This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty
On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, around 7:30 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, Marin County Major Crimes Task Force, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Cal FIRE, California Highway Patrol and the California National Guard Counter Drug Team executed a search warrant in the 22100 Block of Airport Road in Covelo. The warrant was served on a property where 32 “hoop” style greenhouses and 13 outdoor marijuana gardens were being cultivated on one parcel. None of the gardens were registered legal growing operations within the state guidance regulating the commercial growing of marijuana. 21 adults (listed suspects) were detained at the scene as well as two female juveniles (17 years of age and 5 years of age). The juveniles were released to a relative who responded to pick them up.
A total of 6970 marijuana plants, ranging in height from 1 foot to 7 feet, were eradicated from the 45 gardens. 1860 pounds of dried marijuana bud was located and destroyed. In one building on the property deputies located a false wall behind which they found 4 assault rifles, one bolt action rifle, and three handguns hidden in the wall (pictured below). One of the handguns was reported stolen out of the Stockton area.
One subject, Ryan Roy-Downey, was located hiding in the trunk of a vehicle that was attempting to leave the area. Downey lied about his name and gave the name of a real person. He was found in possession of suspected methamphetamine and had a felony warrant for his arrest for violation of probation. Downey was arrested on the warrant, assuming the name of another to avoid prosecution and possession of methamphetamine. He was later booked in jail and held on $50,000 bail.
A female, Shelly Leggett, was also found to have an active felony arrest warrant for 32 PC (accessory). She too was transported and booked into the County Jail but was released on the zero bail policy initiated by the state during the COVID 19 Pandemic.
The case remains under investigation and a report will be completed and submitted to the DA’s Office for review of the listed charges. Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office tip line at 707-234-2100.
The featured image depicts the firearms confiscated at the Round Valley marijuana farm and accompanied the Sheriff’s Press release.