3 ARRESTED DURING BOMB SQUAD, DRUG TASK FORCE INVESTIGATION: Rio Dell
Three people are arrested as the bomb squad and Humboldt County Drug Task Force investigate a property in Rio Dell. At the scene of a large commercial indoor marijuana grow they find more than 10 high powered assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo… and an explosive device.
"Just looking at it we didn’t touch it, it still had the pin in it," says Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Task Force. At 7:15 Tuesday morning his agency served a search warrant here at the old Eel River Sawmill. When they walked up, a grenade was sitting on the front porch.
"Then our bomb disposal unit showed up and they're more familiar with that."
The squad examines the device and sees the bottom has been drilled out- all the gun powder removed, but Lt. Hanson says even that’s still illegal.
"Under California state laws even if you have a fake grenade with the pin in it."
Inside the old offices rooms have been converted for marijuana growing. 567 plants in a half-dozen rooms. The task force detains and arrests 28 and 21 year old brothers Nathan and Ben Titchener, and 28 year old Beth Hendry. They’ve been renting the place out.
" We notified the landlords about the conditions, and contacted the building department for city of Rio Dell,” Who upon entering said to call PG&E to cut the power. Hanson says the wattage being used inside has big fire starting potential.
"A normal office space that has one 60 watt light bulb on the ceiling now has 4 to 6 1,000 watts. So there’s 6,000 watts of current amps in the office where as its rated for 60 so obviously a high likelihood for a fire."
All three arrested have pending charges for marijuana and firearm cultivation and possession, as well as maintaining a place for drug sales.