The REAL truth about the 1995 Rainbow Ridge Hodson shooting & why they are still harassing Wentzell

Updated: Feb 1

Hodson's documented death threats against Wentzell in 2004 in Virgin Valley and the Rainbow Ridge Mine

In May 1995 two of my friends who were working with me at the opal mines in Virgin Valley Nevada, were supposed to go into the Rainbow Ridge opal mine to dig opals from the underground tunnel to prove the known lode rights I had just claimed. Instead, they robbed the opal shop and shot KEITH HODSON in the middle of the night at his home at the Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine while I WAS SLEEPING at my trailer on the Brashear Millsite several MILES AWAY. Keith Hodson had threatened me on the phone the night before and said if I came back out there I would be shot, which I told my friends the night before, and we were all mad. When my friends woke me up and told me what happened, I thought it was a dream until they showed me the opals that they had took. I was horrified, scared, and did not know what to do. I helped cover up the crime but did not participate in it. They blamed the crime on me because it was my idea to mine opals and I had the legal lode rights to the Rainbow Ridge mine and they didn’t want to face full punishment for what they did. I was arrested and I turned in the opals they had stolen from Hodson. All 3 of us plead guilty and were convicted and sentenced to Nevada prison in 1996. Yes, I made some bad choices, but NOT like the media or courts made it out to be. To keep it simple, there were alot of problems going on at the time in Virgin Valley with a handful of people trying to make power moves. Some within their own families. There were alot of threats going on towards us at the time and between others. You have no idea of the extent.

While in prison I studied the law and fought my case continuously, and decided to invest in my future and had mining claims located in Virgin Valley in 2004 as an investment. Some of the claims were in dispute with the HODSONs claims at Rainbow Ridge. Hodson threatened my agents and threatened to kill me if I ever returned. My agent who was one of the people who staked the claims and was personally threatened by Hodson notarized an affidavit attesting to such facts in 2004 to make a record in case anything ever happened to me (SEE ATTACHED). GLEN HODSON got the Humboldt District Attorneys office involved, and my agent was advised by Humboldt DA David Allison that the problems Hodson was complaining about were CIVIL in nature and that was it. I filed a lawsuit against HODSON and others in Federal Court, but it was dismissed WITHOUT prejudice (meaning I could refile later) because I was unable to serve all of the defendants. The lawsuit documented the threats and facts as well (SEE ATTACHED). I decided to eventually let the matters go. In 2009 one of my 3 Nevada convictions from the Hodson crime was overturned as I was innocent and I was granted partial habeas corpus relief.

I was released from prison in 2010 on parole, moved to South Dakota to live and work with my parents, and I honorably and successfully completed parole with no infractions. In 2011 I sold the opal claims in Nevada to my Dad because I planned on returning to mining in California. I sold my company Dominion Opal Mines to Dad and I formed Dominion Gem Exploration. In September 2013 I went to Virgin Valley and on occasion have gone to our family’s claims there. I have never contacted the HODSON FAMILY since my release from custody and focused on my own claims and staked or had others staked in the valley. There were not any problems between myself or Hodson’s during this time despite a number of times that I was in the valley, I stayed in the area of my family’s mining claims.

In September 2019 I planned a trip to Virgin Valley because several mining claims were going invalid and we wanted to be the first ones to re-stake and obtain the rights to them, some of which were the Prisms, the Opal Queen/Maureen, and others. We also planned to stake some new claims. My plan was to sell a few and keep the others. However, things happened that were not expected and changed my plans. Myself and William Pinna as well as others went to my family’s claims to do work. This was William Pinna’s first trip to the Valley and he had never been here before and did not know the area. We arrived in Virgin Valley on September 17 and met Bob MacDonald and others while mining on our family claims. William disappeared from our camp on the night of September 18 and became lost, without taking his medications, and found a road which led to a house which Pinna used for shelter and safety from the cold. Pinna did not know where he was. Pinna was met by an angry man (later identified as GLEN HODSON) telling him that the house and surrounding ground was a private mining claim, that he was trespassing, and ordered him to leave, which Pinna did. Not knowing where he was, he wandered down another road and found another camp (Ryals at Opal Negra) asking for help. Ryals turned him away and threatened him. Sometime during all of this law enforcement was called and Hodson learned that Pinna was involved with Wentzell, upon which the sheriff advised Hodson to check his building. Pinna was then arrested on complaint that he was trespassing on Hodson’s alleged “private property” known as the Titanium Two Mining Claim adjacent to the Virgin Valley Campground, and for damaging a curtain from the building which he used to wrap himself in to keep warm and put on his feet because he had lost his boots too. (See police report ATTACHED). It must be noted that HODSON’s Titanium Two claim is NOT private property and is a mining claim on FEDERAL LAND within the SHELDON NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE over which the State of Nevada has NO jurisdiction (SEE ATTACHED) and which the public can not be kept from accessing. HODSON violated the law.

A couple of days after Pinna’s arrest I determined that the legal issues will never end unless I prove all the issues and facts that ever happened between Hodson and myself, and why. So I decided to stake the claims and prove everthing eventually in Court. I staked over Hodson’s Titanium Two claim on FEDERAL LAND as millsites because HODSON’s titanium two claim is invalid as it is nonmineral ground and not subject to placer claim (which he has known since at least 2004 when receiving the first federal lawsuit from me). I also staked claims over HODSONS Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine pursuant to 30 USC 37 for known lodes excluded from Hodsons placer patent. I also staked a number of other claims in other areas of the valley.

Mr HODSON retaliated by filing “protection orders” against myself and Pinna in Humboldt County, Nevada.. Nothing HODSON complained of since 2010 was illegal nor could be considered harassment or stalking as it is all constitutionally and statutorily authorized, required, or protected activity. HODSON had Pinna unlawfully prosecuted and convicted in Nevada State Court IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW, which is being challenged further. I know the law. Unfortunately the wheels of justice work slow. It took me 14 years to overturn part of my case. WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING UNTIL WE GET WHAT THE LAW SAYS. I need to point out that HODSON filed the restraining orders to keep me from contacting him so I could not access MY OWN claims in conflict with his ON FEDERAL LAND (not private property) and to keep me from serving legal papers on him that he knew were going to come. He also filed the protection orders to keep me out of the Virgin Valley area which has always been his (and others) plan against me because they are fearful their mining claims are invalid and that I will take them. I made a record of this in 2004. John Church is one of them. Anyone who has forfeited their claim and I now own it is likely one of them. Most of you have heard John's "rants" about me for the last 15 years. Very little of it was true but he was a good manipulator of facts and Church was really mad (actually scared) because I took the legal rights to deposits that were invalidly claimed in the valley including his "inlaws" that he says he cared about but always badmouthed (YES I have proof! and am saving that for court). Now apparently some others are upset now too who just lost their claims to me this last year. Don't blame me for their screw ups and my doing what the law says is my right. Nobody out there complains when someone other than ME takes up an invalid claim. Nobody complains when John Church restakes a forfeited claim. So don't go after me. A whole bunch of people take up claims that others lose and you don't see the drama that I get pushed on me. This is what happens when you are the target and upset the "status quo" and those who think they have the power get upset they lost something because of their own wrongdoing. THEY NEVER LEGALLY HAD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE, OR LOST IT BECAUSE THEY FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW. They've been getting away with it so long they think they are right and they are invincible and can force anyone else out. It happens everywhere in business or politics but it is especially thick in Virgin Valley. I KNOW BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF IT FOR SO LONG AND THIS IS WHY I FIGHT THEM. Oppression and harassment can only last so long before change will come. Just look at recent events in our country. The police have been getting away with it for too long and everyone is sick of it. Sick of being harassed, sick of being killed in the streets by police if you are not white, sick of the government getting away with violating everyones civil rights. It's the same thing in Virgin Valley just a little different and for the most part no state officials are involved. Understand that the law is the law and is made for everyone to follow. Eventually corruption will get weeded out. I have been coming out to Virgin Valley again since 2013 with no complaints or drama from HODSON, until NOW. WHY? Please look for the real motive of why HODSON is attacking me. He is not scared. He is trying to create a smokescreen to make me look bad and keep me from pursuing legal rights to the Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine and to keep me from pursuing my legal rights and trying to intimidate me. The more they push the harder I will legally fight back, period. Obviously they haven't learned that yet. IF what I am saying is true, the HODSONS have never had the rights to the opal LODE deposit at Rainbow Ridge, which means they have been mining opals and selling ores and fee digging illegally for over 70 years! All of the opal deposits in Virgin Valley are the same type of deposit. Rainbow Ridge was patented as a placer. All of the other opal mines (Royal Peacock, Bonanza, and 2 others), are patented as lodes. Mining law says the same type of deposit cannot be both a lode and placer. And the placer laws state that a LODE is excluded from placer patents if known prior to patent. I have been fighting this issue since 1995. NOW YOU CAN SEE WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON, WHY HODSON IS ATTACKING ME, AND WHAT HE FACES TO LOSE IF I AM RIGHT.

The BLM appeals office recently denied my appeal saying I had not proved that the opals came out of the underground workings or within the limits of the Rainbow Ridge property and therefore the lode was not known. However, I submitted evidence and proof of this which they misinterpreted or deliberately ignored, and their decision is contrary to fact and law and is error. It is being appealed. It is only a matter of time until a hearing is granted and I am able to prove the facts. They said:

"none of the documents demonstrates the existence of known lodes or veins

underlying the patented property... he provides no evidence to meet his

burden to show that these tunnels or other workings actually revealed valuable

opal veins or lodes worth exploiting on the patented claim... his evidence

shows the possibility, not the reality, of a bedded opal vein known to exist under

these patented lands. ... he has not provided evidence showing the existence of

a known lode at the time of the mineral patent. He therefore has not met his

burden on appeal. "

If you read the decision you will see the error. Everyone knows the Roebling and hundreds if not thousands of other valuable opals came out of Rainbow Ridge and the tunnels prior to 1927. It is documented in all the evidence I submitted. Somehow the IBLA overlooked this.

I am pleased to report that on July 22, 2020, I did obtain some relief in the restraining protective order case from the Judge. Things will now start proceeding in legal forums.

The Hodsons and a few others have tried and will continue to try anything they can to keep me out of Virgin Valley and from proving these facts despite my legal rights to do so. This is what is REALLY going on in Virgin Valley and continues to go on. Don't believe everything "they" tell you.

If you want to read more about the lode vs placer issues, CLICK HERE. This is just the TIP of the iceberg that I am and will be exposing in the courts. So much more is going to come. Just remember when somebody says something bad about someone, you might want to look into their motives before making a judgment first.

VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL NEVADA OPAL MINES, home of the world-famous Nevada Black Fire Opal and source of the world's finest opal specimens and collector opal gems.  Several mines are open to rockhounds for fee digging of  precious black, crystal, fire, conk, wood, limb cast, and other opal types. Opal Gem Mines & Mining Claims for sale.  Information about the Royal Peacock, Rainbow Ridge and Bonanza Opal Mines Fee Digs and the Virgin Valley Opal and Mines.  Information about the other mines including Kokopelli Opal Mine, Opal Negra Mine,  and John Church Swordfish Mining Virgin Valley Opal.

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