Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Hash Oil, Firearms, Cash, Human Trafficking: Lake County Investigation Uncovers Illegal Cannabis Operation

The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah Police Department. This has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

[Image provided by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office]

Over the last several months, Lake County Sheriff’s Office detectives, assigned to the Narcotics Unit, and deputies, assigned to the Roadmap Task Force, have investigated a large illegal marijuana production operation that originated within Clearlake Oaks. 

Over twenty locations were investigated after search warrants were authored by detectives and signed by Lake County Superior Court Judges.  The search warrants were served at locations in Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake, Lower Lake, Kelseyville, Middletown, Sacramento, and West Sacramento.

During the investigation, a large, sophisticated chemical manufacturing laboratory was located in the Middletown area.  The laboratory was using very volatile, combustible, and highly flammable chemicals for manufacturing concentrated marijuana, commonly referred to as hash oil.  There were over 780 gallons of the chemicals at the scene, which were not being properly and safely stored, which posed a severe hazard and safety concern to the community.  The chemicals on scene were later safely removed by a hazardous materials team.  The laboratory was producing over 200 pounds of hash oil each day it was active, which was determined by ledgers and products found on scene.  Over 200 pounds of hash oil, 7,000 pounds of processed marijuana, over 600 marijuana plants, and an assault rifle were located at the scene.  Lake County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and Lake County Victim’s Advocates found and identified three victims of forced labor human trafficking at the scene.  The victims were provided with resources and services to assist them with their pathway to recovery from the traumatic conditions they were forced to be involved in. 

During the investigation, another location, associated with the suspects of the laboratory, was discovered in the city of Clearlake. At this scene, over 11,000 marijuana plants were located.  Additionally, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and Lake County Victim’s Advocates found and identified another victim of forced labor human trafficking at the scene.  The victim was also provided with resources and services to assist them with their pathway to recovery from the traumatic conditions they were forced to be involved in. 

Lake County Sheriff’s Office Detectives later served search warrants at properties associated with the suspects involved in the investigation in Sacramento and West Sacramento.  During the service of the search warrants, over 50,000 cartridges of ammunition were located and seized.  Over 20 firearms were seized, including several assault rifles.  Over 100 pounds of hash oil product from the laboratory was located, as well as large amounts of packaged processed marijuana bud.  Additionally, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Detectives discovered illegal proceeds earned through the unlawful sale of controlled substances.  The assets included United States currency in excess of $300,000.00.  The investigation is ongoing. 

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A special thanks to the supporting and assisting agencies in the investigation, who aided in maintaining the safety of the victims, the community, and the environment.  The Lake County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Lake County Victim/Witness advocates, CALFIRE, Lake County Fire Protection District, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Justice, Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County Code Enforcement, Clearlake Code Enforcement, and Lake County Environmental Health.

For more information and resources about human trafficking, visit humantraffickinghotline.org/en.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office remains dedicated to ensuring Lake County stays safe. To report any suspicious activity or possible human trafficking, call central dispatch (707)263-2690

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  1. Impressive.
    Gotta remember this.. “if your doing something criminal and you see cops coming scream HELP I’M HERE AGAINST MY WILL….THEY FORCED ME TO HARVEST THE POT, MAKE THE HASH OIL, WALK THE DOGS, DO THE SHOPPING OR COOK DINNER”
    Crying also helps
    Become a victim not a defendant….you get a place to stay and some money to help you recover.

    • Or not. LCSO is not that easily swayed. It’s not like they don’t hear BS all the time. There were likely other evidences that corroborated their claim

    • Dude, member back when 2 chicks were locked in a box up some grow? Of course a bunch of dudes deep in the hills use females! Nothing new!

      • My comment was meant slightly tongue in cheek due to many that claim trafficked when committing crimes…. yes it does happen also. I do believe that lake county sheriffs is not easily fooled and surely had evidence to support this. I do know trafficking happens.. I don’t deny or not have empathy. …. but i have seen some claims of being trafficked totally false…

        • Gotta Remember This if you’re referring to my comment I was being facetious. Human trafficking is in full swing in many ways in Lake and Mendo county. I wasn’t directing my comment towards you! I was directing it to all the male and female Karen’s who say it doesn’t happen where they live. This just shows how wrong so many are and how they need to pull their head out of the sand.
          It’s time for us to stand up and stop this.

  2. Well I thought human trafficking never happened in lake county?? I bet it is a cartel of some kind. Won’t say what one I feel it is because all the Karen’s will be all over me for being racist when really it’s honesty. And no doubt any arrests made they will be out in no time. Slap on the hand a few menial fines and they will be back at with new victims. All I can say is you can thank Newsom and Biden for the way our justice system is being run. Welcome to a liberal state! It’s absolutely disgusting. Hopefully the victims get the real help they need not just shoved in a corner and forgotten about.

  3. Watch the amulet. The border is secure. Inflation isnt real. Gas has always been 6.00 a gallon. Drugs are good. Trump is bad. Its good to give isis billions of dollars worth of our weapons The banks arent crashing. Biden is mentally stable. Kamala is competent. You are getting sleeeeepy. Hunter isnt selling dizzy joes influence. The laptop isnt real. The luggage belongs to the lipstick guy. You are getting sleeeeepy. Its all trumps fault. We may not survive the next year and 8 monthes. With these criminals selling our country out its sickening

  4. As long as drugs remain a crime, crime will rule. This is history 101 if you ever bother to look. But drug laws support Americas booming prison industry. Did you know an orange jumpsuit cost as much as a Harvard education. Sounds like socialism to me. All paid by taxes.

  5. Human trafficking really sucks….slavery basically.right…?..everyone hates traffic..human traffic ?is there any other?not good dont get stuck on it…but weed consumption you will not stop.Your fighting a war for witch you have already lost in your own country against your own people for a plant that helps people relax…human traffic

  6. Folks…. this right here is a textbook example. You weed growers- law abiding citizens are sick of your nonsense and your violence you have brought to your community. Ever heard weed growers time and time again say weed is harmless and shouldn’t be criminalized? Well this doesn’t look harmless to me. It’s the cartels, the gangs, the pitbulls, the hash oil, the other drugs, the guns, the environmental hazards, the stupid people, the violence- all the riff-raff on the periphery of the weed business that goes along with the weed biz that have given weed a bad name and why time and time again, the government keeps making it harder to go legal because they know deep down that weed is harmful to society. The weed culture is not the peaceful hippy culture that may or may not have existed for a few brief seconds in the 60s and early 70’s. Headline after headline in Mendo Fever and Redhead Blackbelt shows weed intertwined with guns, other drugs, cartels, gangs, violence etc and proves that all the weed folks are their own worst enemy. A plant by itself is not dangerous sure, but one look at the picture above is proof that weed is dangerous. Throw all these crusty idiots in jail and throw away the key.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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