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Press Release

Four Defendants Indicted for Growing Marijuana in Lassen National Forest

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
Over 20,000 Marijuana Plants Located

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Guillermo Rubio-Alvarado, 43; Omar Rubio-Alvarado, 28; Sebastian Rubio-Aboyte, 23, all of Sinaloa, Mexico; and Fortino Chavarin-Parra, 19, of Jalisco, Mexico, charging them with conspiring to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana, and damaging public lands, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, all four defendants were arrested by law enforcement on July 31, 2017, following a search of a marijuana-cultivation site in the Lassen National Forest in Tehama County. Law enforcement eradicated approximately 15,000 marijuana plants at this cultivation site. A large quantity of additional plants was left undisturbed after agents discovered they were allegedly contaminated with Carbofuran (Furadan), a dangerous neurotoxic pesticide that has been banned in the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service, the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine T. Lydon is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the marijuana charges, the defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of damaging public lands, all four defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 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 several variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 30, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 2:17-cr-139-MCE