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Kern County man pleads guilty to marijuana cultivation operation in Sequoia National Forest

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Posted at 2:12 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 17:12:29-04

Russell Lee Riggs, 69, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana grown in the Sequoia National Forest.

He delivered supplies and material to a marijuana cultivation site containing over 3,000 marijuana plants in the Fay Creek drainage inside the Sequoia National Forest, according to court documents.

He also received processed marijuana from growers at the site.

Large amounts of trash were found. Marijuana cultivation supplies, 16 firearms and over 2,000 pounds of ammunition were seized by law enforcement from the site and follow-up searches of Riggs' residence.

In pleading guilty, Riggs agreed to pay $1,719 to the U.S. Forest Service for the damage to public land and natural resources. He also agreed to forfeit the seized firearms and ammunition.

Riggs is scheduled for sentencing on September 11, 2017. Co-defendant Juan Penaloza-Ramirez previously pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing on June 19, 2017.

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