August 11, 2017 - FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Fresno residents Alfonso Arreguin Alvarado, 20, and Victor Barragan Gonzalez, 33, charging them with cultivating marijuana and conspiring to cultivate marijuana, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, the clandestine marijuana grow in the Stanislaus National Forest was seen by the air in June 2017. When law enforcement officers entered the grow site on August 1, 2017, the defendants were found processing harvested marijuana. The officers eradicated over 3,000 marijuana plants in two connected plots.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, both defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, with a maximum of up to life in prison, and a $10 million 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 a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.