Cheerful pot growers arrested in Lake County
Philip Dennis Murphy and Cheryl Denise Carr, Lake County booking photos
The faces in their mugshots make it look like they’re not too upset about getting arrested, probably aware that they won’t likely serve much if any serious time for their offenses. But they are no doubt concerned about losing so much of their harvested crops.
Last Tuesday, November 3, agents from the Lake County Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force served a search warrant on a property in Kelseyville, along East Finley Road. The town of Kelseyville is on the west shore of Clear Lake, a region of flat farmlands with a mix of orchards, vineyards, and other crops. A small sign in front of this property identified it as a ranch producing certified organic pears and walnuts.
The residents of the property, Philip Dennis Murphy, 57, and Cheryl Denise Carr, 60, had apparently diversified. According to Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s office, when the agents appeared at the property with the warrant in hand, Murphy asked if they were there for the marijuana. They replied that they were indeed, and Murphy admitted that he was producing marijuana, but didn’t want to answer any more questions. He and Carr were both detained while the search proceeded.
The detectives found over 21 pounds of processed marijuana, packaged into 27 individual bags. An additional eleven pounds of bulk shake marijuana was in plastic tubs. The detectives estimated that they uncovered $21,000 worth of processed marijuana. They also found four rifles stored at the property.
Despite not answering any more questions, the pair did insist that they were following county codes in their marijuana production operation. According to the Lake County ordinance on marijuana cultivation, six mature plants are allowed on parcels over an acre. 20 or more acres, on agriculturally zoned property, may hold up to 48 mature plants, if grown as part of a certified medical marijuana collective. Selling marijuana for profit is illegal.
Murphy and Carr were both arrested and booked at the Hill Road Correctional Facility on charges of cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. The district attorney will also consider charges of possession of a firearm while committing a felony added to their indictment once it is verified that they were in felony violation of the marijuana growing laws. They were released on $15,000 bail each.