FERNDALE - On April 27, 2020, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served a search warrant to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the 2900 Block of Mattole Road in Ferndale. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Humboldt County Code Enforcement and Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit assisted in the service of the warrant.
The parcel investigated did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially.
During the service of the warrant, law enforcement officers eradicated approximately 2,632 growing cannabis plants, and seized and destroyed more than 83 pounds of cannabis shake.
Violations discovered included:
- One stream diversion/obstruction violation (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation)
- One water pollution violation (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)
- Two depositing trash in or near a waterway violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)
Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed.
Jeffrey Scott Chase, 60, of Ferndale, was cited and released on the following charges: cannabis cultivation resulting in a violation of Section 1602 of the Fish and Game Code (H&S 11358(d)(3)D) and conspiracy to commit a crime (PC 182(a)(1)).
“Investigating illegal cannabis cultivation can be very dangerous for law enforcement officers,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “CDFW wardens are working with local law enforcement departments, assisting with illegal cannabis cultivation investigations, because they have expert knowledge of the laws that are put in place to protect our environment, fish and wildlife. In addition, they are working to protect the legal cultivators, the ones who have the necessary permits and licenses.”