Sequoia National Park Marijuana Cultivation Operation Results in Federal Prison Sentence
FRESNO, Calif. — Toribio Cruz-Galvan (Cruz), 30, of Turicato, Michoacán, Mexico, was sentenced today to two years in prison for conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
His sentence follows his guilty plea earlier this year. According to court documents, Cruz was involved in the cultivation of 1,016 marijuana plants and processing 51 pounds of dried marijuana in the Yucca Mountain area of the Sequoia National Park. Although he was not found at the cultivation site, Cruz was linked to the grow site through his fingerprints, which were found on equipment and materials located in the grow site, as well as a supply vehicle intercepted several days before the discovery of the grow site.
The Yucca Mountain area is generally known for its spring wildflower display. In addition to the marijuana plants, park rangers found processed marijuana, a shotgun, ammunition for various firearms, and a digital scale at the cultivation site. The operation 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.
This case was the product of an investigation by the National Park Service. Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.