News release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:
Shortly after midnight yesterday [Tuesday], a Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy was on patrol in the Willow Creek area when he saw a vehicle with an equipment violation. He made a traffic stop and contacted the three occupants of the vehicle. While speaking with them, the deputy could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.
A records check of the occupants revealed that the driver, Thomas "T Bear" Anthony Kinder, 30 of Hoopa, was on probation with a search clause. The deputy asked Kinder to exit the vehicle. As Kinder walked toward the rear of his car, he threw a small plastic baggie containing methamphetamine from his pocket to the ground.
The two passengers, George McCovey, 25, and Skye McCovey, 20, both of Hoopa, were asked to step out of the vehicle. George was found to be in possession of two baggies containing marijuana; Skye was in possession of a hypodermic syringe and drug paraphernalia. Deputies searched the vehicle pursuant to the terms of Kinder's probation. Inside the car they found a loaded handgun, 161.2 grams of marijuana (packaged for sales), a digital scale, more than ten grams of methamphetamine, packaging materials, and a counterfeit $100 bill.
All three subjects were arrested, transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked on the following charges:
Kinder: being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, carrying a loaded firearm in public, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sales, transportation of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana for sales, possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, transportation of marijuana for sales.
George McCovey: possession of marijuana for sales, possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, transportation of marijuana for sales.
Skye McCovey: carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, carrying a loaded firearm in public, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana for sales, possession of more than an ounce of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a hypodermic syringe, and providing false identification to a peace officer.
All three are expected to be arraigned by Friday.
UPDATE [h/t Heidi Walters]: "T Bear" Kinder was arrested earlier this year and charged with attempted murder for a New Year's Eve shooting. His alleged intended victim was Hoopa resident Isaac McCovey, now 34. Recall the two passengers in the above imbroglio: George McCovey, 25, and Skye McCovey, 20, both of Hoopa.
HCSO Public Information Officer Brenda Godsey said she had no information on whether the McCoveys were related.
The murder case against Kinder was closed on July 24, 2009 for reasons as yet unknown. (Stay tuned.)
The images above come from T-Bear's MySpace page , where he lists among his general interests, "growing."
UPDATE #2: Following his arrest, Kinder was held in jail on $500,000 bail. He stood trial for felony attempted murder and felony assault with a firearm. On July 24 a jury found him not guilty on both counts.
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