A 36-year-old Merced man received a two-year prison term Monday, five months after pleading guilty to cultivating marijuana in the Sierra National Forest, the U.S. Justice Department reported.
Emmanuel Castrejon Cardenas was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill.
In September 2015, several people were caught on U.S. Forest Service cameras set up to monitor mountain lions. They were transporting “a large amount of irrigation and other gardening equipment” into the forest, near Providence Creek in Fresno County, the Justice Department said in a news release.
Castrejon Cardenas was arrested Sept. 7, 2015, “after he delivered supplies for the clandestine marijuana cultivation site.”
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“An investigation led agents to a large-scale, multi-plot marijuana cultivation site,” prosecutors said in the statement.
Agents entered the forest the following day and eradicated a large number of marijuana plants and arrested another man, 36-year-old Apolinar Duarte, who was armed with a gun, authorities said.
Both men pleaded guilty in the case on May 16, prosecutors said.
Duarte was sentenced Aug. 8 to serve five years in prison.