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Press Release

Modesto Man Indicted for Growing Marijuana on Public Lands and Damaging Public Lands and Natural Resources

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — On Thursday, Aug. 8, a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Jose Garcia-Zamora, 27, of Modesto, charging him with manufacturing marijuana, conspiring to manufacture marijuana, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug‑trafficking crime, and damaging public lands and natural resources, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, officers located a clandestine marijuana grow site on U.S. Forest Service land in Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County with 2,642 live marijuana plants. On July 26, 2019, law enforcement personnel arrested Garcia-Zamora at the grow site. Garcia-Zamora had a .45 caliber pistol on his person.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the drug conspiracy and manufacturing offense, Garcia-Zamora faces a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison up to a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. The environmental charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, Garcia-Zamora may be liable for restitution to the U.S. Forest Service for damage to the land and natural resources as a result of the cultivation activities. The firearms charge subjects Garcia-Zamora to a potential five-year consecutive prison term. 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.

Updated August 12, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 1:19-cr-169 LJO