Three Men Charged with Marijuana Conspiracy in Mono County
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Marco Antonio Esquivel-Cornejo, 30; Jesus Argel Esquivel-Cornejo, 27; and Oliver Lopez Alvarado, 25, all Mexican nationals residing in Modesto, charging them with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and the manufacture of marijuana, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Jesus Argel Esquivel-Cornejo and Oliver Lopez Alvarado were arrested in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Mono County at a marijuana garden containing 393 marijuana plants. A loaded Beretta 9 millimeter semi‑automatic pistol, and an unloaded Mossberg .22 LR caliber rifle with ammunition were found in the tarp shelter where they were sleeping. Court documents allege that vehicles owned or used by Marco Antonio Esquivel-Cornejo were employed to make periodic supply drops and retrieve processed marijuana from the marijuana garden.
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service, the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, the Modesto Police Department, and the Modesto Narcotics Enforcement Team.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison; or a fine of up to $5 million; or both fine and imprisonment. 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; each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.