News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 24, 2012
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-1162

Illegal Alien Gets 20 Years for Producing
Marijuana in Benton County, Washington

YAKIMA, WA – Antonio Aguilar-Lopez, age 25, a citizen and national of Mexico, was sentenced on February 23 for manufacturing more than 1,000 marijuana plants between June 8 and July 10, 2009, and for being an alien in the United States after deportation.

On October 5, 2011, following a three day jury trial in Richland, Washington, Aguilar-Lopez was convicted of the crime of manufacturing more than 1,000 marijuana plants. Aguilar-Lopez previously pleaded guilty to the crime of being an alien in the United States after deportation. Aguilar-Lopez was sentenced to a term of 240 months (20 years) imprisonment followed by 10 years of court supervision after he is released from prison, for manufacturing more than 1,000 marijuana plants. He was also sentenced to 10-months imprisonment followed by three years of court supervision for being an alien in the United States after deportation. The Court ordered the sentences to be served concurrently. The defendant has been in custody since July 10, 2009.

The investigation was initiated in June 2009. The marijuana garden was located in the Hover Park area, next to the Columbia River. On July 10, 2009, law enforcement observed Aguilar-Lopez and a juvenile male tending to the marijuana garden. Aguilar-Lopez and the juvenile were arrested after both attempted to flee.

The marijuana garden consisted of 1,306 marijuana plants, ranging in size from 2 inches to 3 feet. Aguilar-Lopez faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 240 months imprisonment due to a prior felony drug trafficking conviction in Idaho. He will be deported when he is released from prison.

This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tri Cities Metro Drug Task Force.

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