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Location: China Creek
On 02/24/2009 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit and the Humboldt County Drug Task Force served search warrants in the area of China Creek (Ettersburg) and Shelter Cove.
The first search warrant was served on the 1400 block of Blue Slide Creek Rd, Ettersburg. Located at this property were a residence and several indoor marijuana grow buildings. The indoor marijuana growing operation was being supplied power by a 45 KW diesel generator. There was a large (several hundred gallon) fuel tank at the property supplying diesel fuel to the generator. There were also several other large diesel generators located at the property, that appeared to be in a state of disrepair and abandoned at the property. One of these generators was located in a hidden structure built into, and buried in, a hillside. During the search of the property it appeared there might have been spills of diesel fuel and other conditions present that may be harmful to the environment. The sheriff’s office requested the assistance of the Humboldt County Division of Environmental Health. Environmental Health Investigators responded to the scene, and are conducting a separate investigation. Located and seized from the property were 396 growing marijuana plants, 11 firearms, and $2,400 cash. Peter Mathias Gray was arrested at the property for cultivation of marijuana, possession for sales of marijuana, and being armed with a firearm in the commission of a felony. He posted bail in the amount of $25,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on March 12, 2009.
Another search warrant was served on the 1400 block of Blue Slide Creek Rd, Ettersburg and a third on the 8900 block of Shelter Cove Rd, Shelter Cove. A large-scale sophisticated indoor marijuana growing operation was located at the Blue Slide Creek property. The grow building at the site was a two-story structure about 15X80 feet in size. There were 1,624 growing marijuana plants in this structure being provided artificial light by 80 – 1,000 watt grow lights. The grow building was being supplied electrical power by a 70 KW diesel generator that was located at the property. The generator was being housed in a partially buried structure. There was a several hundred-gallon fuel tank supplying needed diesel fuel. The fuel tank was set on the ground, and had no secondary containment. There were three additional large diesel generators being stored at the property. Environmental Health Investigators responded to this property as well, and are continuing an investigation. This property was solely being used for the grow operation. There was residential type structure at the property, but it was not in use. Located at the Shelter Cove property were three firearms, a small amount of processed marijuana, and evidence of the sales of marijuana. Carmine James Barbati, 41, and Lisa Ann Deloury, 37, were arrested at the Shelter Cove site. Barbati was booked for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana and providing a place for the cultivation of marijuana. He posted bail in the amount of $30,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on March 11, 2009. Deloury remains in custody having been booked on charges of possession of a concealed firearm, possession of marijuana, and a parole hold.
Both of these grow sites were located near tributaries to Blue Slide Creek, which feeds into the Mattole River.
From these two indoor marijuana grow sites a total of 2,020 growing marijuana plants were seized. This amount is higher than the amount of indoor marijuana plants seized by many counties in California in a year.