More than 4 tons of marijuana found near high school in Fresno

Farmland was 450 feet from high school

FRESNO, Calif. -  

Saelee Fahn Meng, aka Kathy Ming Lee, 53, and her husband, John Yaohinh Lee, of Waterford, were indicted on Thursday for growing marijuana near Waterford High School.

According to court documents, the couple was found at a marijuana grow site on a 20-acre parcel of farmland that they own approximately 450 feet from Waterford High School, in violation of both federal and California law. Agents found and eradicated 491 marijuana plants weighing over four tons.

If convicted, Lee faces a sentence of five to 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine for each count. Because Saelee was convicted in federal court in 2001 of conspiring to import 95 kilograms of opium, she faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years and a maximum of 80 years, along with a $10 million fine.

Cultivating marijuana near a school carries an enhanced penalty. For that offense, Lee faces a sentence of five to 80 years in prison, and a $10 million fine, and Saelee faces a prison term of up to 120 years in prison and a $30 million fine. The defendants are scheduled to appear in federal court for arraignment on October 12, 2012.

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