4 pounds of heroin seized; none ar­rested

Sus­pects re­leased at the scene due to ‘med­i­cal con­di­tions’

Times Standard (Eureka) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ruth Sch­nei­der rschnei­der@times-stan­dard.com

Be­cause of “med­i­cal con­di­tions,” the Hum­boldt County Drug Task Force re­leased two sus­pects at the scene.

Mem­bers of the Hum­boldt County Drug Task Force seized 4 pounds of sus­pected heroin from two sus­pects in South­ern Hum­boldt County last week and, in­ter­est­ingly, the driver and pas­sen­ger of the car the heroin was found in were not ar­rested at the scene.

One of the oc­cu­pants of the ve­hi­cle, a Eu­reka res­i­dent iden­ti­fied as 38-year-old Jessie

Kate Hawk, was sus­pected of “dis­tribut­ing heroin through­out Hum­boldt County,” ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the drug task force.

The other oc­cu­pant was iden­ti­fied as David Eu­gene Couch, 62, also of Eu­reka.

“Hawk and Couch … both had med­i­cal con­di­tions that would not al­low for book­ing and they were sub­se­quently re­leased from the scene,” the re­lease stated.

The Times-Stan­dard reached out to the drug task force to find out why this oc­curred.

“A lot of fac­tors come into play,” said Jesse Taylor, a drug task force su­per­vi­sor. “Of­ten­times, traf­fick­ers aren’t in the best health con­di­tion.

In this case, due to staffing lev­els that don’t al­low us to go to the hos­pi­tal to guard the ar­restee from one hour to sev­eral days, we have to make the de­ci­sion to re­lease them be­cause we can’t guard them while they are be­ing cleared.”

He said the jail typ­i­cally has a “risk assess­ment” that all sus­pects must go through be­fore be­ing housed in the jail and, in this case, it was felt the sus­pects would not be cleared.

He said the case is be­ing for­warded to the Hum­boldt County District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

“I’m pretty con­fi­dent they would file on both sub­jects,” Taylor said.

He added that should they not ap­pear for court, if they are charged, the duo are lo­cal res­i­dents who law en­force­ment knows how to find.

Four pounds of heroin adds to the in­creas­ing amounts of il­licit drugs lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are seiz­ing. In the first seven months of the year, Taylor said, at least 25 pounds of heroin in was seized. He be­lieves this year is on pace to ex­ceed the amount seized last year, 44 pounds of heroin.

“The flood­gates are open,” he said, not­ing that “nearly 100 per­cent” of the heroin that comes into the county is traf­ficked from Mex­ico.


Ap­prox­i­mately 4 pounds of heroin was found in a ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pied by Jessie Kate Hawk and David Eu­gene Couch, both of Eu­reka. The two were not ar­rested be­cause of out­stand­ing “med­i­cal con­di­tions,” the Hum­boldt County Drug Task Force said.



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