DTF takes out psychedelic pharmacy across from K-8 school
ANES ROAD – The familiar sight of a small army of armed police officers swarming a residential home played out yet again in Arcata Friday morning, Dec. 4.
The Humboldt County Drug Task Force (DTF) took out an alleged multi-drug enterprise at 3026 Janes Road in county jurisdiction just west of the Arcata border, which runs down the middle of that street. The house is right across the street from Pacific Union School, a kindergarten through eighth grade school.
On arrival, DTF agents encountered Andrew Carolus, 26, and two pit bulls at the front door. Inside, they discovered an indoor cannabis grow which included 279 marijuana plants, 24 pounds of hanging marijuana and two-and-a-half pounds of processed bud.
Also on hand was about 80 doses of LSD and six vials of suspected LSD, 400 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, two grams of cocaine, three grams of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 250 grams of hashish and a gram of ketamine.
DTF Chief Jack Nelsen said he hadn’t expected to find the variety of drugs at the house, though small amounts of cocaine aren't uncommon at grow houses.
Carolus was arrested on charges of cannabis cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale, maintaining a residence where controlled substances are sold, possession of LSD for sale and possession of cocaine.
Officers on scene said the LSD was being manufactured into some sort of sugar candy. Nelsen said the District Attorney’s Office could add enhancements to the charges, since the house is located within 1,000 feet of a school.
The location sported at least three Prop 215 recommendations which were posted on doors which had been placed outside. The doors, to inside grow rooms, were not attached at the hinges, and DTF placed them outside just to get them out of the way.
Police called Arcata Fire to the scene because of questionable wiring. Fire officials in turn contacted county building officials and Environmental Health, which declared the house unfit for human habitation. PG&E was called to the scene, and electricity was disconnected.
In order to be restored to habitabation, the property owner will have to hire a licensed contractor to make repairs and bring it back up to code.
The house is owned by Eureka attorney Peter Martin. He said he found out about it when a county Environmental Health officer called him about the dangerous wiring and power shutoff.
An owner of several rentals, he said that this is the third time in 18 years that one of his residences has been involved with a grow. “I don’t permit grows,” he said. “It’s part and parcel of Arcata.”
As to the alleged manufacture of psychedelic candy across from a school, he said, “That’s pretty brazen.”
Pacific Union School Superintendent/Principal John McGuire said the raid had little impact on his school, as it got underway at 7:30 a.m., well before the heavy traffic of student drop-off time.
The timing may have resulted from his request to DTF to try and schedule enforcement with consideration for high-traffic periods. A Sept. 9 grow house raid on the same block took place simultaneous with morning drop-off traffic.
“I contacted authorities and asked that they please do any enforcement during times that wouldn’t affect the school,” McGuire said. School staff were on hand to inform parents as to the nature of the police activity.
He expressed regret and concern about the alleged drug activity nearby, especially the alleged LSD candy manufacture.
“That’s alarming if that’s true,” McGuire said. It’s really unfortunate that people make choices that are illegal and counterproductive to being around children. That’s what you hear about in Arcata far too often.”
Kevin L. Hoover
December 09 2009