Mexican National Pleads Guilty To Growing Marijuana In Lassen National Forest
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Daniel Gomez-Gonzalez, 32, of Mexico, pleaded guilty today to cultivating marijuana plants, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on July 11, 2014, United States Forest Service agents and Tehama County Sheriff’s deputies raided a marijuana cultivation site near the North Fork Antelope Creek in Tehama County in Lassen National Forest. Law enforcement counted and eradicated a total of 5,287 marijuana plants at the cultivation site. They also found a Remington shotgun, more than 1,000 pounds of trash and various types of fertilizers, insecticides, and animal poisons in the grow site. Gomez-Gonzalez was arrested on a forest trail west of the site. He told law enforcement that he was responsible for spraying, watering, and fertilizing the marijuana plants and that he expected to earn a portion of the profits generated from the marijuana grown at the site. Co-defendant Eric Perez was arrested the same day in the marijuana cultivation site.
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service and Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Christiaan Highsmith is prosecuting the case.
Gomez-Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley on January 22, 2015. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million 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.
Co-defendant Eric Perez has already pleaded guilty to manufacturing marijuana. He will be sentenced by Judge Troy L. Nunley on January 8, 2015.