Kevin L. Hoover
ARCATA – What a suspected home invasion robber couldn’t accomplish on Jan. 15 – taking the marijuana from a grow house at 2457 Eye St. – police did six days later, raiding the place and arresting the occupants.
The previous week’s incident involved someone kicking in the door and demanding money and marijuana, then a struggle in the front yard over a .45 caliber handgun. No one was hurt in the incident.
On Jan. 21, APD and HSU Police officers served a search warrant in the 1100 block of Lewis Court, arresting one of the suspects they believe responsible for the Eye Street robbery.
According to an APD press release, officers located items at the residence that matched the description provided by the victims of the robbery, plus evidence of drug use and sales in the residence.
Arrested at the residence was 22 year old Vincent Macias Ramirez Jr. of Arcata. Ramirez was arrested on suspicion of robbery and criminal threats.
The next day, Friday, Jan. 22, at 7 a.m., the Humboldt County Drug Task Force and APD served a marijuana search warrant at the Eye Street house, located on the eastern edge of the Arcata Elementary School playground.
A marijuana growing operation, which police initially discovered during the robbery investigation, and which had been reported in last week’s newspaper, was still there. Some 400 growing marijuana plants were seized, and what police said was “personal amounts” of suspected heroin and cocaine were also located.
Arrested were 26-year-old Erick Allen Battersby and 21-year-old Daniel Koesters Muray, both of Arcata. Battersby was booked and lodged at the Humboldt County Jail on charges of cultivation and sales of marijuana as well as possession of controlled substances and paraphernalia. Muray was booked on a felony warrant out of Mendocino County for possession of a controlled substance.
An Eye Street resident said that the off-the-beaten-path, dead-end street has become very quiet in recent years, with a number of shuttered houses replacing the previous noisy, student-occupied homes.
Electrical transformers on the street have blown up and been replaced, with utility workers crediting grow houses for overloads. But PG&E says there is no significant difference in Eye Street transformer replacement over other Arcata streets.
At a recent City Council study session with the Energy Committee and other committees, Energy Specialist Beckie Menten said that residential electricity consumption in Arcata increased 30 percent from 200 to 2006.