On 7-13-07 Humboldt County Drug Enforcement Deputy Mark Peterson was conducting marijuana eradication operations in the Redwood Valley area of Willow Creek when he responded to a reported assault in the same area. Deputy Peterson contacted the victim who reported he confronted a neighbor regarding a dispute over water rights. The neighbor, Michael Zarback, reportedly struck the victim in the head several times with the butt of a shotgun.
Deputy Peterson contacted Zarback at his residence regarding the assault. During the contact, Deputy Peterson saw evidence of a marijuana growing operation. A search warrant was obtained and a search of the area was conducted. Deputies discovered 1,031 growing marijuana plants, 100 drying plants, and several pounds of processed marijuana.
Zarback was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and marijuana cultivation.