FRESNO -- Juvenal Paredes Sanchez, 36, of Merced County, was sentenced to four years in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for using a cellular phone in furtherance of a marijuana cultivation and distribution conspiracy, according to the U.S. attorneys office.
At the time of his arrest on Aug. 28, 2010, Sanchez was living on a farm in Merced County that was being used to cultivate about 48,000 marijuana plants under the guise of corn cultivation, according to court documents.
Sanchez admitted to the charge on April 11.
He was sentenced to the maximum term, given the size of the conspiracy and the quantity of marijuana involved, according to a news release from the federal court.
The case was the product of an investigation by the Merced Mariposa High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, composed of members of the Merced County Sheriff's Department, Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, California State Parole, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the news release said.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Yasin Mohammad and Kathleen A. Servatius prosecuted the case.