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Press Release

Two Indicted for Conspiring to Grow Marijuana in Shasta Trinity National Forest near Rays Peak

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment today against Mario Alberto Lopez-Pena, 19, of Winton, and Francisco Madrigal Magana, 25, of Turlock, charging them with conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, marijuana cultivation, and depredation of federal lands and resources in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, between June 9 and July 8, the defendants were involved in the cultivation of 4,105 marijuana plants south of Rays Peak in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The defendants were arrested on July 8, 2019.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Bureau of Land Management. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian T. Kinsella is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of either of the marijuana charges, both defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of damaging public lands, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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 several variables. These charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated July 25, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 2:19-cr-123 KJM