FRESNO, CA — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Carlos Martinez, 31, of Oaxaca, Mexico, was sentenced to four years and two months in prison for conspiring to cultivate, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana.
According to the plea agreement filed in August 2011, Martinez admitted that he had conspired to grow 45,500 marijuana plants ranging from 2 to 13 feet tall within a cornfield in Madera. Martinez planted the corn in March 2010, and then planted the marijuana within the corn rows in April 2010. He had lived at the grow site for four months when he was apprehended by drug agents, who also seized over 88 pounds of processed marijuana and 199 grams of marijuana seeds.
The case against Martinez is the product of an investigation conducted under the umbrella of Operation Trident by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Madera County Narcotic Enforcement team (MADNET), and Madera SWAT team. Operation Trident was a multi-agency marijuana enforcement effort in Madera, Fresno, and Tulare Counties in 2009 and 2010. Operation Trident resulted in 86 federal prosecutions and the eradication of approximately 663,898 marijuana plants primarily from public lands in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Foothills in the Eastern District of California. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.