Saturday, 18 May 2024

Lake County man arrested in Covelo pot raid

NORTH COAST – A Lake County man was one of several people arrested by law enforcement officials this week who were seizing illegally grown marijuana in Mendocino County, including the Covelo area.


Lt. Rusty Noe of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported that 21-year-old Daniel Isaiah was arrested on Wednesday in Covelo.


For the past several weeks Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies and California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement agents have been investigating specific targets in the the Covelo area, Noe reported. They began serving search warrants and conducting open field raids on Tuesday.


From Tuesday through Thursday, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, California Department of Justice, CAMP, Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, Mendocino County Probation, Ukiah Police Department and the California Highway Patrol conducted a series of marijuana raids in the Covelo Area, according to Noe.


Noe said the raids against commercial growers were a result of numerous complaints of uncontrolled marijuana cultivation in the rural Covelo area.


During the service of these search warrants no evidence or claim of medical marijuana was made. With the exception of one suspect, all the 12 suspects arrested were from outside of Mendocino County, said Noe, a large portion were from outside of California, including three Mexican nationals.


Isaiah, of Lakeport, and Daniel Goss, 27, of Santa Cruz were arrested Wednesday in the Bently Ridge area of Covelo, said Noe.


The men were allegedly found in possession of 62 marijuana plants and 100 pounds of processed marijuana, said Noe. They also were alleged to be in possession of four firearms – including one AK47 assault rifle.


Noe said both Isaiah and Goss were caught after attempting to escape. Isaiah was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of cultivating marijuana for sale and possession of marijuana for sale, with bail set at $25,000.


The rest of the two-day operation officials netted 3,343 marijuana plants, taken from both public and private lands; 40 pounds of processed marijuana; methamphetamine and illegal mushrooms; a large, very flammable and potentially dangerous butane honey oil hashish lab used to convert marijuana into a high quality hashish oil; and shotgun and a .223 rifle.


Noe said that deputies reported that some of the marijuana plants seized were so large that it became difficult to lift 15 marijuana plants with a helicopter capable of lifting 600 to 700 pounds.


Arrested in the week's raids were Mexican nationals Joeyah Ruiz, 26, Jose Franco, 19, and Valdovinos Cruz, 22; Oregon residents Morgan Costley, 24, Natalie Darves, 25, and Jordan Feathers, 28; Mark Pacitti, 29, of Florida; Gevitye Goins, 24, of Michigan; Yesenia Deuluna, 30, of Los Angeles, and Blake Hastings, 27, of Covelo.


Noe said in the past Mendocino County was promoted as a place to come and conduct marijuana cultivation operations.


“It became common knowledge that illegal activity was accepted,” he said in a written statement. “This is no longer the case. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office will investigate and prosecute illegal commercial marijuana cultivation on a case by case basis.”


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