SEATTLE,WASH –Santos Nemecio-Pantaleon, age 30, of Mexico, and Rigoberto Nemecio-Flores, age 21, of Mexico, pled guilty today to manufacturing marijuana and possession of firearms in furtherance of a marijuana grow operation.
The investigation was initiated in August 2011, following a tip that a marijuana grow operation was concealed in the Oak Creek Wilderness area, near Naches, Washington. On August 10, 2011, law enforcement agents and officers arrived at the grow site and as they announced their presence, Rigoberto Nemecio-Florez was observed throwing a Glock firearm onto the ground and fled. After a foot chase, Nemecio-Florez was apprehended inside the marijuana grow site. During which, Santos Nemecio-Pantaleon fled into the wilderness and law enforcement located a Remington 12 gauge shot gun, which belonged to him. The following day, Nemecio-Pantaleon was apprehended and taken into custody. Both men were determined to be illegal aliens.
The investigation revealed that the men had established the marijuana grow site for financial gain and that they possessed the firearms to protect the 3,156 marijuana plants. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the United States and the defendants have agreed to recommend that the Court impose a sentence of 10 years imprisonment at the sentencing hearing scheduled for February 23, 2012.