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SRD: Mendocino pot crackdown
Friday 20 Jun 2008, 04:58
Filed under: marijuana, Mendocino | Tags:

5 homes used for growing marijuana raided after neighbors complain

By Glenda Anderson
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 9:07 a.m.
MARK ARONOFF / The Press Democrat
The exterior of the three-story Fox Road home in Willits’ Brooktrials subdivision, where authorities seized 49 mature plants on Wednesday. The pot was estimated to be worth about $375,000.
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* Pot bust in Willits

Neighbors’ complaints are fueling a crackdown on commercial marijuana cultivation in Mendocino County, where authorities have raided five houses in the past two days.

“People are getting fed up,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Rusty Noe.

On Wednesday, officers searched two Willits-area houses dedicated to marijuana production, seizing 150 harvest-ready plants, 200 starter plants and sophisticated growing equipment.

A couple walking their dogs past one of the homes Wednesday morning smiled and quipped: “Going out of business sale?”

A day earlier officers seized 505 plants, $175,000, a boat, two all-terrain vehicles and a Chevrolet truck at separate Redwood Valley homes occupied by Michael Berry, 54, and his son, Timothy Berry, 29.

Michael Berry was arrested on suspicion of cultivating and possessing marijuana for sale, and his son also faces prosecution on drug-related charges, Noe said. They could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

An additional 660 plants were found at a home east of Willits on Tuesday.

Noe said Mendocino County residents have become increasingly angry over the cultivation of pot for profit by people claiming it is for compassionate medicinal marijuana use.

The stench of pot, armed drug dealers, barking dogs, noisy generators, and soil and water contamination from fertilizers and herbicides are among the complaints.

Willits City Councilwoman Karen Oslund said residents have been emboldened to step forward by Measure B, an initiative on the June ballot aimed at limiting the amount of medical marijuana individuals can grow.

“Maybe people realize: ‘I’m not the only one who feels this way,’ ” she said.

Pro Measure B votes were leading on election night but mailed ballots still were being counted Wednesday.

Measure B supporters blame liberal pot regulations for attracting outsiders to the county to grow marijuana for profit under the pretext of supplying it for compassionate medical use.

Wednesday’s crackdown began at 8 a.m. with 20 law enforcement officers from the Sheriff’s Office, county Marijuana Eradication Team, and Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force simultaneously approaching the two Willits-area houses.

On Fox Road in Brooktrails, a forested subdivision just north of Willits, they knocked and loudly announced themselves before forcing open the door of a three-story structure.

“Nice house,” Noe commented.

Inside, they found 49 mature plants in a brilliantly lighted room saturated with the overwhelming skunklike stench of budding marijuana. An elaborate ventilation system of fans and ducts kept the room from overheating while an automatic irrigation system attached to two 80-gallon tanks watered the plants.

South of Willits on Walker Road, authorities found 100 or so budding plants, 200 starter plants and several “mother plants” that typically are clipped to create new clones.

A new room was under construction in a warehouse-like building on the property, which commands views of a pond and oak-studded hills near Highway 101.

Indoor growing equipment was scattered around the property.

With marijuana selling at $2,500 or more a pound, the mature plants found in the Brooktrails house — 2-foot-tall budding clones — would be worth about $375,000. Indoor operations yield three crops a year, Noe said.

Rand Graynor of Petaluma bought the Brooktrails home in 2005 for about $394,000 and the Walker Road property for about $275,000 in 2002, according to county records.

Graynor could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A call to his home was answered by his adult son, Brian Graynor, who said his father was not home and then declined further comment.

Sonoma County authorities served a search warrant on his Petaluma home Wednesday, Noe said. He said the case likely would be sent to the district attorney for prosecution rather than executing an immediate arrest.

Indoor marijuana operations proliferated after California voters legalized the use of medicinal marijuana in 1996, Noe said. Statistics on indoor marijuana gardens were unavailable.

Mendocino County’s reputation for having liberal medical marijuana rules further attracted people from outside the county, and sometimes from outside the country, he said.

Buying houses gives operators a place to grow pot and a way to launder their profits, Noe said.

Multiple medical marijuana prescriptions — most listing Sonoma County residents — were posted inside the houses searched Wednesday but Noe was unconvinced, based partly on the size of the operation.

“We’re looking at a commercial grow,” he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or glenda.anderson@pressdemocrat.com.

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2 Comments

IT’S TIME TO REMOVE ALL THE POLITICIANS THAT PROMOTE PROHIBITION.

HOW MANY MORE LIVES HAVE TO BE NEEDLESSLY DEVASTATED OR LOST?

PROHIBITED DRUGS ARE WAY EASIER FOR KIDS TO GET THAN REGULATED DRUGS!

PROHIBITION NEVER WORKS IT JUST CAUSES CRIME & VIOLENCE.

The USA spends $69 billion a year on the drug war, builds 900 new prison beds and hires 150 more correction officers every two weeks, arrests someone on a drug charge every 17 seconds, jails more people than any nation and has killed over 100,000 citizens in the drug war.

In 1914 when there were NO PROHIBITED DRUGS 1.3% of our population was addicted to drugs, TODAY 1.3% of our population is STILL ADDICTED TO DRUGS BUT THERE’S WAY MORE CRIME AND VIOLENCE BECAUSE OF THE HUGE PROFITS PROHIBITION GENERATES. DRUGS TODAY ARE MORE POTENT, MORE READILY AVAILABLE AND LESS EXPENSIVE THAN THEY WERE IN THE EARLY 70’S WHEN RICHARD NIXON STARTED THE WAR ON DRUGS.

There’s only been one drug success story in history, tobacco, BY FAR THE MOST DEADLY and one of the MOST ADDICTIVE drugs. Almost half the users quit because of REGULATION, ACCURATE INFORMATION AND MEDICAL TREATMENT. No one went to jail and no one got killed.

DEMAND your Constitutional rights. The right; to freedom of religion, free speech, a free press, to keep and bear arms, to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, to life, liberty and property, to be protected from having your property taken by the government without due process of law and without just compensation, to confront the witnesses against you, to be protected from excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, to vote and many others have been denied to millions of Americans in the name of the drug war.

TAKE ACTION. JOIN THE EMAIL LIST, WATCH THE VIDEOS:
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Other Browsers: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html

Comment by jsknow

Of coarse they should legalized medical marijuna it makes no sense not to, its medicine, it helps people, it doesn’t kill anyone, so why the hell should it be banned? A great source for medical marijuana can be found here

Comment by MMJ




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