Prison for Sequoia Forest Pot Farmers

Sequoia National Forest has been the farm for some substantial marijuana growing in the last year or so.  Federal agents seized more than 25,000 marijuana plants in two separate cases in 2012.  On Monday, two of the growers were sentenced.

Victor Alfonso Madrigal Cardenas, 26, of Delano, got eight years in prison for growing 16,000 plants near SentinelPeak in TulareCounty.  He had already processed 1,100 pounds of marijuana, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner in Sacramento.

In the second case, Alfonso Cornejo, 30, of Mexico, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for conspiracy to grow 8,800 pot plants near Greenhorn Creek Trail in KernCounty.  He will be subject to deportation following his sentence, according to Wagner.

Cornejo was accused cutting native oaks and other vegetation to make room for the grow site and tilling the soil with fertilizers and pesticides, including a highly toxic and illegal rat poison, zinc phosphide, from Mexico.

In madrigal Cardenas’ case, he was also accused of carrying a .38 caliber revolver to protect the site and destruction of vegetation and use of fertilizer near a flowing stream, according to Wagner.

SequoiaNational Forest contains the largest concentration of the world’s largest trees, the giant Sequoias.  The forest is south of Yosemite and KingsCanyonNational Parks and east of Bakersfield in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains.

Cases:  U.S. v. Cardenas, No. 11-CR-358AWI;  U.S. v. Cornejo, No. 12-CR-184AWI

Photo source: CNN