4 pounds of heroin seized; none arrested
Suspects released at the scene due to ‘medical conditions’
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.