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Press Release

Caught With 10,000 Marijuana Seeds, Man Indicted For Conspiring To Plant Marijuana In Giant Sequoia National Monument

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a single-count indictment today against Rosario Beltran-Leal (Beltran), 43, a Mexican citizen residing in Delano, charging him with conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute and manufacturing marijuana in the federally designated Giant Sequoia National Monument in Tulare County in the Sequoia National Forest, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.


According to court documents, Beltran was found delivering 10,000 marijuana seeds at a drop point in a marijuana cultivation site in a remote area closed to the public in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. He was also in possession of a large quantity of food and marijuana cultivation supplies.


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), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.


Beltran is scheduled for arraignment on the indictment on May 17, 2017, in federal court in Fresno. If convicted, Beltran faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


PHONE: 916-554-2730

Updated May 11, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 1:17-cr-129-LJO