SACRAMENTO – On November 5, 2020, two Mexican nationals were sentenced for a conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, marijuana cultivation in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and depredation of federal lands and resources.
Armando Vargas Garcia, 38, and Eduardo Montero Aleman, 38, both of Mexico, were each sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $34,931 in restitution for the damage caused to the land by the cultivation in the national forest.
According to court documents, between Aug. 29 and Sept. 5, the defendants were involved in the cultivation of 8,656 marijuana plants in the Big Mountain area in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Two compound archery bows, nine arrows, and 42 rounds of hollow-point .22-caliber ammunition were discovered on the site. Officers also discovered bottles of carbofuran, a toxic pesticide, which is banned in the United States.
This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Trinity County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian T. Kinsella prosecuted the case.
“It is important that we put a stop to illegal marijuana grows and the destruction of public land,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Local, state and federal law enforcement officers are doing a great job finding these grows and those responsible. Illegal grows can harm land and wildlife and those growing the illegal marijuana can pose a threat to unknowing visitors who are trying to enjoy the forest.”