Dolphins In The Tuna Net

by Bruce McEwen, June 1, 2016

A preliminary examination of the catch from a Laytonville pot bust revealed that a white American, Sydney Roach (sic), arrested last December with three Guatemalans, was merely visiting the pot pharm when the cops arrived. Ms. Roach was found not guilty of the charges the others were facing, cultivation of marijuana for commercial purposes.

Ms. Roach’s attorney, Keith Faulder, told Judge David Nelson that Ms. Roach “was a dolphin who got caught in the tuna net, your honor.”

Alternate Public Defender Douglas Rhoades said his client, Carlos Reyes, was also a dolphin, but Judge Nelson found that Señor Reyes, Señor Walter Chata and Señorita Lucretia Garcia were all tuna and would be held to answer on the charges of cultivation for commercial purposes.

Reyes, Chata, Garcia

Reyes, Chata, Garcia

The alleged dolphins, five white Americans, got their charges dismissed before they ever got to the prelim. The three tuna were bound over on the Special Allegation that they were armed in the commission of the cultivation crime, even though it was the white guys who had the guns, owned the property, ran the business.

Sydney Roach, Cameron Roach, Frazier

Sydney Roach, Cameron Roach, Frazier

We're reluctant to join the shrill national chorus caw-cawing "racism," but it's not a peanut butter sandwich.

It was so racist that even the three Spanish language interpreters were all white guys — Carlos Benneman (former mayor of Ferndale and ace poker player), Timothy Baird, and Nicholas Zacheral. Only one lawyer was of Hispanic extraction, Sergio Fuentes, counsel for Lucretia Garcia. Do we need to build a wall around Mendoland to send a message to Hispanic immigrants?

The scene of the crime was 2270 Woodman Peak Road, arrayed for strictly utilitarian purposes with trailers, ad hoc sheds, and a Connex shipping container — five “areas” in all.

Deputy Raymond Hendry was first on the scene and went to Area One where he encountered two dolphins, white guys, one with an AK-47 assault rifle, the other with a 9mm automatic. Deputy Hendry didn’t elaborate beyond this terse description — far from it — he had to be coaxed to muster even mono-syllabic answers to Deputy DA Elizabeth Norman's questions. But when it came to the three tuna fish, Hendry became positively voluble.

Norman: “Did you make contact with the white men?”

Hendry: “I did not.”

“I see. What did you do?”

“I moved on to Area Two.”

(Ah, excuse me, officer. You encounter two dolphins with big guns but moved swiftly on to the unarmed tuna?)

“Why?”

“I could hear music coming from that shed.”

“Did you contact anybody there?”

“I did.”

“Who was that?”

“Mr. Reyes and two other Hispanics.”

“What were they doing?”

“Trimming marijuana.”

“How do you know that?”

“They had those shallow cardboard boxes that soda comes in, and they had those in their laps with piles of marijuana buds on one side and piles of stems on the other side, and they had scissors in their hands.”

“What did you do next?”

“I went down a trail to Area Three, a Connex [shipping container], and there were no people there so I went to Area Four, which appeared to be a living area, and there was a white male on the porch and a couple inside.”

These were all dolphins, the Frazier brothers, Brett and Brandon, and Sydney Roach, who was somehow mistaken for a tuna because some stems were in the shipping container, with what Hendry said was a scale.

Deputy Hendry then went up to Area Five where another dolphin with a fully loaded AR-15 assault rifle was guarding more than 200 pounds of processed bud. At this point Hendry said he locked the property down and called Deputy Jeremy Mason to bring a search warrant from Ukiah, and turned the investigation over to Mason.

Ms. Norman was determined that Ms. Roach was in fact a tuna, and not a dolphin. She had one final question for Deputy Hendry.

“Did Ms. Roach tell you where she was staying?”

“She did, yes.”

“Where?”

“She said she was sleeping in the trailer, or lean-to, or whatever it was, on the floor with her boyfriend and a dog.”

On cross, Faulder asked Hendry if he’d made a report.

Hendry: “No, I did not.”

Faulder: “Did you have a reason for that?”

“I briefed Deputy Mason, and he took over.”

“Did you make any notes?”

“No.”

“Is that Deputy Mason’s report in front of you?”

“Yes.”

“Did you use it to refresh your memory before testifying today?”

“Yes.”

“So when you testified that you found some stems in the lean-to where my client was staying, you said you “think” there was a scale?”

“I can’t tell you a hundred percent if there was or not.”

“Did you collect any evidence?”

“I don’t believe I did. I don’t believe there was a whole lot in there.”

“Did you take any photographs?”

“No.”

“Did you interview my client?”

“No.”

“You saw a white man outside on the porch?”

“Yes.”

“Did you ask him his name?”

“No.”

“Did you ask him to have the couple come out?”

“Yes.”

Mr. Fuentes took his turn on cross. Fuentes was representing  Lucretia Garcia.

Fuentes: “Did you originally go there to serve an arrest warrant?”

Hendry: “Yes.”

“Did you find this person there?”

“No.”

“Did you ask any of these individuals where that guy was?”

“Yes.”

“Who?”

“Mr. Reyes, and he said he didn’t know.”

“Did you ask my client?”

“No, I don’t believe she speaks English.”

Mr. Rhoades took his turn.

Rhoades: “You said white males were in the first trailer?”

Hendry: “Yes.”

“Did you see who they were?”

“No, the sergeant took over there and I went on to the second location.”

“And that’s where you observed them trimming marijuana with soda pop flats in their laps and scissors in their hands?”

“Yes.”

Ms. Macci Baldock , representing Walter Chata, took her turn.

Baldock: “The door was closed but not locked?”

Hendry: “Yes.”

“Did you knock?”

“Yes.”

“And Mr. Reyes opened it?”

“Yes.”

“Did you go in?”

“No.”

Deputy DA Norman on redirect:

Norman: “Did you see anything to make you believe Mr. Reyes was trimming?”

Hendry: “I did.”

“And what was that?”

“An empty seat. And I believe he had his trimming scissors in his hand.”

Deputy Hendry stepped down and Deputy Jeremy Mason was called.

On December 1st of 2015 Mason had left Ukiah with a search warrant for the Laytonville property and arrived there, he estimated, around three in the afternoon. Deputy Hendry briefed him with a walk-through of the scene and Mason then talked to the eight people who had been assembled and made comfortable with blankets and water in an open area where they could be guarded by the officers.

Norman: “Did you speak with Ms. Roach?”

Mason: “Yes, we conversed throughout, off and on, and also I recorded a formal interview with her.”

“Did she tell you how long she’d been there?”

“A week or two, she said. She’d come to visit her uncle, Cameron Roach.”

“Was he there?”

“Yes, in Area One.”

“Did she indicate to you whether or not she was aware of the marijuana operation?”

“I don’t recall her specifically saying she was.”

“Was there any evidence in the trailer she was staying in?”

“It looked like it had at one time been set up as a trim room with a table, some scissors, some stems on the floor.”

“Was there a bed?”

“Yes.”

“Anything else?”

“A very small amount of marijuana.”

“And this belonged to the boyfriend, Brenden Frazier, which he’d trimmed for his personal use?

“I believe so, yes.”

“Did you speak with Carlos Reyes?”

“Yes, he spoke broken English and said he was there to trim marijuana.”

“Was he being compensated?”

“Yes, he said he didn’t know how much, but hadn’t yet been paid anything.”

The same was true for the other two Guatamalans — they hadn’t been paid and as things developed it looked like they were not going to be paid. Ever.

Pot growers have created a noble myth of themselves as employer saints who produce miracle cures for the world’s sick and psychologically oppressed. But out in the world dope is only available to those who can afford it, and it isn’t cheap. And it may come as a shock to some readers to learn that trimmigrants, white and Hispanic alike, are often turned out without pay, and the Hispanics are kept quiet with threats of a call to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they don’t like it.

In the first location called Area One where the unnamed sergeant was waiting with Cameron Roach and someone known only as Wes, or Wesley, Mason said there were two pounds of butane honey oil (BHO), and a pound of processed bud. Also, these two dolphins were armed with a Springfield XD 9 mm semiautomatic pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle. In Area Two where the trimmigants were working, the box the pistol came in was found. In Area Five, there were the 200 pounds of market-ready “product” and some guy called Murphy or Murray armed with an AR-15 assault rifle fitted with a 30-round banana clip.

“Now,” Deputy DA Norman asked, “do you recall what Ms. Roach said about the marijuana?”

Mason: “She was not involved in it, she said.”

“Was there anything to indicate she was involved?”

“Yes, she was found in Area Four and there was a pile of stems and scissors there.”

On cross Faulder asked if trimming wasn’t a messy job, and Mason conceded it could be.

“Don’t they [trimmers] typically have sticky fingers, from the resin?”

“Not if they wear gloves.”

“Okay… but did you find any gloves?”

“No.”

“Was there any resin on Ms. Roach’s fingers or clothing?”

“No.”

“There were eight people there, and none of them told you Ms. Roach was trimming, did they?”

“Correct.”

Sergio Fuentes asked, “A person in Area One, this Wes guy, he told you he was leasing the property?”

“Yes.”

“And the person in Area Five, this Murphy, he told you he took responsibility for the marijuana, didn’t he?”

“Correct.”

“And the charges against both of them were dismissed?”

“That’s right.”

Doug Rhoades asked, “Did you find any equipment for making butane honey oil?”

“Some pieces, yes, but not all the parts needed.”

“Did my client tell you he’d come that day to get paid?”

“It seems like he may have, yes.”

“Did it appear he was staying on the property?”

“No.”

“Was Mr. Reyes in possession of any firearms?”

“No.”

Macci Baldock asked, “Was there any indication my client was staying on the property?”

“No.”

“Was he in possession of a firearm?”

“No.”

“And there was no interpreter present?”

“Correct.”

Judge Nelson said it was a straightforward case of cultivation for profit and the three Guatamalan defendants were all guilty, as they were “caught in the act.”

At this point Faulder came up with Ms. Roach as the dolphin in the tuna net, and Judge Nelson let Sydney Roach off the proverbial hook. Rhoades tried to apply the metaphor to Mr. Reyes, that Reyes was also a dolphin scooped up in the tuna net, but Nelson wouldn’t agree. Reyes and the other Guatamalans were tuna and would proceed to the cannery for processing. Nelson even found the arming allegation registered against the Guatamalans to be true even though none of the Guatamalans had guns. It was Deputy DA Norman’s theory that the white guys in Area One and Area Five were using the guns to protect the trimmers.

(My theory is they had the guns to keep the trimmers from claiming their wages and making trouble. It is a common practice for growers to sport about with lots of firepower to intimidate trimmers and dissuade them from theft. And what a neat trick, to stick these poor fish with arming allegations, making their felony convictions all the more serious! )

We were under the impression that the practice of charging trimmigrants with felony cultivation was a thing of the past at the DA’s Office, but it now appears we were mistaken. Could it be that local law enforcement anticipates that Donald Trump will win the presidential election and, therefore, they want to already be on his “good side” with anti-immigrant policies in place?

If this crummy case is any indication, it sure looks like it.

12 Responses to Dolphins In The Tuna Net

  1. BB Grace Reply

    June 1, 2016 at 10:48 am

    re: “And it may come as a shock to some readers to learn that trimmigrants, white and Hispanic alike, are often turned out without pay,”

    It doesn’t shock me. What’s shocking, so to speak, is that the people being duped can’t get help.

    What’s the point of paying for social services that discriminates against these abused people?

    • james marmon Reply

      June 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      It isn’t Social Services that is discriminating against these abused people, its the illuminati, CIA, Mormon Church, Carmel Angelo and the fab 5. Now that Camille Schraeder and co-conspirator Sonya Nesch are taking over control of all Health and Human Services and Social Service’s operations its going to be interesting moving forward Ms. BB Grace, to say the least.

      • james marmon Reply

        June 1, 2016 at 1:20 pm

        Just messing with your head Bruce. I will stay out of this.

    • Susie de Castro Reply

      June 1, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      To BB
      Pardon me, but Hispanis are descendents of Europeans.

      • Susie de Castro Reply

        June 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm

        Correction needed above
        – should be ‘Hispanics’

  2. Jim Updegraff Reply

    June 2, 2016 at 9:12 am

    do the deed do the time.

  3. Bruce McEwen Reply

    June 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    The player in this case who deserves the most credit is the prosecutor, Deputy DA Elizabeth Norman, who fought valiantly to have at least one of the “dolphins” sent to the cannery with the “tuna fish.”

    Incidentally, Happy Birthday, Beth — no charge for today’s paper!

  4. james marmon Reply

    June 2, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Regarding the Sheriff’s plan to build a Mental Health facility in Mendocino County. The biggest question looming is if it is going to be a “Mental Health Jail” or what exactly is his plans? Will this facility house criminal detainees with the goal of forcing them into treatment or what?

    I think it is time to look at the constitutionality of his plan should that be the case. My concern is that the plan is to violate patient’s rights and make mental health a crime.

    “Counties are also liberally interpreting the involuntary commitment laws – the LPS Act – to meet the local infrastructure needs of law enforcement, emergency transportation providers, county mental health departments, judicial services and community treatment providers. This has led to wide variations in application of the law from county to county, from city to city and even from hospital to hospital. All too often, these interpretations are to the detriment of patients, hospitals and the staff caring for them and may not be protecting the patients’ civil liberties or providing equal and consistent protections as prescribed in law.”

    http://www.calhospital.org/…/fi…/lps_act_problem_summary.pdf

    Right to Refuse Treatment.

    1978 Rennie v. Klein CIVIL-an involuntarily committed, legally competent patient who refused medication had a right to professional medical review of the treating psychiatrist’s decision. The Court left the decision-making process to medical professionals. Right 14th

    1990 Washington v. Harper CRIMINAL-Prisoners have only a very limited right to refuse psychotropic medications in prison. The needs of the institution take precedence over the prisoners’ rights. However, there must be a formal institutional hearing, the prisoner must be found to be dangerous to himself or others, the prisoner must be diagnosed with a serious mental illness, and the mental health care professional must state that the medication prescribed is in the prisoner’s best interest. Right 14th

    1992 Riggins v. Nevada CRIMINAL-In a ruling very similar to Harper, the Court found that the State may force administration of psychotropic medications to a pre-trial detainee, if it establishes a medical need for the drug, and a need for the detainee’s safety and that of others. To the Harper requirements, they added “less restrictive alternative” language, which requires the State to document that there are no behavioral, environmental, or other measures available that will be equally effective.

    Civil commitment

    1972 Jackson v. Indiana Due process requires that the nature and duration of commitment bear some reasonable relation to the purpose for which the individual is committed.” Reasoning that if commitment is for treatment and betterment of individuals, it must be accompanied by adequate treatment, several lower courts recognized a due process right. Right 14th

    1979 Addington v. Texas Raised the burden of proof requirement, in order to civilly commit a person, from preponderance, to clear and convincing. Also, permitted the courts to defer judgment regarding a person’s need for commitment, to the doctor(s) 14th

    1979 Parham v. JR The Court ruled that minors may be civilly committed to mental health facilities without an adversary hearing; in essence, parents do have the right to commit their children.[citation needed] Right 14th

    1982 Youngberg v. Romeo Each individual has a due process protected interest in freedom from confinement and personal restraint; an interest in reducing the degree of confinement continues even for those individuals who are properly committed. freedom from undue physical restraint and from unsafe conditions of confinement Right 14th

    1975 O’Connor v. Donaldson A finding of mental illness alone is not sufficient grounds for confining a person against their will. They must be found to be a danger to others or incapable of surviving safely without institutional care. Right 14th

    1993 Heller v. Doe Reflecting the more conservative (‘pro-government’) attitude of the times, the Court found that mentally retarded persons are not a ‘suspect’ class of persons (requiring the same level of protection as racial minorities); thus, governments are free to enact almost any legislation or rule to civilly commit them, and the courts will not intervene, short of illegal or ridiculous actions (called ‘rational’ scrutiny).[citation needed]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_United_States_Supreme_Co…

    • james marmon Reply

      June 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Sonya Nesch has been speaking out against the LPS Act since the beginning of time, she finally found enough gullible sheeple to follow her lead, including the ER staff in our 3 hospitals, and the sheriff. They all disagreed with Ortner on forced treatment and commitment laws. They won’t have that to worry about anymore, clear sailing.

      Ortner kept explaining to everyone, treatment is voluntary.

      That won’t be the case anymore in Mental-cino County.

  5. james marmon Reply

    June 2, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    hypothetical question here.

    Once this facility is built, if I was so stupid enough to send Carmel Angelo an email about anything, it wouldn’t matter, and violate my restraining order, would the sheriff arrest me? Would my picture make the catch of the day? Would I immediately be taken to Sonya Nesch’s facility and ordered forced medications by Doctor “no marijuana” Trotter, prosecuted in Court by my close friend David Eyster, and have my story reported in the AVA by Bruce McEwen?

    Just wondering.

    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant.

    • james marmon Reply

      June 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      As a condition of my possible release would it mandate that I be compliant with all the outpatient mental health provider, Camille Schraeder’s, program requirements?

  6. james marmon Reply

    June 2, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    The new season of “Escaping Polygamy” starts next week. I remember Judge King calling me a polygamist as he granted one of my ex-wife’s an annulment. That was not cool. She was accompanied by several man haters she met at Alcoholics Anonymous who also worked at Project Sanctuary. It was a lynch mob, they applauded and cheered every time the judge expressed his disgust towards me. That was in 1991 I believe. I want you all to know I doing better today, I haven’t had the need to get married since 1991, it was a tough addiction, but I kicked it.

    James Marmon aka Jim Woolley
    The Prophet.

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