28December2014

Safety and Public Awareness

Safety and Public Awareness

News reporting arrests, weather warnings, product recalls, and other important information relating to safety and public awareness, are found in this category.

Update June 20, 2013-Murdered man found in the Spyrock Road area (Mendocino County, Calif) near Burns Creek, has been identified as 23 year-old Hugo Olea Lopez from Upper Lake, Lake County, Calif.

Update June 18, 2013- New details in the Spyrock Road homicide:

According to an updated press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Officers were originally alerted to a suspected homicide at a remote location on Spyrock Road in Laytonville, California by an anonymous caller who said that their relative, the victim, had been murdered. Upon investigation officers found a deceased Hispanic adult male with an apparent gunshot wound.

At the scene Sheriff's Detectives found 300 budding marijuana plants that had apparently been growing in an outdoor setting as well as inside of at least two temporary greenhouse structures.The plants had been recently cut as if to be harvested.  Detective investigations indicated the victim had been camping at the location while tending to the growing marijuana plants.  The victim was found in his camp close to the cut marijuana plants.

A forensic autopsy has been scheduled for June 19. The victim has not yet been positively identified.

The original post in this story appears below.


 As reported on the KMUD Local News for Mon., June 17, 2013, a deceased person found on a Spyrock Road property in northern Mendocino County is the victim of a suspected homicide. KMUD News reported that as of news time there had been no arrests or known suspects identified in the case, and that according to local residents Sheriff's Deputies left the crime scene with budded marijuana in their vehicle. At this time evidence in this case is limited.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.

Check back to this post to track updates in this case.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office press release, dated June 17, 2013:
On 06-17-2013 at 0748 hours the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a person who had received second hand information of a possible homicide at a remote location on Spyrock Road in Laytonville, California.

Based upon the reported information personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol and California Department of Fish & Wildlife responded to the location.

On 06-17-2013 at approximately 1115 hours law enforcement personnel arrived at the location and found one deceased person. Sheriff's Detectives have responded to the location and have begun an investigation into the circumstances of the person's death. Additional information will be disseminated by press release as the investigation continues.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.

A three-year long multiagency suspected criminal marijuana investigation last week led to the arrest, of two Humboldt County residents with other arrests expected to follow. Indictments originating from the Federal District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah for "engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana" were issued for several Humboldt County residents.

The first suspect arrested in this on-going intrastate case was Michael Stallings, age 63 (shown in the photo above). Stallings was arrested at his residence located off Friday Ridge Road, Willow Creek. During the arrest officers noticed an outdoor marijuana growing operation and seized over 600 growing marijuana plants, one pound of processed marijuana, two rifles and a shotgun.

A second suspect in the case, John Paul Diller, age 32, was subsequently arrested at his residence in the 1600 block of Children’s Avenue, McKinleyville.  In that arrest Officers netted 10 individual, one pound bags of processed marijuana and also seized 4 pistols, 2 rifles, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a vehicle and $7,900 dollars in cash. Subsequently, over 800 growing marijuana plants were found in storage units allegedly rented by Diller, off Airport Road, Fortuna.  Also, two motorcycles, a Polaris- Ranger ATV and a utility trailer, located on a property owned by Diller in Freshwater, were seized for possible asset forfeiture. More arrests in this case are expected.

The full Humboldt County Press release appears below.

On 06-11-2013 and 6-12-2013 the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, United States Forest Service, United States Marshal Office assisted the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration Metro Narcotics Task Force and the Davis Metro Narcotic Strike Force out of Salt Lake City, Utah regarding a 3 year long marijuana investigation in Humboldt County that was linked to Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration issued indictments for several Humboldt County residents out of the Federal District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana. Federal and state search warrants were served in Utah during the course of this investigation.

On 06-11-2013 at about 1000 hours, local law enforcement and federal law enforcement officers located and arrested one suspect for the federal indictment out of Utah named Michael Stallings age 63 at his residence located off Friday Ridge Road, Willow Creek. While at Stallings residence, officers noticed an outdoor marijuana growing operation.

Officers obtained a Humboldt County search warrant for the property. Officers then seized over 600 growing marijuana plants that ranged in size from 2 feet to 3 feet. Officers seized one pound of processed marijuana, two rifles and one shotgun. Stallings was transported to the federal courthouse in Eureka to be arraigned on his federal arrest warrant out of the State of Utah. A local arrest warrant will be sought through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for Stallings for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.

On 06-12-2013 at about 0900 hours, local and federal law enforcement officers served a search warrant at John Paul Diller’s, age 32, residence located in the 1600 block of Children’s Avenue, McKinleyville. Diller was taken into custody on a federal arrest warrant out of the State of Utah. Diller was transported to the Federal Courthouse in Eureka to be arraigned on his Federal arrest warrant out of the State of Utah. When Officers searched Diller’s residence they located and seized 10 individual, one pound bags of processed marijuana. Officers also seized 4 pistols and 2 rifles. A Harley Davidson motorcycle, a vehicle and $7,900 dollars in cash was seized for possible asset forfeiture. On 06-12-2013 at 0900 hours, other officers served a search warrant at two storage units off Airport Road, Fortuna that Diller was renting. Officers seized over 800 growing marijuana plants from inside of those two storage units that ranged in size from 2 feet to 3 feet. No one was located at the storage units.

On 06-12-2013 at 5:00 pm, a search warrant was served on a piece of property that Diller owns in the Freshwater area. Officers seized two motorcycles, a Polaris- Ranger ATV and a utility trailer for possible asset forfeiture.  A local arrest warrant will be sought through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Officer for Diller’s arrest for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.

There are other suspects still associated with this investigation out of the indictments from Salt Lake City, Utah. More arrests are anticipated in the County of Humboldt. The United States Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City, Utah is working closely with the United States Attorney’s Office in San Francisco with the Federal indictments out of Utah.

Anyone with information on this case or related drug activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip line at 707-268-2539.

The Garberville “Rodeo in the Redwoods”, 2013, kicks off Friday night, June 14, with a Bull-O-Rama at the Greycliff Rodeo Grounds, just South of Garberville in Benbow, Calif. The festivities begin again Saturday morning in Garberville with a pancake breakfast and Rodeo Parade where the Rodeo Queen and Princess will get crowned. After the parade in Garberville, kid’s games and the Junior Rodeo begin at the Greycliff Rodeo Grounds in Benbow, followed by a BBQ steak dinner. After dinner the California Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association (CCPRA) will take place. Sunday will feature the Gymkhana, sponsored by the Mounted Mountaineer’s. For more information call (707) 223-1046. The photo above shows the Greycliff Rodeo Grounds in Benbow. Hear more about the rodeo and its history, including an interview with Ona Lee Gerdis, an owner of the Greycliff Rodeo Grounds.

This report was submitted by Maria Savage and aired on the KMUD Local News Tues., June 11, 2013.

Use the player below to hear a news story submitted and aired by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson on the Local News Tues., June 4, 2013. The piece incudes interviews with the Rodeo Queen and Princess Candidates.

Photos 2013 Rodeo Queen and Princess Contestants
Queens: http://www.garbervillerodeo.org/queen.html
Princesses: http://www.garbervillerodeo.org/princess.html

According to a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, on Tues. morning, June 11, 2013, a Deputy was fired on by a suspect during an investigation of an illegal marijuana grow, located in the 20000 block of Tomki Road in Willits, California. The Deputy Sheriff shot back at the suspect who then escaped into the heavily wooded surroundings. Several hours of searching did not locate the suspect, and the search was suspended due to safety concerns - read more details in the MCSO press release below.

MCSO Press Release:
On 06-11-2013 at 0836 hours Special Agents from the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF) arrived at a piece of property located in the 20000 block of Tomki Road in Willits, California. The MMCTF Special Agents had recently obtained a search warrant based upon an investigation that showed an illegal marijuana growing operation was in existence on the property. The Special Agents were assisted in the search warrant service by members of the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, California Highway Patrol Aviation Division and Mendocino County Probation Department.

Upon arrival a MMCTF Special Agent (Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff), a California Department of Fish & Wildlife Warden and a Mendocino County Probation Officer encountered a suspect, described as being a Hispanic adult male dressed in camouflage clothing. The suspect fled on foot into the property's heavily wooded terrain and failed to comply with verbal commands to surrender. The three listed law enforcement personnel began a search for the suspect who appeared to be unarmed. During the search the suspect emerged from an area of bush approximately 30-40 yards from the Deputy Sheriff.  The suspect was armed with a handgun and immediately shot at the Deputy Sheriff, possibly multiple times.  The Deputy Sheriff shot back at the suspect who then fled off into the heavily wooded terrain once again. Additional law enforcement resources were summoned to the property as a more intensive search was conducted for the suspect.

The law enforcement resources included personnel from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and Cal Fire prevention officers. After several hours of searching the suspect was not located and the search was suspended due to safety concerns. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office in collaboration with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office is conducting an investigation into the shooting incident per county-wide protocol.

The Deputy Sheriff has been placed on paid administrative at this time.

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