Sheriff’s Department investigators seize nearly 20,000 marijuana plants
A resident of Mexico has been charged for conspiracy to grow marijuana with the intent to distribute it and damage to public lands and natural resources, according to federal prosecutors.
Everado Cuadro Campos, 49, who is from Michoacan, Mexico, was arrested July 17 at a “marijuana garden” in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Shasta County, according to a news release by the United States Department of Justice.
U.S. Forest Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife agents found a marijuana cultivation site near Rock Creek, according to a Department of Justice criminal complaint, and entered through a “well-worn” path. A Forest Service special agent noticed plastic water lines that diverted water from a drainage area of the nearby creek.
The piping led the agents to a campsite, where a rifle, homemade spear, and knives were found, the complaint said. Agents followed the trail down to marijuana growth site, where they heard footsteps and Campos appeared, though he ran as soon as he saw the agents, the complaint said.
Campos was chased by a California Department of Fish and Wildlife dog who stopped him, and officers arrested him, the complaint said.
Campos said that he was hired by a “co-conspirator who eluded apprehension at the time of his arrest,” according to the complaint. Agents removed 2,079 marijuana plants from the farm.
Campos faces at least 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine for the marijuana manufacturing and distribution charges, if convicted. Charges for environmental crimes carry a penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Campos was found guilty of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver in Iowa in 1995, court documents show. During his trial for that incident, it was found that he was not a legal resident of the United States. Campos was deported after spending “no more than” 5 years in custody.
The same court document said that Campos had been discovered in the United States again in 2005 and was sent back to Mexico.
Campos’ current immigration status is unknown.