FRESNO, Calif. — A 29-year-old Mexican national plead guilty on Monday to marijuana cultivation in the Kiavah Wilderness, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Rodolfo Torres-Galvan and his co-defendants, 31-year-old Mauricio Vaca-Bucio and 35-year-old Felipe Angeles Valdez-Colima were apprehended after a two month investigation.
Officers found freshly harvested marijuana in a Camaro that Vaca and Torres were driving in and then located over 1,800 marijuana plants at the grow sight. Officers also found deadly illegal pesticides in the vehicle and at the grow site.
After pleading guilty, Torres agreed to pay over $7,000 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service for the environmental damage caused to the National Forest.
Torres is scheduled for sentencing on April 29, 2019. Valdez plead guilty in January and is scheduled for sentencing on April 22. They face a minimum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison along with a $10 million fine.
The charges against Vaca are pending and are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.