Mike Biaggi runs Manchester Storage. Some people don't pay to store their stuff, so Biaggi, after proper notice, auctioned off the contents of several abandoned storage units. On September 5th a certain Point Arenan bought the contents of Leonard John Leum's locker. Inside was a kind of snitch's mother lode, and a big surprise that has Point Arena buzzing.
Lenny, as Leum was known in Point Arena, kept boxes and boxes of “investigative documents” he'd compiled and had apparently mailed off to: the DEA, Robert Nishiyama of the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, Rep. Mike Thompson, and Senator Jim Webb, all displaying the names and sometimes accurate addresses of pot growers living and working in and around the fog belt. The techno-maladroit Leum, however, couldn't quite master his GPS coordinates, invariably placing them as two locations in the Stillwater Cove area near Jenner. But names and neighborhoods were close enough for the cops.
Here's one to the DEA's Nishiyama dated June 2nd 2008.
“Sir, I read with interest the story in the Chronicle of 05/31, and would like to assist you in assessing your targets, and possibly to deliver one very big fish. ...There are many such operations scattered throughout the area, but this would be the largest. I would investigate an individual last name (______, color of car, License #, etc.), who owns and/or lives in the direct vicinity of (famous business). … to counter evasion by this group in particular, and otherwise in general, I would search county permits (K) for barns or outbuildings of 10,000 sf or more. Tractor barns would correlate with evidence of ag. If they're not associated with a mill, airfield, winery or an industrial park, your chances in Mendo are 50-50 or better. And now I'll l tell you how to identify them.”
Lenny used the Seal Internet Cafe in Fort Bragg and Respect Tech in Ukiah to print pictures of grows, doing what he called “tweaking” the computer printers for best display, and they were off to the dope cops.
Point Arena locals, many of whom were arrested for pot grows on the heels of Lenny's cozy tips to the forces of law order, were handed their individual “dope dossiers” late last week, courtesy of the new owner of the Leum Archive. Lenny Leum appeared and reappeared in Point Arena in 1995-1997. He'd sit in the local coffee shops and write volumes, spinning out unreadable political tomes, heavy on conspiracy theories, in a big looping hand, getting it all down in spiral notebooks. You'd also see him in the library transcribing his life's work onto the computer, pausing to dispatch fervid e-mails to his mysterious contacts. A large, seething fellow, people tended to step cautiously around him. Spotting Leum furiously writing at his favorite spot on the deck of the downtown coffee shop in Point Arena each morning, occasionally someone would dare ask him what he was writing about. "Conspiracy theorems on MK Ultra government acid experiments," he'd say, looking suspiciously at his interrogator. Too early in the day for acid, and always the wrong time of day for conspiracy chat, locals learned to leave Lenny alone.
While many loons can plausibly claim that their mothers dropped them on their heads, figuratively or literally, and we don't want to know what their dads did, Lenny swore Mom had nothing to do with his formative years. He said he'd been dropped out of an Army Air Corp plane. His chute didn't open, he hit the ground, bounced, got up, and walked away. As he was free-falling through the sky, Lenny said he thought to himself, “This is really gonna hurt.”
At all true? Who knows. We've got at least one Navy Seal in every bar in the country, so why not a bouncing paratrooper? Lenny did indeed have these super-elastic hyper mobile muscles and tendons you find in professional athletes; the guy's anatomy twisted like a pretzel, a real Gumby sorta dude. The more judgmental described him as "Neanderthal-like," perhaps because of his extreme mullet that ran clear down his back. Lenny had his own look going, for sure. No one's seen Lenny in a while, and it's a sure bet if he returns to Point Arena he is unlikely to be well received.
Letter to Rep. Mike Thompson dated May 21st 2008:
“Sir, I would appreciate it if you could ensure that no publication embargo exists by clearing this with the censors, if they exist. Also, though I went 12 nights without getting hit, the action has moved to the property where I am working, possibly the Point Arena militia mentioned in my previous letters to you (blue Volvo); the dope-growing retired spooks. It would take a House investigator about two days to find them. They are actually dumb enough to call themselves (name)...”
Point Arenans had come to know that Lenny had little control over his rages, that if you angered him to the point where he went all the way off, well, it could be life threatening. He often talked about assaults on him by unknown assailants he never caught or even saw. The bastards would sneak up and tase him when he least expected it.
These constant attacks by unseen assailants naturally lent the guy the demeanor of the perpetually aggrieved. But he was always threatening the folks he could see, and breaking things, and flipping out in spectacular ways.
Years ago, when Lenny could afford to eat out and had a bit of money coming in from helping tend on fishing boats, Arena Cove Restaurant offered a “Lenny Burger.” It was huge. Lenny sized.
There are only a dozen or so regular fisherman who keep their boats down at Arena Cove. Lenny sometimes got hired by them.
Lenny once had a good day fishing off the Loran Station outside Arena Cove. Next day he went back with a crew and found another local fisherman there. He became so livid that this guy had “jumped his spot” that Lenny had to be restrained from jumping overboard and swimming over to beat up the alleged pirate. A day later, Lenny found the fisherman on land, walked up to him and head-butted the man so hard it knocked the man out. The victim said he noticed for a few weeks after the incident that things were “fucked with” on his boat. “Nothing really broken or stolen, but just readjusted to malfunction in this way or that. If I didn't check everything before going out, I would have been in trouble. Disturbing. Lets you know that the guy is still thinking about fucking you up in some way, even two weeks after the 'jumping of his spot', incident, which was also baloney.”
There was no jumping of anyone's spot. The therapeutically oriented said that Lenny was "extremely territorial and adversarial," which is a kind way of saying he's nuts. From the looks of the documents shared with us, he's a clinical-quality paranoid schizophrenic, but a paranoid schizo with a life's purpose, a schiz on a mission to cleanse the earth of marijuana.
Many of the documents refer to Lenny's removal from various properties, many of the evictions the work of much larger forces, of course. Point Arenans know several land owners who tried to do work trades in return for a place to stay with Lenny, but these arrangements ended badly, mostly in raging threats from Mr. Leum, always the wronged party.
On June 9th of 2008, Lenny wrote to Nishiyama, by then the DEA's man on the Mendo Major Crimes Task Force:
“And whatever you do, don't call the FBI or DEA in on this – they're nothing but a black hole, trust me. And DO NOT relinquish custody – you'll never see them again and they WILL walk. Though the date of the photo proves continuing criminal enterprise invoking RICO, the probability they would ever rot in Federal prison is zero. They have assaulted myself and my son; and we live under continuing threat of injury and death. They drove me from the property I was care taking into homelessness and now I know why. My sources have confirmed what I have long suspected, that one of two kingpins owns and/or occupies a property that shares adjacent frontage on (aka) Lane with the property from which I was forced to flee...”
Always with the drama, that Lenny.
The following was Lenny's general assessment of dope ops in Point Arena:
“There are other installations scattered through the area, but this is the largest. Six and a half years ago when I was first set upon and ultimately driven off a property I was care taking, I turned in to the Mendo Co. DA another operation off Iversen I determined to be a rats' nest of antagonists, approximately three and a half years ago.”
It wasn't long before the fishermen refused to hire him. Lenny's temper would blow, or he'd keep cranking on equipment with too much force, or not enough finesse, and something would usually wind up breaking. He often broke things. People still talk about the drumming circle forced by rain into the glass house on Red Tag Road; Lenny broke five drums that night, just whacking the hell out of them to see how hard he could hit them. He thought he'd done a good thing. "Had no idea drums have a sweet spot and could be re-used if ya left them intact." When Lenny saw how bummed everyone was with their broken equipment, he got angry, like it was the drum's fault, or the drum's owner's fault.
Everyone knew when his adrenaline was running that Lenny was a goner. No turnin' back in his thinking. You could agree that he was entirely correct, and he'd still argue and get angry with even the most sympathetic person.
One day someone on the coffee shop deck interrupted him finally and said, “Lenny, we've been agreeing with you for the last twenty minutes. Take a break and breathe, and relax a bit. We're not arguing with you. You won. You're right. Do you hear me? We agree with you and you are acting agro toward me, so quit it.”
Fishermen remember the day another terrible tempered vagabond whomped Lenny at the Pier when the psychos went at each other in the parking lot. He hurt Lenny hard. It was a switch for a change, but good to see Lenny humbled for a while after that. It calmed him down, then he started in talking about the taserings again. The Force, some kind of force, was tasering him night and day.
To the DEA on June 22nd 2008:
“This exposes me to being tasered, but I refuse to live in fear – I have my integrity and my credibility and that's all this life is worth.”
Lenny had a truck back in 2008. He roamed a tri-county area, always returning to Point Arena. If you were at the Motel 6 in Ukiah on January 23rd of '08, you may have been one of six California drivers whose random license plate numbers he turned into the DEA. He also stalked the SF Marina and SF Surf Motel, writing down the license plate numbers of eight California drivers and one each from Nevada and Florida. Descriptions of their cars are included in Lenny's snitch notes with their CA license numbers.
Other motels where Super Secret Surveillance Man has lingered on behalf of the righteous include the Santa Rosa North Motel 6, Pepperwood Motel in Willits and Super 8 in Fort Bragg.
“06/16/08: On my way into town, I was contacted by a deputy from MMCTF who advised me my case was being transferred to DEA. ...There was no dive gear in his (truck) bed; and he was pacing back and forth on the river bar from a spot where he could watch me approach. I have been hit dozens of times over the last six years – It was a set-up complete with spotter; and it's POLITICAL. And you people can fuck around until I die and it isn't going to help. I've been tasered four times in the last four months, twice in one week; and the previous incident occurred at Super-8, Ft. Bragg, involving two white males...”
“I have my coffee and read the papers on the Mendocino Headlands in the morning...” A mystery agent tailed him all the way back out on to Highway One.
Paul Dimmick, Navarro State Beach, Manchester State Beach, Arena Cove, Stillwater Cove, are all Lenny's hang-outs for writing down names and taking numbers.
“Gualala is clean – don't waste your time," Lenny advised law enforcement. "They just use the bank – and how much of it ends up offshore converting to Euros? That's where I'd start.”
Lenny's four addresses over the years include: Santa Paula, Gualala, Point Arena, and Santa Barbara. A son is listed in the documents as living in Santa Cruz. Again, the documents I've seen are from 2008, with many of those mentioned having been busted by the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force since that date.
To Senator Jim Webb on 06/29/08 from Lenny Leum:
“I called Heidi, Mike Thompson's secretary, and left the following message at (707) 962-0933: “You called me and asked whether I thought any of my family members needed protection. I told you my son did. You asked for his number and then used it to impugn my sanity. I consider this not only a smear but an assault on my kid. Now the ...LA drug connections are showing up and they are very unhappy with me – and if anything does happen to my kid, I am holding you and Mike Thompson personally responsible. This all started with the Agency coming after me, and I kept you informed every step of the way and I will make you pay.”
The Internet shows our hero “arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest.” Lenny was listed at that time as Leonard John Leum, 58, of Eureka. He's about 61 now.
“It's a paper trail and all the Bush administration can do is destroy themselves. The protection that had been so much in evidence the night before seemed completely absent, as if I'm the object of some kind of jurisdictional tug-of-war, unless the show of protection of the prior evening was a ruse to lull me into a sense of complacency.”
Everyone wanted the guy in '08.
A friend who hired Lenny to move some furniture for him, said Lenny is what they call “big for nothin', so big, you'd think they'd be good for picking up stuff and moving it, kinda like a mini-forklift, but this big for nothin' lacked strength and could only handle a lamp or two."
The guy broke a lot of people, though. Lenny Leum lifted a whole lot of Point Arena people on into the criminal justice system, a crazy man naming names, a crazy man who got the cops dancing.