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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 16, 2015

Eureka Brothers Plead Guilty To Growing Marijuana In Shasta-Trinity National Forest And Destroying Public Lands And Resources

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Isidro Alcazar-Tapia, 25, and Arturo Alcazar-Tapia, 21, both of Eureka, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and depredation of public lands and resources, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Isidro and Arturo Alcazar-Tapia conspired to grow more than 20,000 marijuana plants at two sites in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Trinity County. The marijuana was packaged for distribution at a house in Eureka. On August 4, 2014, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the defendants’ home in Eureka and found 33 pounds of processed marijuana divided into one pound packages and more than $6,000 in cash. Agents located and destroyed approximately 7,980 marijuana plants at a cultivation site at Big French Creek, and located and destroyed approximately 13,642 marijuana plants at a site at Hobo Gulch Road. The marijuana cultivation caused significant damage to the land and natural resources of the forest that provides habitat for several threatened and endangered animal species.

At the Big French Creek site, agents observed hundreds of holes dug in the dirt containing soluble fertilizer, bags of trash, empty fertilizer bags, propane tanks, and water lines diverting water from a stream into the marijuana garden. Analysts estimate that cleaning the Big French Creek site will cost the U.S. Forest Service more than $4,000. Agents observed similar destruction at the Hobo Gulch Road site. Analysts estimate that cleaning the Hobo Gulch Road site will cost the U.S. Forest Service approximately $13,000.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, North State Marijuana Team, and the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Christiaan Highsmith is prosecuting the case.

Isidro and Arturo Alcazar-Tapia are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on April 3, 2015. They face a possible sentence of five to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine for the conspiracy charge. The sentence for the manufacture of marijuana charge is up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The sentence for depredation of public lands and resources charge is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.
Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 2:14-cr-238 GEB
Updated April 8, 2015