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Press Release

Sutter County Brothers Sentenced to Prison for Marijuana Cultivation

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Thomas Jopson, 66, and David Jopson, 64, of Rio Oso, were sentenced today by United States District Judge John A. Mendez to one year in prison for conspiring to cultivate marijuana, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

The Jopsons were ordered to surrender to the United States Marshals Service to begin serving their sentences on September 24, 2015.

According to court documents, on June 21, 2011, federal and state agents executed seven federal search warrants in Sacramento, Sutter, and Tehama Counties. Two of these warrants were executed at the sites of large, commercial greenhouses at the Jopson Ranch in Rio Oso and at Cal-Nevada Wholesale Florist in Sacramento. Law enforcement officers seized over 5,000 marijuana plants including approximately 2,168 marijuana plants at the Jopson Ranch. Two leaders arrested at the grow sites, Yan Ebyam and Aimee Sisco, admitted their involvement in the marijuana cultivation business. While in clear violation of federal law, the Jopson Ranch Grow attempted to use California medical marijuana law to cloak their business activities. A total of 12 defendants were later indicted for crimes relating to their marijuana cultivation in this, and a related case currently pending in the Eastern District of California.

The enforcement action taken against these commercial marijuana manufacturing operations was consistent with U.S. Department of Justice policy to prosecute persons who are in the commercial business of cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities.

Last week, Judge Mendez sentenced Aimee Sisco, 34, of Redding, to 38 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to conspiring to cultivate marijuana with the Jopsons and others.

On July 1, 2014, Ebyam pleaded guilty to conspiring to cultivate marijuana in this case, and the related case of United States v. Ebyam, et al. (2:11-CR-276 JAM). His sentencing is set for October 27, 2015.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. It was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Updated July 29, 2015

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 2:11-cr-275 JAM