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Fresno Defendant Pleads Guilty; Phoenix Man Sentenced

FEB 05 (FRESNO, Calif.) — Today, a Phoenix man was sentenced for growing marijuana in Madera County, and a Fresno man pleaded guilty to growing marijuana in Madera county, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Jay Fitzpatrick and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Five Years Federal Prison for Gun at Marijuana Grow
(1:13 cr 331 AWI)

Phouvanh Vongsenekeo, 25, of Phoenix, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to five years in prison and for possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense.

According to court documents, on October 8, 2013, law enforcement executed a search warrant at an outdoor marijuana grow in Madera County. Approximately 17,000 marijuana plants were eradicated. Vongsenekeo was present, admitted he was growing some of the marijuana, and admitted that he had two pistols onsite in his car "in case someone tried to rob the marijuana grow."

This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Sheriff's Offices of Madera, Merced, and Tulare Counties, and the Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Guilty Plea in Marijuana Growing Prosecution
(1:12-cr-292 AWI)

Thorn Meas, 43, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to manufacturing fifty or more marijuana plants. According to court documents, Meas and three other men were arrested on August 16, 2012, when law enforcement executed a search warrant on a marijuana grow in Madera county. Approximately 2,000 marijuana plants were eradicated.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Madera County Sheriff's Office, and the Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Meas is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14, 2014 by Judge Ishii. Meas faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Two of his three co-defendants pleaded guilty and were sentenced as follows: 

Youn Yen – seven and a half years in prison; Mayo Murillo – five years in prison.

Co-defendant Sokhang Nguon is scheduled for trial on August 26, 2014. Nguon is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Rooney is prosecuting these cases.

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