HUMBOLDT COUNTY -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the results of a multi-year operation that resulted in six arrests and the seizure of nearly 3,000 marijuana plants and 44 weapons, including five assault weapons.
The investigation by the North State Marijuana Investigation Team (NSMIT), a California DOJ-led task force, targeted a ring that cultivated and trafficked large amounts of marijuana to be sold illegally on streets across the United States.
“California Department of Justice-led task forces target criminal enterprises running drugs, guns and human beings up and down California,” said Attorney General Harris. “In this case, we have shut down an illegal, multi-state operation and seized drugs, guns and assault weapons.”
On Tuesday, NSMIT agents served 12 search warrants at several locations, in Humboldt County, San Francisco and Sonoma. Agents also served two additional follow-up warrants later in the day at Coldwell Banker office and a storage unit in Fortuna.
As a result of the search warrants, NSMIT agents seized the following: 2,896 marijuana plants, 44 weapons (9 handguns, 9 shotguns, 5 assault rifles, 21 rifles), 15 high-capacity magazines, approximately 400 pounds of processed marijuana, 2 ounces of cocaine, 2 ounces of mushrooms and $74,000 in cash.
Six individuals were arrested during yesterday’s operation: Erik Sordal, 31, charged with child endangerment, cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of assault weapons; Jamie Gilbert, 35, charged with possession of marijuana for sale; Scott Moore, 31, charged with possession of marijuana for sale; Emory “Kip” Ayers, 64, charged with possession of cocaine; Shawn Mitten, 35, charged with possession of marijuana for sale; and Alvin Cody Machado, 27, charged with a probation violation, possession of cocaine. Jamie Gilbert was booked into the San Francisco County Jail; Emory Ayers and Alvin Machado were booked into the Sonoma County Jail; and the others were booked into the Humboldt County Jail.
In 2010, NSMIT agents received a tip and launched an investigation. The DOJ task force was assisted by the Alcohol Beverage Control, California Highway Patrol, Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, DEA, Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, Siskiyou County-wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force, and Trinity County Sheriff’s Office.
Photographs from the seizure are attached to the online version of this press release at www.oag.ca.gov.