United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Armed Mexican National Indicted for Marijuana Growing Operation in Sequoia National Forest
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, September 6, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. — Angel Guerrero-Gonzalez, 35, an undocumented alien from Mexico, was indicted today for his involvement in a marijuana growing operation on public lands, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Guerrero-Gonzalez was charged with a drug conspiracy, marijuana cultivation, and the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, as well as violating immigration law and damaging public land and natural resources. According to court documents, Guerrero-Gonzalez was found armed with a loaded 22-caliber rifle at a marijuana cultivation site in the Deep Canyon area of the Sequoia National Forest. Law enforcement officers seized approximately 2,113 marijuana plants. Native trees and vegetation were cleared in order to make way for marijuana, and the site was strewn with trash, fertilizers, and highly toxic pesticides. Carbofuran, marketed under the trade name Furadan, was found at the site. It is an insecticide that is banned for use on crops intended for human consumption.
If convicted of the most serious drug crimes, Guerrero-Gonzalez faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, if convicted, 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.
Guerrero-Gonzalez has been ordered detained and is currently scheduled for arraignment on September 7, 2012 in federal court in Fresno. The charges are only allegations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.