U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley sentenced two Mexican nationals on Thursday for a conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, marijuanaÂ cultivation in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, and depredation of federal lands and resources, U.S.Â Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
Armando Vargas Garcia, 38, of Mexico, and Eduardo Montero Aleman, 38, of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, were each sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $34,931 in restitution for the damage caused to the land by the cultivation in the National Forest.
According to court documents, between Aug. 29 and Sept. 5, the defendants were involved in the cultivation of 8,656 marijuana plants in the Big Mountain area in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Two compound archery bows, nine arrows, and 42 rounds of hollow-point .22-caliber ammunition were discovered on the site. Officers also discovered bottles of carbofuran, a toxic pesticide, which is banned in the United States.
This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the Trinity County Sheriffâ€™s Department, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Trinity County District Attorneyâ€™s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian T. Kinsella prosecuted the case.