Monday, June 23, 2008

Feds: Real

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Something is definitely happening.

There's a whole bunch of tight-lipped people at the Fortuna River Lodge right now. They've got satellite trucks. (Check the web cam here .) John Matthews of KHUM went down to try to get people to talk this afternoon; he was unsuccessful. But they did check his ID.

Supervisor Johanna Rodoni tells the Journal that Sheriff Gary Philp told her that the people at the River Lodge were federal agents, and it was definitely not a convention. (Last week, personnel from the Convention & Visitors Bureau said they knew nothing about any convention coming to town this week.)

Rodoni says Philp told her that all would likely be revealed soon.

There's three police vehicles from Siskiyou County in the parking lot of the Red Lion, along with some large trucks.

The front desk at the River Lodge gives out an FBI number to reporters seeking more information.

Is it drug busts? Immigration?

UPDATE: The DEA has denied, again and in no uncertain terms, that any sort of mass drug bust is planned for Humboldt, according to a story in tomorrow's Arcata Eye . But the phone number given out at the River Lodge was for the FBI, not the DEA.

A lot of known unknowns right now. It might not be weed-related at all. Or maybe it is. Or maybe it's completely innocuous, whatever it is -- a conference or training or what have you. Though that seems less likely by the moment.

UPDATE: Why FBI? The DEA is drugs and ICE is immigration. The DEA has strongly denied any big drug busts are coming down. Does the FBI do marijuana raids? Doesn't seem plausible, unless they were trying to make some other kind of case -- corruption, racketeering.

The FBI and ICE do sometimes work together , though, if there's criminal cases to be made. And as the Times-Standard reported earlier this month , the recent layoffs at the bulb farm were the beginning of an investigation, not the end of one. The point will be expanded upon in this week's North Coast Journal cover story.

Go ahead and file this update under "wild speculation," or "something to think about."

UPDATE: Turns out the FBI does do weed -- see the link to the Clear Lake paper that Jason provides below.

UPDATE, 8:26 a.m. : See here .

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Hank Sims

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