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Press Release

Two California Men Sentenced To Prison For Large-Scale Marijuana Grow Operation On Federal Land

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

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Jose Manuel Mendez-Ayala and Jordan Raymundo Torres were sentenced this week to 19 months and 12 months and a day in prison, respectively, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for their roles in cultivating marijuana in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada. A third codefendant, Eustacio Piedra-Robledo, was sentenced in November 2019 to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, for his involvement in the same marijuana grow operation.

Mendez-Ayala, 32, and Torres, 28, both of California, pleaded guilty in October 2019, to one count of manufacture of a controlled substance. U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson presided over the sentencing hearings and remanded the defendants to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to court documents, on July 18, 2018, a U.S. Forest Service employee conducting fieldwork in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest near Round Mountain, Nevada, came across an apparent large marijuana growing operation. An investigation revealed an active marijuana cultivation site in the area of Peavine Canyon. The cultivation site consisted of two plots that were each approximately two acres. Law enforcement seized about 8,300 marijuana plants from the cultivation site. Mendez-Ayala and Torres were arrested by law enforcement in September 2018.

The charges resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service.


Updated March 6, 2020

Drug Trafficking