens of arrests made in Mendocino County pot sweeps

MENDOCINO COUNTY – Two Lake County residents were among 38 people arrested or charged last week during a series of marijuana sweeps around Mendocino County that netted more than 49,000 illegally grown marijuana plants.

Hallie King, 19, and Anthony Crisanti, 37, both of Nice, were among those arrested, according to a Monday report from Lt. Rusty Noe of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Noe said that from Sept. 22 to 24 a large multiagency marijuana eradication and investigation operation took place, with the raids led by the Mendocino County Sheriff's marijuana investigative team and COMMET.

Assisting in the operation were agents from the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, Drug Enforcement Administration, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, California Parole and Mendocino County Probation, Noe said.

Approximately 49,091 marijuana plants were taken during the eradications, according to Noe's report.

Noe said the raids were a result in a series of investigations of large scale marijuana growing operations in the Laytonville area. The investigations were from citizens reports as well as cases developed from over-flights conducted by law enforcement.

In addition to King and Crisanti, those charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale included Stephen McKernan, 33, of Laytonville; James McLean, 28, of Philadelphia; Pedro Vasquez, 37, of Springfield, Ore.; Stephen Caverly, 60, of Santa Rosa; Shawn Caverly, 21, of Kailua, Hawaii; Denise Hoge, 24, of Willits; Frederick Gaestel, 20, of Beuville, New Jersey; Ryan Zembo, 19, of Roseville; Joseph Hahnz, 42, of Sacramento; Micco Chahte, 32, of Vacaville; Chelsea Garner-Prohs, 27, of Riverside; Jessy Greulich, 29, of Willits; Canadian citizen Erin Doncaster, 23; Scott McKendrick, 25, of Crested Butte, Colo.; Peter Laskarin, 36, of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Robert Zacharda, 43, of Lancaster, Penn.; Edwin Smith, 45, of Reno; Kenneth Murray, 48, of Willits; Thomas Gorman, 47, of Willits; Kenneth Zabkar, 59, of Petaluma; Jeffrey Daily, 53, of Laytonville; Anthony Lazzaro, 25, of Trafford, Penn.; Thomas Castell, 33, and Jennifer Struckholtz, 28, both of Ukiah; Stephen Bernes, 51, of Fairfax; Lauren Kaplan, 44, and Eric Kaplan, 44, both of Laytonville; Brian O'Callaghan, 24, of Hutto, Texas; Dana Burke, 33, of San Ramon; Alfred Donahue, 62, of Oakland; Chris Lemay, 40, and 61-year-old Nickolas Skarlatos, both of Castro Valley; Nicholas Theriano, 62, of Oakland; and Daniel Marinello, Luis Alvarez and Mendoza Diaz, ages and places of residence unknown.

All subjects arrested were booked into the Mendocino County Jail. Noe said some of the suspects have not been arrested with charges pending.

Noe said four search warrants were served in the Spy Rock, Iron Peak and Woodman Canyon areas on Sept. 24. Agents arrested six individuals, eradicated 4,931 marijuana plants, and seized 80 pounds of processed marijuana and 2 ounces of hashish.

During the service of the warrants the COMMET team and CAMP were working a large marijuana garden in the Branscomb Roaad area on Campbell Hawthorne property, where Noe said they eradicated 30,139 marijuana plants.

On Sept. 23, five search warrants were served in the Spyrock Road, Blue Rock Creek (George Washington Rock), and Island Mountain areas. Noe said 5,610 marijuana plants were eradicated, 14 arrests were made, and two guns and $12,980 in assets were seized. In addition, 95 pounds of processed marijuana and 30 pounds hashish was seized.

The property on Island Mountain was reported due to the suspects taking large amounts of water from the Eel River, Noe said. Chelsea Garner, Jessy Greulich, Erin Doncaster, Scott Mckendrick, Peter Laskarin and Robert Zacharda were arrested at the site with 552 large marijuana plants. A large pump feeding a 4-inch pipe was pumping water to a series of large tanks from the Eel River to provide for the marijuana operation.

California Department of Fish and Game was on scene to investigate the water diversion. The Mendocino County District Attorney's Office has committed to the review of this case for environmental crimes, Noe said.

During the service of the warrants COMMET and CAMP were working in the Island Mountain area and eradicated 4,277 marijuana plants from a large grow operation, he said.

On Sept. 24, three search warrants were served on Bell Springs Road and Dos Rios Road. Noe said 3,582 marijuana plants were seized and 21 people were arrested. There were 12 guns seized as well as 123 ponds of processed marijuana and 4.5 grams of cocaine.

During the operation there was one injury as a officer had a minor injury vehicle accident, Noe said.

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