Marijuana Trafficker Gets 22 Years in Prison
MAR 16 -- (Medford) – DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Thomas and the United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, Dwight C. Holton announced that on March 8, 2010, Henry Xavier Villa was sentenced to 22 years in prison growing 8,918 marijuana plants valued at approximately $6 million dollars. Villa, 54, was growing the marijuana on his rural 160 acre property in Wolf Creek, Oregon
Villa facilitated the recruitment of illegal aliens from California to tend the marijuana plants on his property. In the summer of 2007, law enforcement raided the marijuana grow and found three illegal aliens in possession of four loaded firearms. One loaded firearm was a short-barreled rifle. In November 2009, after a three day trial, a jury convicted Villa of conspiracy to manufacture and manufacture of marijuana. The jury also forfeited Villa’s interest in the 160 acre property where he was growing the marijuana plants.
The court enhanced Villa’s sentence taking into account his leadership role in the operation, conspiracy to possess the firearms, and obstruction of justice. Villa threatened to kill one witness and traveled to California in an attempt to get another witness to lie to the police.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Land Management, Douglas County Interagency Narcotics Team, Josephine County Marijuana Eradication Team, Oregon State Police, Ashland Police Department and the National Guard.