United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Mexican Nationals Indicted for Marijuana Cultivation in Stanislaus National Forest
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
CONTACT: Lauren Horwood
June 16, 2011
PHONE: (916) 554-2706
FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and U.S. Forest Service Special Agent in Charge Scott Harris announced today that a federal grand jury in Fresno returned a four-count indictment against Carlos Alcaras-Cuevas, 26, and Jesus C. Garica, aka Antonio Cuevas-Corio, 53, both of Michoacán, Mexico, charging them with conspiring to cultivate marijuana plants, possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, and destruction of public lands and resources as a result of marijuana cultivation.
The case was investigated by the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Forest Service. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.
According to court documents and proceedings, Alcaras and Garcia were responsible for planting and cultivating approximately 11,105 marijuana plants at a grow site in Mariposa County within the Stanislaus National Forest. Based on the amount of trash, water lines, and other items at the site, the cost of reclamation will exceed $1,000.
Alcaras and Garcia have been ordered detained as a flight risk and danger to the community. They are next scheduled to appear in U.S. Magistrate Court in Fresno on June 17, 2011, when they will be arraigned on the charges.
The narcotics offenses all carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum term of life in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10 million. The destruction of lands charge carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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