FRESNO, CA – United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams announced that Eduardo Medina-Mendoza, aka Eduardo Nunez Medina, 48, of Guerrero, Mexico, entered a guilty plea yesterday to conspiring to manufacture or cultivate, to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute 18,174 marijuana plants on unimproved land in Coarsegold, Calif.
This is the latest conviction stemming from Operation Trident, a multi-agency marijuana enforcement effort in Madera, Fresno, and Tulare Counties in 2009 and 2010 that was coordinated by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. To date, in the Eastern District of California, Operation Trident has resulted in the eradication of approximately 639,042 marijuana plants, primarily from public lands in the Sierra foothills and mountains, and the federal prosecution of 88 individuals.
The case is the product of a Madera Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET) investigation, with assistance from the DEA, Madera County Sheriff’s Department, and Madera County Regional Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), operating under the umbrella of Operation Trident. Other agencies participating in Operation Trident include the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.
Medina-Mendoza is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23, 2011 by Senior U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger. Medina-Mendoza remains detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, having been ordered detained last July as a flight risk and danger to the community.