Visalia Man Indicted for Growing Marijuana in the
August 9 (Fresno, Calif.) — Emilio Palomares Rubio, 35, of Visalia, was indicted today for growing marijuana and damaging public lands, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Rubio orchestrated the cultivation of approximately 1,707 marijuana plants in three different grow sites in the Sequoia National Forest as well as private land in Tulare and Fresno Counties. The indictment alleges that the Fresno County grow site was in a rural agricultural area and within 1,000 feet of an elementary school.
If convicted of the drug charges, Rubio faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of damaging public property, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, if convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations and defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Tulare and Fresno Counties Sheriff’s Departments. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.
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