Man takes younger friends on high speed chase, all three end up in jail
LAKE COUNTY – The week may have seemed like a slow one for the Lake County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task force. After all, the previous week saw several high profile arrests and cases come to fruition. But a high speed chase on Wednesday livened things up bit.
Last week, however, started with the arrest on Sunday, January 12 of Kevin Lord Dirkson, a 30-year-old Santa Maria resident, who was caught with a suspended licence, hashish “pucks”, psilocybin mushrooms and LSD. He also had a broken tail light and dog leash hanging from his car door, as if he wanted to draw attention to himself as he passed through the town of Nice. On Tuesday that week, a search warrant served at a home on Boren Bega Drive in Kelseyville revealed the house converted entirely to growing marijuana inside, complete with drying room, cloning room, vegetation room, and a storage and processing area. They eradicated 216 plants and seized evidence to continue their investigation. No arrests were made at that time, but the investigation continues.
Thursday was especially busy, first with the serving of search warrants at two residences of 75-year-old Robert Harold Goldsmith; one on Black Oak Drive in Loch Lomond, and one on Rosa Trail in Kelseyville. Both homes had been converted into sophisticated marijuana growing operations, with over 1200 marijuana plants, 25 pounds of processed marijuana, and six firearms seized, along with the arrest of Goldman. $3,693.00 was collected and is pending asset forfeiture proceedings. And that afternoon at 2:20, a warrant was also served at a home on Bachelor Valley Road in Witter Springs, where 29-year-old Christopher John Caruso was arrested at his residence, which also had been converted to a marijuana factory. Detectives found 48 pounds of processed marijuana, 263 marijuana plants, along with scales and packing materials. 30-year-old Rachel Ann Gregg of Kelseyville was there, but not arrested at the time.
The week concluded Friday with a warrant served at a property on Palmer Avenue in Clearlake. When detectives appeared at 6:30 in the evening, the two men, 52-year-old Agustin Padilla Ochoa and 32-year-old Ulises Sanavia ran out the backdoor. They didn’t get far and were both detained as detectives found large black bags of processed marijuana and a duffle bag full as well. The two men disputed some of the facts of the case – Ochoa said he was just dropping to sell his 5 pounds to a “Jose” who was coming by. Sanavia said that Ochoa is paid $500 a month to live there. Sanvia also claimed that he doesn’t smoke marijuana, but uses about two pounds to “rub on his body each time he takes a shower.” Both men were arrested for possession of marijuana for sale and resisting arrest.
All of the arrested suspects last week were booked into Lake County’s Hill Road Correctional center, according to a series of press releases from Steve Brooks, the Sheriff’s public information officer. However, no new announcements came from the department this week, until yesterday evening.
According to Brooks, on Wednesday evening at about 5 pm, detectives from the Narcotics Task Force were driving on the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff Road, a winding road along the north shore of Clear Lake, just to the west of the small community of Nice. A white Mazda RX-8 was in front of them, and proceeded to blow through a stop sign, and then pass another car by going over the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic. Detectives activated their emergency lights and siren to attempt to stop the car, but saw that the driver instead accelerated. The driver reached speeds of up to 95 miles per hour as he negotiated the curving road, continuing to cross the lines and pass other cars.
A blue Jolly Rancher candy bag was tossed out of the car, and the detectives noted the location so they could either find evidence, or add littering to the charges they would soon be writing up. The car continued into Nice, reaching the roundabout at the Highway 20 intersection, continuing across to Pyle Road. the car stopped at the end of Pyle Road, where it turns into a dirt road. The driver, 55-year-old Randall Wayne Ford from Ukiah, was immediately detained, along with his two young companions, 28-year-old Jenna Jo Hatcher from Redwood Valley and 29-year-old Anthony Aguilar Grayson from Ukiah. Redwood Valley and Ukiah are about 30 miles away in neighboring Mendocino County.
Detectives located the discarded Jolly Rancher bag, which to no surprise contained methamphetamine – about 3 ounces. Perhaps not having time to ditch the rest of their stash, the detectives located in the Mazda almost 100 grams of processed marijuana and 35.5 grams of honey oil – concentrated cannabis extracted from marijuana for inhalation or smoking with an extra kick.
Ford was arrested and charged with evading a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance for sale, concentrated cannabis, concentrated cannabis for sale, and drug paraphernilia. His younger companions were charged with possession of controlled substances and concentrated cannabis. Even with a comparatively light week, the Narcotics Task Force continues under their goal of eradicating narcotics from the county and seizing profits from drug trafficking. Based on their history, especially last week, they won’t run out of cases to pursue any time soon.
Lake County News: Three arrested following Wednesday pursuit; meth, marijuana seized