More than 65 additional charges — the bulk of which are for alleged environmental offenses — are being sought against a Kneeland couple arrested on suspicion of marijuana cultivation following a search that yielded more than 1,900 plants, officials said Friday.
”More egregious environmental violations are being targeted,” Sheriff’s Office Lt. Steve Knight said. “I anticipate more of these cases in the future.”
Roger Miller, 32, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, having marijuana for sale, knowingly renting or storing illegal drugs, having a gun during a felony, illegally possessing an assault weapon and conspiracy.
His wife, 41-year-old Amy Miller, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, having marijuana for sale, knowingly renting or storing illegal drugs and conspiracy.
The Millers were taken to Humboldt County jail, where their bail was set at $75,000 each.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers are seeking charges for 17 counts of polluting, eight counts of littering, six stream alterations, four water diversions, three counts of impeding fish, one illegal dam and 14 violations of the Felony Porter Cologne Clean Water Quality Act, which regulates discharge in state waters.
Two charges for illegal gradings, four charges for illegal buildings, six charges of impacts to Stream Management Areas and two charges regarding human waste — all county code violations are also being requested by officials.
Knight said that environmental issues have become a focus for the sheriff’s office and these searches were part of an ongoing investigation.
The sheriff’s office, Humboldt County Drug Task Force, District Attorney’s Office Environmental Task Force, CalFire, Fish and Wildlife and Arcata Police Department conducted warranted searches of two adjoining properties in the Maple Creek area of Kneeland and the couple’s Foss Road home at around 9 a.m. Thursday.
On the Millers’ property, officers found five greenhouses containing 784 budding marijuana plants — ranging from 3 to 5 feet tall — and two pounds of processed marijuana. In the Millers’ home, officers found a scale and guns, including two assault weapons. Officers seized a 2005 Chevy truck and an ATV for asset forfeiture, as well as electronics for forensic analysis.
With a second warrant, officers searched an adjoining property — not owned by the Millers — and found 13 greenhouses containing 1,140 marijuana plants that were 1 to 6 feet tall. All plants were eradicated.
Knight said officers identified the owners of the property, and he anticipates the office seeking arrest warrants.
He added that the charges being sought by Fish and Wildlife may still change. “There may also be some civil penalties for damage done to the neighboring environment and properties.”
Fish and Wildlife officials said authorities on the case would not be able to respond to questions by the Times-Standard deadline.
The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information regarding this case or related criminal activity to call the office at 445-7251 or call the crime tip line at 268-2539.