Two Men Indicted For Marijuana Cultivation In Lassen National Forest
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Carlos Cortez, 29, and Ismael Rameriz, 24, charging them with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and manufacture of marijuana, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, in June 2014, during an aerial flight, deputies of the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office saw a large marijuana cultivation site near North Fork Antelope Creek, in Tehama County In the Lassen National Forest.
On July 11, 2014, a multiagency taskforce searched the marijuana cultivation site. Before they entered the site, agents saw Cortez and Rameriz watering marijuana plants. When agents entered, Cortez and Rameriz fled, but were quickly captured. A total of 6,636 marijuana plants were seized and destroyed at the cultivation site.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Forest Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Assistant United States Attorney Olusere Olowoyeye is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of five 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 a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.