A Mexican national was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for growing marijuana plants in the Sequoia National Forest in Tulare County, according to the Department of Justice.
Ezequiel Armas-Ortiz, 49, and co-defendant Macedonio Madrigal-Herrera, 44, also a Mexican national, watered 2,719 marijuana plants in the Brush Creek drainage of the forest.
According to authorities, fertilizer, trash and zinc phosphide, a toxic pesticide from Mexico, was found at the site. New trees and plants, generated after the 2002 McNally Fire, were cut down to make room for the marijuana, and water from a stream that supports trout was diverted.
Armas was also ordered to pay $4,200 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service to repair damages.
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Armas pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute, manufacturing, and possessing with intent to distribute marijuana in connection with a large-scale cultivation operation on public land on Oct. 19.