Crime

Mexican citizen pleads guilty to pot farm in Sequoia National Park

The man behind a marijuana growing operation at Sequoia National Park that caused significant damage to the park’s spring wildflower display pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to grow and sell the product, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Toribio Cruz-Galvan, 29, of Michoacán, Mexico, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine after National Park Service investigators found more than 1,000 marijuana plants — about 51 pounds — growing in the Yucca Mountain area of the park. Park rangers also recovered a shotgun and ammunition to various firearms at the garden. .

Fertilizer, rodenticide, propane tanks and 300 pounds of trash were removed from the growing site, which consumed more than a million gallons of water diverted from a nearby spring.

Cruz, considered dangerous and a flight risk, is scheduled for sentencing at the U.S. District Court in Fresno on July 20.

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