KELSEYVILLE – A woman and two men, all in their mid twenties, had a small factory going in a house in Kelseyville, which is on the western shore of Clear Lake in Lake County. Their operation, however, came to a stop when Sheriff’s Detectives served a search warrant and arrested them all on drug charges.
According to Steve Brooks of the Sheriff’s Department, narcotics detectives had obtained a search warrant for 24-year-old Paige Leann Polley and 27-year-old John Joseph Darnell’s residence on Caddo Court in Kelseyville. At 10 am last Friday, April 25, they served the warrant at the home. Along with Polley and Darnell, Charles William Knipp, 27 of Chico, was present when detectives arrived.
As recently as March, when he was arrested in Trinity County, Darnell listed his home as Hinsdale Illinois, where his occupation was glassblower. Apparently he and Polley, who has an outstanding warrant from Illinois, came to California together. She is also on probation from Butte County (where Knipp is from) for drug charges originating in Illinois.
The detectives detained the three while they searched the house, and found quite an operation. Marijuana was being grown outside the home in a hoop style greenhouse set up in the back yard. There were 59 marijuana plants inside the greenhouse. One of the bedrooms was set up as an indoor grow room, with 157 plants growing there.
Inside the garage they found plastic bags and tubs filled with harvested and processed marijuana, with a total weight of over 300 pounds. There were numerous PVC and glass cylinders, 200 empty butane cylinders, and two new unopened cases of butane.
Inside the house the supplies had been put to work, as they had several hot plates being used to burn off butane gas and extract THC – tetrahydrocannabinol – from marijuana in a effort to produce a liquid concentrated cannabis known as “hash oil” or “honey oil”. This concentrated substance is said to produce a much stronger reaction in the user than smoking marijuana, and is highly valued. The detectives found 21 ounces of the oil, with an estimated street value of $29,700.00. The extraction process is also extremely hazardous, and has been known to cause explosions, fires, and severe burns in people trying to control it, especially indoors.
The three were all arrested and booked on charges of manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of marijuana for sale, cultivation of marijuana, and possession of concentrated cannabis. All three had priors as well from their involvement with drug possession and/or sales.
Polley’s Illinois warrant was for drug possession. Darnell’s March arrest in Trinity County was for possession of 288 pounds of marijuana. He was arrested by US Forest Service officers at “Mad River” along Highway 36 in the Shasta Trinity National Forest. Knipp was also on probation out of Butte County for marijuana sales, and was charged with a probation violation on addition to the other charges.
The marijuana growing on the property was eradicated by the narcotics detectives, who continue in their efforts to eradicate illegal narcotics from the county and community. Anyone with information to help that effort is encouraged to call the Task Force at 707-263-3663.