It’s been over a year now since the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office searched offices of the Trinity County Planning Department Cannabis Division and then announced that it was investigating top county officials for allegedly altering evidence in a criminal cannabis investigation.
Thirteen months later, no county officials have been charged but two persons associated with the cannabis grow site that was raided do face charges in Trinity County Superior Court.
In May, the Trinity County District Attorney’s Office charged Olivia Page Caccavo and Jacob Grossman Crist with felony cultivation of more than six plants with violation of environmental laws for depositing or permitting a substance deleterious to plants or wildlife to pass into state waters.
They were also charged with the felony of allowing a place for preparation of a controlled substance and several marijuana misdemeanors.
Grossman Crist’s attorney, Tom Ballanco, said having been charged “they welcome the opportunity to set the record straight at trial and they expect to be vindicated.”
They are to be arraigned July 17 in Trinity County Superior Court.
The charges stem from a search of a property in Douglas City in May 2018. Search warrant affidavits filed later by the Sheriff’s Office indicated that after the raid county officials sought to have a commercial cannabis permit dated retroactively so it appeared there was a permit for the property at the time of the raid. The county officials named in the affidavit, CAO Richard Kuhns and County Counsel Margaret Long, denied this and said the Sheriff’s Office did not understand the permitting process.
Former Sheriff Bruce Haney said at the time that the investigation had gone beyond permitting issues.
All evidence and reports in the case were turned over to the FBI prior to the change in sheriffs.
Current Sheriff Tim Saxon told the Journal last week that when the Sheriff’s Office checked with the FBI a couple of months ago, the agency said the case was still under investigation. He said he’s reaching out this week seeking an update.
County Sup. Keith Groves considers the incident over.
Groves says the investigation, which was announced in a press release citing “officials in top county government,” stemmed from a power struggle over direction of the county’s commercial cannabis permitting program.
The press release was put out the day before the June 2018 election which included a race for his own seat.
Groves said the investigation was “very politically motivated” and part of the growing pains of the cannabis program.