Pot bust scoops up Travus Hipp

Four Silver City people were arrested on marijuana-related charges Oct. 30 after Lyon County law enforcement officers served search warrants on several homes.

Best known of the group is 71-year-old Santa Cruz and Reno radio host and commentator Travus T. Hipp, who was booked under his real name, Chandler Laughlin. Others arrested were Sandra Bunkley, 66, and Toni Heller, 42. Charges against Heller and Katrina Heiss, 50, also include unlawful use of meth. Heiss was hospitalized after the searches and was not immediately arrested.

Hipp was booked for felony probation violation stemming from an earlier pot bust, possession of marijuana for sale, maintaining a residence for use/sale of a controlled substance and possession of more than an ounce of marijuana. In a Nevada Appeal interview in February, Hipp said he used marijuana for a medical condition.

Hipp apparently maintained his aplomb during the search, phoning his radio station—KPIG in Santa Cruz—with a report: “Having completed my summer-long effort to bring in a crop of my own medical marijuana, I’d finally finished clipping about a week ago. Got everything aged out and put it into bags and was set probably through next July with what looks to be about like 2.5 pounds of weed. Sure enough, this morning here comes the same narcotics task force, to bust me … I am officially in custody of the law enforcement branch of the state of Nevada, for having had the marijuana that I grew under the provision of their law, allowing me 14 plants for my ex-wife and I. They refuse to believe that anything over an ounce is not commercial.”

Sheriff’s officers said they do not believe Hipp could not have obtained the 5.6 pounds of pot allegedly taken from Hipp’s home from 14 plants.