SACRAMENTO, Calif. August 12, 2016 – A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Salvador Guzman-Juarez, 28, of Mexico; Dolores Castorena, 75, of Los Angeles; Pedro Nolasco-Sanchez, 36, of Mexico; Fidel Nolasco-Sanchez, 32, of Mexico; Zenon Nolasco-Sanchez, 32, of Mexico; and Juan Nolasco-Sanchez, 27, of Mexico, charging them for conspiracy to cultivate marijuana and marijuana cultivation in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between June 1, 2016, and July 8, 2016, the defendants were involved in the cultivation of 10,293 marijuana plants at a site along Big French Creek in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The defendants were arrested on July 8, 2016. In addition to the cultivation charges, the defendants are charged with committing depredation of federal lands and resources. Salvador Guzman-Juarez, Pedro Nolasco-Sanchez, Fidel Nolasco-Sanchez, Zenon Nolasco-Sanchez, and Juan Nolasco-Sanchez are in custody. Dolores Castorena has been released on bail pending trial.
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This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, the North State Marijuana Investigations Team, the California National Guard CAMP Team, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Assistant United States Attorney Owen Roth is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $500,000 fine for the cultivation offenses and up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the depredation of public lands and resources offense. 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 a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.