United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
One Kern County Man Sentenced, One Pleads Guilty In Conspiracy To Grow Marijuana On Public Land
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, May 14, 2012
Docket #: 1:11-cr-358 AWI
FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Aurelio Anaya-Sanchez, 37, of Lamont, was sentenced today to three years and two months in prison for conspiring to grow, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana grown on public land. In addition, Juan Luis Quintero-Pimentel, 20, of Delano, pleaded guilty to participating in the same drug conspiracy.
Anaya-Sanchez’s sentence follows his guilty plea in March. In pleading guilty, both men admitted to involvement in growing marijuana in the Sentinel Peak area of the Sequoia National Forest in Tulare County. At the site, law enforcement agents found evidence of more than 16,205 marijuana plants, more than 850 pounds of processed marijuana, and three firearms, including an assault rifle. Native vegetation was cut to make room for the marijuana plants. Trash and fertilizer containers were scattered throughout the site, including in a flowing stream.
Both men have agreed to pay $3,686 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service for the cost up cleaning up the land and the natural resources damaged. In addition, upon completion of his prison sentence, Anaya-Sanchez is subject to deportation to Mexico. Quintero-Pimentel is scheduled for sentencing on July 23, 2012 before Chief U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bureau of Land Management, Southern Tri-County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), California Department of Justice Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), California Department of Fish and Game, and Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.
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