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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 20, 2015

Guilty Plea In Sequoia National Park Marijuana Cultivation Conspiracy

FRESNO, Calif. —Toribio Cruz-Galvan (Cruz), 29, of Michoacán, Mexico, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and possess marijuana with intent to distribute, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Cruz was involved in the cultivation of 1,016 marijuana plants and processing of 51 pounds of dried marijuana in the Yucca Mountain area of the Sequoia National Park. The Yucca Mountain area is in an area generally known for its spring wildflower display. In addition to the growing marijuana plants, park rangers found processed marijuana, a shotgun, and ammunition for various firearms. The marijuana cultivation operation also caused significant damage to National Park land and natural resources. Fertilizer, rodenticide, propane tanks, and 300 pounds of trash were removed from the grow site. It is estimated that over one million gallons of water was diverted from a nearby spring to irrigate the marijuana plants.

Cruz remains detained as a flight risk and danger to the community and is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on July 20, 2015. He 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.

This case was the product of an investigation by the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

Docket #: 1:14-cr-225-LJO

Updated April 30, 2015