SHASTA-TRINITY NATIONAL FOREST (CBS SF) – Two men were sentenced Thursday in connection with a massive marijuana growing operation inside the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California.
U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced that 38-year-old Armando Vargas Garcia and 38-year-old Eduardo Montero Aleman were each sentenced to 21 months in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, marijuana cultivation and depredation of federal lands and resources.
The pair were arrested in September of 2019 after authorities discovered 8,656 cannabis plants being grown in the Big Mountain area of the forest. Authorities said they also found compound archery bows, nine arrows and 42 rounds of hollow point .22 caliber ammunition, along with carbofuran, a toxic pesticide that is banned in the United States.
The pair, who are both from Mexico, were also ordered to pay $34,931 in restitution for the damage caused to the forest.
Shasta-Trinity is the largest National Forest in California, spanning more than 2 million acres and features Mount Shasta, the state’s second-highest peak.