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Justice News

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Foreign National Indicted For Growing Nearly 10,000 Marijuana Plants In The Trinity Alps Wilderness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Mexican national Horacio Sierra Campos, 25, charging him with conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, and depredation of public lands and resources, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, on August 7, 2014, United States Forest Service agents and Trinity County Sheriff’s deputies entered a large marijuana cultivation site in the Hobo Gulch area of the Trinity Alps Wilderness, which is National Forest land. Officers located approximately 9,998 marijuana plants and 835 pounds of processed marijuana at the site. Sierra Campos was arrested at the marijuana cultivation site and is in custody. The marijuana cultivation caused significant damage to the land and natural resources of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Law enforcement observed pesticides, insecticides, hundreds of pounds of trash, and irrigation piping diverting water from a nearby stream to the thousands of marijuana plants under cultivation.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service and the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Christiaan Highsmith is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Sierra Campos faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the marijuana cultivation charges and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the depredation of public lands and resources charge. 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.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 2:14-cr-244 JAM
Updated April 8, 2015