News Release
Date: July 30, 2010
Contact: Erika Hunter
Number: (206) 553-5443

Mexican Citizen Sentenced for Conspiracy
to Grow Marijuana on Public Lands

JUL 30 -- (Idaho) - Francisco Avalos-Cervantes, 24, of Mexico, was sentenced on Monday to 48 months in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants. Avalos-Cervantes pled guilty to the charge on April 26, 2010. A co-defendant, Raul Segundo-Avalos, 21, also of Mexico, was sentenced on April 22, 2010, to 24 months in prison. Both defendants will be deported to Mexico after their release from prison.

The defendants in this case were identified by law enforcement. Through extensive surveillance, and other investigative means, illegal marijuana sites associated with three different criminal organizations were identified on public lands administered by the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). As a result, in August 2009, seven persons were federally indicted in three separate cases in Idaho. After joint investigations in Idaho and Oregon, an additional 15 defendants were prosecuted in state and federal courts in Oregon.

The defendants in this case were associated with marijuana grows in Boise and Valley Counties. Approximately 3,500 plants were confiscated in these grows.

Avalos-Cervantes and Segundo-Avalos were involved in the illegal operation by purchasing and delivering irrigation equipment, cultivation supplies, and food used by the workers who lived at the grow sites.