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Zombie Log — From The AVA Ukiah Bureau

The occupant in the trailer next door has been selling meth since the AVA opened this bureau over a year ago. The following is a typical 24-hour period during mid-week. After a three-day tweaker party, the subject trailer has been silent as a tomb from approximately 10:00 am the previous day. The resident, “Scotty,” could be dead, but is probably just burnt out and recuperating for another three or four days of what tweakers call “blazing.”

1:12 am: Three loud knocks, KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK pause. Series of knocks – KNOCKITY-KNOCK-KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Another pause. Male voice, in a strained pitch: “Scotty, open up – it’s me.” Four more knocks, louder this time: KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Same voice, even more strained: “Scotty you motherfucker, open the fucking door, I said it’s me!” KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.

Sound of a lock clicking, door squeaking, then muttered male voice, “Be quiet, dude, you don’t want to wake up the guy [AVA Bureau correspondent] in the next trailer; he’ll call the fucking cops.”

“Fuck him, I’ll kill that motherfucker, he calls the motherfucking cops on me. I came to get my bag, lemme in. Hey, who’s the fucking bag whore?” Sound of door closing, click of lock.

You may have guessed that we’re not in Deerwood or Westside Ukiah.

1:15 am: Muted music begins to play, a Beatles anthology.

1:30 am: Two male voices begin to rise over the music, louder and louder, the words unintelligible, as both are talking at once, not necessarily in argument, rather separate impassioned monologues…

2:07 am: Lock clicks, door opens with out-rush of loud music (Rolling Stones’ “Mother’s Little Helper”) and the two male voices amplified, “…and this, this, this is what I’m talking about this motherfucker, motherfucker right here, see? Motherfucker you see what I’m talking about?”

Female voice: “Okay, let’s go now. Come on. Okay, you can stand out here and talk all night, but I’m off like a prom dress!”

Male voice: “I’m coming already, just wait!”

Door closes, lock clicks and voices of female and male fade into distance.

2:20 am; KNOCKETY-KNOCK-KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Male voice: “Hey, Scotty, open up, I got some icky old pussy for you, man.” Lewd female voice giggles shrilly, lock clicks, door opens with gush of music and mix of voices, door closes, lock clicks. Muted voices and music continues.

2:36 am: Knockety-knock-knock KNOCK KNOCK. Lock clicks, music and voices flood out, door closes, lock clicks.

Music continues muted, volume of voices increases.

The tenant of the subject trailer, Scotty, is in the process of being evicted, but the late night debauchery has gone on for months and still no sign of movement. The area around the trailer is crammed with all kinds of stuff: lots of dying and otherwise neglected potted plants, old bicycles, bags and boxes of junk – since anything of value would by now have been stolen by the people who come for the meth – a stack of old vacuum cleaners, broken kid’s toys; the property is essentially a junk yard. There are lots of craft-fair wall decorations hung about the place and the doors are plastered with Neighborhood Watch posters – this is a snide attempt to disguise the local crack house as a little old granny’s domicile, and the tweakers are often heard gloating over how crafty Scotty has proven to be over the long and successful operation of his sales center. The neighbors – those who don’t buy meth from Scotty themselves – have all been intimidated into silence, mutely tolerating their hellish neighbors in what is supposed to be a senior park. Imagine spending your golden years with Scotty and friends.

2:50 am: Lock clicks, door opens, sound of voices and music escapes; after the door closes and the lock clicks, foot-falls are heard leaving.

Complaints to the manager have been heard somewhat impatiently – nothing ever happens, at any rate. Calls to the police seem equally ineffective.

3:15 am; A jolt suddenly rocks the AVA’s trailer, and a male voice just outside the window says, “Hey, you, you motherfucker, you better get outta here – you better move out, you motherfucker.”

AVA correspondent calls 911.

“What’s your emergency?”

“There’s a tweaker from next door outside my window talking smack {I’d just learned this term, which means saying intimidating or threatening things}.”

“There’s no law against talking smack. Do you want an officer to respond?”


“We’ll get one there as soon as we can.”

3:40 am: When the headlights come down the drive, the tweaker runs back inside the subject trailer. The police officer finds nothing and leaves. This has happened so often that now the AVA correspondent is regarded as the fellow who calls “Wolf” just for fun. But the visit from the patrol car has quieted things down for a couple of hours and the correspondent gets a couple of hours sleep.

4:50 am: Lock clicks, door opens – no music, and only whispered voices come out. Door closes and lock clicks. Two voices speaking in whispers fade away. A car parked nearby starts up and drives off.

7:00 am: Correspondent leaves for breakfast, then a day at the courthouse. As he goes, the lock clicks, the door opens a crack and a male voice says, “You snitch on us you motherfucker, you’re dead!”

7:30 am: Correspondent sees Public Defender Linda Thompson at the county’s parking lot: “Good morning Linda, how did you sleep? Yeah, well I’m getting sick and tired of your Prop 47 clients! You tell the judge they want to get into rehab, but that’s just a bunch of baloney, isn’t it?”

9:00 am: In courtroom, waiting for judge to come out, correspondent tells Assistant DA Rick Welsh: Here’s a head’s up, Rick. I’ve been invited to appear on two radio stations and I’m going to complain bitterly about the tweaker problem in your area of responsibility.”

Linda Thompson says, “He hit me with the same thing as soon as I got to work, ha-ha.”

Rick Welsh asked: “Are these two different radio stations?”

Correspondent replies: “If they weren’t different, it would only be one, Rick.”

Deputy DA Caitlyn Keane turned in her seat in the well and said: “I live on Main, near the downtown, and have to listen to it all night, too.”

9:05 am: Judge Nelson comes out and the bailiff says, “All rise…”

Later that day I return to Judge Nelson’s court and look on angrily as Deputy Public Defender Jonathan Opet cross-examined a Ukiah PD officer on behalf of a woman I’ve seen come and go from the tweaker trailer. The officer has told the court that he believed the meth this woman had was for sale. Mr. Opet, just doing his job as public defender on behalf of a fed up public, wants to discredit the testimony so that his client will get off on a misdemeanor. And go on tweaking, stealing, bringing down the whole town, a kind of mobile slum.

“How do you know how much meth my client needs, officer – are you a doctor?”


“So you can’t really say whether it was for personal use or not, can you?”

This is why we have a horde of tweakers out on the streets instead of in rehab – because they won’t go to rehab unless convicted of a felony and threatened with prison. And it’s obvious they’re selling meth, because they have no other income (having lost their jobs after staying up for three or four days and nights in a row). And this goes on every single day at the courthouse, and this horde of zombie thugs rule almost every neighborhood in the county – except, naturally, those west of Dora, and the nice places up on Snob Hill – or out at Russian River Estates, where the judges and other pillars of the community live. The rest of us live in what’s becoming a penal colony.


  1. Jim Updegraff August 4, 2016

    I assume the police, DA, PD and the Judge will read this article. Any feed back yet?

    If they do nothing I would be concerned some person angry with the zombies might take action such as tossing a firebomb into the meth house.

  2. Mike August 4, 2016

    There is a way to deal with this. Saw it in Reno.

    In the early am set up barricades to close up nearby street.

    Assemble cops and code enforcement officers and local press.

    Knock on each door to announce inspections for adherence to code standards.

  3. Bruce McEwen Post author | August 4, 2016

    No, no feedback. However, I have had more threats from the tweaker thugs. A call to the police was answered with “Get a restraining order.” I had to ask the officer, “How do you get a restraining order against about 30 people whose drug supply is threatened? Especially when I could ID only about half of them?” They, of course, all know where I live, and that I walk to work and the store all the time — easy mark for an ambush.

  4. Jim Updegraff August 4, 2016

    No feed back? Doesn’t say much for law enforcement people including the DA and the judge!!!

    • Bruce McEwen Post author | August 4, 2016

      To be fair, there’s not much they can do. I got fed up with the thugs threatening and intimidating me and started barking like a mad dog — basically, I pulled down a hive, and now the angry hornets are buzzing all around the streets looking for somebody — me! — to sting.

      As for Mike’s idea, I don’t see how it could work. The thugs were coming from all over — some on foot, some on bicycles, some in cars — at all hours of the night and day. Can we block off Main Street from end-to-end and send code enforcement officers into every house and business? What would that accomplish?

      • Mike August 4, 2016

        Just the trailer park. Start at dawn and end by mid afternoon.

  5. Kire August 4, 2016

    I enjoyed your well written “report”. This is happening everywhere in California.
    To be honest, I believe it will get worse. This is not the old biker meth. Methican mafia my friend. Its cheap, and makes them much, much, money.
    The police are incapable of stopping this, in my opinion.

    • Mike August 4, 2016

      Maybe cities can contract with armed security companies to work apt. complexes, trailer parks?

      Also. Recent Point Arena history reveals how code was used to address the tweaker colony at the former sea shell inn.

      • Kire August 4, 2016

        Personally I would say its the supply that needs to be stopped. The neighbors are low level, go two or three steps up the chain to the regional cap. These dudes never get popped, and if they do, they got money for good lawyers.
        Has it gotten better or worse in the last couple years?
        Good luck and be smart.

        • Mike August 4, 2016

          Probably worse. Just out for a simple walk, more out of blue outbursts from paranoid folks. Walking by people i sometimes get “dont mess with me”.


          I have a new community lined up as a result. Due to also highly evident meth fueled drivers here.

  6. Mike August 4, 2016

    For now, upd CAN slowly foot patrol this park at least once an hour. Leave car outside park entrance.

    • Bruce McEwen Post author | August 4, 2016

      Probably be cheaper to surround it w/ high-voltage chain-link fence w/ coiled razor wire on top. Maybe an armored car for trips to work or the store? Have I mentioned before that our community is turning into a penal colony? Did I suggest that’s why the judges want a new high-security courthouse where they can drive thru a sally port into the basement?

      • Kire August 4, 2016

        Someone once mentioned the blog, “Borderland Beat,” in the AVA. I suggest anyone curious about the drug war, check it out. Its not pretty, but will educate.
        Personally, I am saddened by the meth zombies. I had been homeless for many years. Before there were bohemians, and other interesting people who were homeless, along with the usual alcoholics, junkies and such. Now, with the meth, its pretty much a bad scene. Everyone is afraid of, or angry with each other.

  7. Kathleen Gagnon August 8, 2016

    The only way to solve a problem like this is to adopt the Portugal model — you decriminalize personal quantities of all drugs, and any interaction with police is judged on whether it is drug-related (alcohol included)– if so, the individual is referred to social welfare who then judge whether an intervention is appropriate or not.

    We’ve tried all other solutions and they don’t work. Decriminalization is all that’s left. We could use the tax revenues from our soon-to-be-legalized marijuana to fund the necessary social systems, and as a bonus have the infrastructure to deal with Mendocino’s mentally ill population.

    • Bruce McEwen Post author | August 8, 2016

      This solution is being tried out just now, and it’s not working. Under Prop 47 possession for personal use is a misdemeanor — not quite decriminalized, sure, but the same problem arises, to wit, no matter how exorbitant the amount (say several ounces in a recent case) the dealer just stands there in court with a great bald face and says, “Honest Injun, judge, it’s only just for my own personal use.”

      Maybe the Portuguese are more honest than Americans, but I feel pretty confident our drug dealers would lie just as blatantly to get off scot-free as they do to get off on a misdemeanor.

      If you don’t believe me, go down to the courthouse and watch a meth case sometime — it’s worth the price of admission just to hear the whoppers the dealers tell!

      • Kathleen Gagnon August 8, 2016

        We’re missing the crucial component of the Portuguese model: the referral to social welfare as the first step. The courts are not a substitute for this — you simply can’t equate the two. The welfare workers conduct an in-depth interview of the person’s lifestyle, means of support, and reason for referral. If they decide, they can order further intervention and treatment, alleviating the court of this responsibility.

        Should you doubt that legal liberalization is not the right way to go, take a look at Colorado. Teens there are now complaining that dope is as hard to get as booze, since it all must go through legal outlets that are quite fearful of losing their licenses. As opposed to the rest of the country, where every grade in high school has their own dope dealer with no compulsion on who they sell to.

        Prohibition simply doesn’t work, and causes many more problems than it solves. It’s time for all of us to wake up to that simple truth.

        • Bruce McEwen Post author | August 8, 2016

          I agree. The crucial component is missing. Prop 47 was “sold” to us with the idea that all the millions saved from the prison system would be returned to the “neighborhoods” specifically for that purpose. But, guess what? When the measure passed, the Governor decided to use the money saved elsewhere. The one thing that was working before –albeit not very well — was with the threat of prison, a lot of tweakers were finally admitting they needed help and the judges would give them day-for-day credit for time served in a rehab program. Now, with Prop 47 we don’t even have that and the epidemic is running rampant.

        • Bruce McEwen Post author | August 8, 2016

          Not to cavil, but did you mean to say the high school dope dealers have no compunction about who they sell to?

          • Kathleen Gagnon August 8, 2016

            As long as they’re classmates and will keep quiet, money talks. Besides, marijuana is considered less harmful than alcohol, and all the kids see their parents drink.

  8. Jim Updegraff August 8, 2016

    Who considers marijuana less harmful than alcohol? Who says all parents drink – many parents do not drink. I went to high school 1944-48 – plenty of drugs around – those that used drugs are long gone all died years ago.

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