“This case serves an example that criminal charges are filed against people who are growing marijuana illegally and prison time is a real possibility. Thank you to the law enforcement officers who are putting their safety at risk to investigate these illegal operations.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
SACRAMENTO- On July 12, 2021, Pedro Alvarez-Alcazar, 28, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.
According to court documents, after a nearly three-month investigation on Aug. 21, 2018, law enforcement agents raided a marijuana-cultivation site in the Shiell Gulch area of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Officers apprehended Alcazar-Alvarez at the site after he tried to draw a sheathed knife while struggling with the officer attempting to detain him. Co-defendants Fidencio Palacios-Riano, 22, and Romualdo Palacios-Hernandez, 38, both citizens of Mexico, were also apprehended at the site. Co-defendants Jesus Manzo Canela, 28, a citizen of Mexico; Jose Jesus Suarez Villa, 35, a citizen of Mexico; Joseph William Manzo, 32, of Sacramento; and Francisco Jesus Maldonado, 25, of Denair, were apprehended in a vehicle that had just visited the site. While at the site, officers observed bags being loaded into the trunk of the vehicle, and later found the trunk contained garbage bags holding 84 one-pound bags of processed marijuana. Agents eradicated 6,544 growing marijuana plants and seized another 500 pounds of processed marijuana at the site.
Alvarez-Alcazar is the sixth of seven defendants to be sentenced in connection with the marijuana grow.
- Romualdo Palacios-Hernandez was sentenced on Jan. 6, 2020 to two years and six months in prison;
- Jesus Manzo Canela was sentenced on Feb. 3, 2020 to three years and 10 months in prison;
- Fidencio Palacios-Riano was sentenced on Feb. 10, 2020 to two years and six months in prison;
- Jose Jesus Suarez Villa was sentenced on Feb. 10, 2020 to 17 months and 21 days in prison;
- Joseph William Manzo was sentenced on March 2, 2020 to five years in prison.
Francisco Jesus Maldonado is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8, 2021.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP).