Radio host arrested again for marijuana in Silver City |

Radio host arrested again for marijuana in Silver City

by F.T. Norton
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Chandler Laughlin

Radio host Chanlder Laughlin, known to listeners as Travus T. Hipp, was jailed Thursday on drug charges after Lyon County investigators served simultaneous warrants on Laughlin’s Silver City home and three others nearby.

According to Sheriff’s Lt. Robert Sherlock, police received information that Laughlin recently returned to Nevada with marijuana he cultivated in California.

In February, Laughlin told the Nevada Appeal that his marijuana use is related to a health condition.

Narcotics detectives allegedly discovered 5.6 pounds of marijuana in Laughlin’s home and a total of 1.5 pounds of marijuana from the homes of Sandra Bunkley, 66; Toni Heller, 42; and Katrina Heiss, 50.

Sherlock said marijuana and methamphetamine paraphernalia and packaging supplies were also allegedly discovered in the four locations.

Laughlin was booked on suspicion of felony probation violation, possession of marijuana for sale, maintaining a residence for use/sale of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana over an ounce.

Bunkley was jailed on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale and possession of marijuana over one ounce.

Heller was booked on suspicion of unlawful use of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana less than one ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Heiss, who began hyperventilating during the arrest, was taken to the hospital, said Sherlock.

She was not arrested, but investigators intend to request a warrant for her arrest on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale, possession of marijuana over one ounce, maintaining a residence for use/sale of a controlled substance, unlawful use of marijuana, unlawful use of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, he said.

Laughlin has been a radio commentator for 30 years. His program airs between 6 and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday on several radio stations including KPIG in the Bay Area.

Sherlock said he permitted Laughlin to call his radio station while a search was being conducted of his home.

Laughlin made the following statement on air:

“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 … Why in the world are they filling up the jails, using up the sheriff’s time, tying up the courts in the whole process, because people don’t smoke the same cigarette as 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,” he said.

Lt. Sherlock said that despite Laughlin’s claims that the marijuana came from the plants allowed by law per person for medicinal purposes, the quality and quantity recovered exceeds the legal limit. The 14 plants Laughlin referred to included his seven and the seven is ex-wife, Bunkley, is legally allowed, he said in his radio address.

“I can’t see how he possibly got that much bud off of 14 plants,” said Sherlock, a narcotics officer for 30 years. “There were 3.1 pounds of pure bud in one-gallon Ziploc Baggies.”

This is the second time Laughlin has been arrested in Silver City home for drug possession.

In August 2007, he was jailed on suspicion of felony maintaining a residence for the purpose of using or selling a controlled substance, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of peyote for sale, possession of marijuana, possession of peyote, unlawful use of marijuana, ex-felon in possession of a firearm and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

All the charges were dismissed except for a single count of possessing more than one ounce of a controlled substance.

Laughlin is being held without bail.

– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.