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SACRAMENTO, Calif. August 12, 2016 – A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Francisco Barcellos-Ramirez, 34, of Mexico, charging him with conspiring to manufacture and manufacturing marijuana, damaging public lands, and harming a police canine, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between April 30, 2016, and July 21, 2016, Barcellos-Ramirez conspired to cultivate marijuana in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, near the town of Wildwood. He was arrested on July 21, 2016, when law enforcement searched the marijuana-cultivation site that contained over 1,600 marijuana plants. During the arrest, Barcellos-Ramirez stabbed a police dog several times in the neck and face. The dog had to be transported by helicopter to Redding for emergency medical care but survived.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy H. Delgado is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the drug offenses, Barcellos-Ramirez faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The remaining crimes carry a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account several variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.