News and Press Releases

Elaborate Grow-op with Nearly 2,000 Plants and Creek Irrigation System

June 9, 2006

PEDRO PICAZO SANCHEZ, 34, of Winlock, Washington was sentenced to 43 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana. PICAZO SANCHEZ was arrested October 13, 2005, after law enforcement officers connected him to two marijuana grows in the Capitol State Forest in Thurston and Grays Harbor Counties. Judge Franklin D. Burgess imposed the sentence today in Tacoma.

According to records filed in the case, Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s deputies first spotted the marijuana grows while flying over the forest in July 2005. Officers hiked into the two marijuana grow locations from logging roads in August 2005 and discovered they were irrigated by hoses from streams. They also found a great deal of equipment, including fertilizer and machetes.

Through August and September, officers kept the grows under regular surveillance and identified two men tending the marijuana crop by the license plates on cars parked near the grow. On October 13, 2005, officers served a search warrant on the Winlock home of PICAZO SANCHEZ, whose cars had been spotted near the grows. Inside the home officers found freshly cut marijuana stalks, marijuana seeds, fertilizer, growing equipment and a semi-automatic pistol. PICAZO SANCHEZ was arrested when he returned to the house. Officers harvested and destroyed 1,930 marijuana plants from the two grows in the Capitol State Forest.

PICAZO SANCHEZ pleaded guilty on March 14, 2006. PICAZO SANCHEZ is a Mexican National who will likely be deported following his prison term.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Department, the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington State National Guard. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Dion and Matthew Thomas.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office at (206) 553-4110.

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