It’s hard to imagine, there’s a place in the Pacific North West that produces 60 percent of the cannabis consumed in the United States; however, it produces more than just cannabis? Not too far from Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and nestled among California’s redwood trees is a renegade society unlike any other in America. Murder Mountain is located on Alder Point in the northernmost part of Humboldt County, CA. It’s also part of the Emerald Triangle, which includes Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino Counties.
The first impression of Murder Mountain is one that looks like a perfect picture for a postcard with beautiful landscape, lush redwood forests, pristine rivers, and a thriving ecosystem; however, under its picture-perfect canopy lies an ominous and dark secret. Humboldt County started out as a cannabis farming community in the 70s, and now it’s home to legal and illegal indigenous cannabis farmers, Asian Triads, Mexican Cartels, and the Russian Mafia.
How Dangerous is Humboldt County?
Robust terrain and lack of local law enforcement provide the perfect breeding ground for growing illegal cannabis, kidnapping, sexual assaults, torture, and teen human trafficking. This is a lawless society where armed security guards wearing bandannas and shoulder-strapped rifles ride dirt bikes and 4-wheelers to patrol and protect their property from vigilantes, outsiders, and the police. It’s so dangerous, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and DEA will not venture into certain sections of the Emerald Triangle without a heavily armed convoy.
Murder Mountain’s Impact on the Cannabis Industry
Murder Mountain and the Emerald Triangle produce seven billion dollars annually from its legal and illegal cannabis cultivation industry. Its location implements the perfect conditions for growing large and very profitable crops; therefore, it has become an epicenter for illegal activity. It has also become a major hub for runaway teens who are looking for fast and tax-free money, but with this allure of fame and fortune comes prevalent evil.
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
Unsuspecting teens flock to small towns on the outskirts of Murder Mountain and look for entry-level work like harvesting and trimming, but they’re not the only ones who are looking? Ruthless villains and gang members are also scouting their potential victims. In most cases, the teens are met with a smile and the promise of good living and working conditions. Some are even offered a sign on bonus in the form of cash. Little do they realize, once they step into the vehicle? They just made a deal with the devil.
Young adolescent males and females are being forced into work slaves to help their cannabis captors, and the saddest part? No one knows. Most of these teens are from broken homes and strained family relationships. No one knows exactly where they are nor can they hear their cries for help from Murder Mountain. Young and pretty teenage girls are being sent to sex camps where packs of wolves in sheep’s clothing gang rape and force them to perform perverse sexual acts. Parents of missing teens are often times met with a strong discord from the locals as they search for their missing children.
Murder Mountain is infamous for its reputation of murders. In most cases, the victims vanish without leaving a trace of evidence. Netflix filmed a documentary about Murder Mountain, and it’s centered around the disappearance and murder of Garrett Rodriguez who went missing in 2013 and was later found in a shallow grave. The Alder Point 8 is a group of local vigilantes who forced his killer at gunpoint to disclose the whereabouts of Garrett’s remains, so the victim's father could be at peace.
The documentary does a good job of providing an insider's look at the sheer insanity of this isolated area; however, it barely scratched the surface on the topic of teen human trafficking on Murder Mountain. Law enforcement officials are quite aware of the teen human trafficking epidemic in the Emerald Triangle, but are often times left without any solid leads because people who have information are reluctant to talk to the police in fear of their own lives.
The film also failed to mention the true impact of missing and sex-trafficked teens but most importantly was a gut-wrenching story of an innocent teenage girl that would have raised eyebrows on a global level.
Hollywood Homeless Teenage Girl Kidnapped, Tortured and Raped
Official reports released by the media and courts stated that two cannabis farmers named Ryan Balletto and Patrick Pearmain kidnapped a homeless teenager from Hollywood who was only 15 years old at the time. During the day, they forced her to work long hours on their cannabis farm, and during the night, she was sexually assaulted and tortured by the two men and their friends who paid them money for the young girl.
When the men were done with her? They would place her in a metal toolbox that was chained and locked next to their trailer. If she made any noise or tried to escape? She was tortured, molested, and put back in her metal coffin, and she was often deprived of water and food for days at a time. When law enforcement officials found her inside the toolbox? They also discovered a heart-breaking poem that told a harrowing story of perverse sexual abuse, torture, life inside the box, and her silent cries from Murder Mountain.