Drug use in motels is nothing new to Humboldt County.
“Normal day: 5 to 10 complaints,” said Lieutenant Wayne Hanson. “Honestly, do we get to all of them, no.”
Hanson is part of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force and says they react on complaints—but since this happens often, it all depends on the severity.
“The ones that would be immediate response would be a methamphetamine lab in a hotel,” Hanson said. “Or if somebody’s found a methamphetamine lab in someone’s house, we’re going to react that day.”
But acting on one search warrant lasts at least four hours, taking up half of a workday.
“You go in, you have to interview everybody, photograph everything. You have to collect evidence, when it’s methamphetamine you have to photograph it, document it, tag it and leave inventory sheets,” Hanson said.
He says drug use in motel rooms is common because transients will occasionally live there.
“It’s always the same group of hotels,” Hanson said. “Usually the ones that are cheaper that have this issue.”
Hanson says a good indication of drug use in a motel is heavy traffic in the rooms.
“You wouldn’t see 10-15 people coming in and out of the hotel room throughout the day,” he said.
Along with these activities.
“Lots of noise in the room, they have a tendency to stay up late at night.”
But what are the motels doing to prevent this?
Several motel managers in the area wouldn’t go on camera, but said they require I.D. They also said that the owner was out of town.
The manager at the Pine Motel says off camera that he doesn’t tolerate drug-use, and has no problem kicking people out if they are using.