A 26-year-old man has been sentenced to two years in prison for growing marijuana and destroying national forest land.
Horacio Sierra Campos, a citizen of Mexico, was sentenced Tuesday in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez. In addition to prison time, he was ordered to pay $9,265 in restitution, according to a U.S. attorney’s office news release.
Campos pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and one count of depredation of public lands.
According to court documents, Campos was arrested Aug. 7, 2014, at a large marijuana cultivation site in the Hobo Gulch area of the Trinity Alps Wilderness. The Trinity Alps Wilderness was designated by Congress in the California Wilderness Act of 1984 and is part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Approximately 9,998 marijuana plants and 835 pounds of processed marijuana were found at the site, authorities said.
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The marijuana cultivation caused significant environmental damage, authorities said. Irrigation piping diverted water from a nearby stream to the thousands of marijuana plants under cultivation, requiring approximately 6 to 8 gallons of water per plant per day. Authorities also found at the site approximately 4 gallons of liquid fertilizer, several hundred pounds of granular fertilizer, 100 pounds of pesticides, animal repellant, 300 pounds of general trash, 500 pounds of food and cooking waste, and a trash pit within about 100 yards of a creek that feeds into the Trinity River. The U.S. Forest Service estimates cleanup of the site will cost approximately $9,250.
The case resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service and the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office.