Operation Trident : Madera, California Pot Farmer Sentenced
MAR 05 - (Fresno, CA) — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Alejandro Castellanos, 21, of Oaxaca, Mexico, was sentenced to five years in prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of marijuana cultivation.
His sentence follows his guilty plea last August. In pleading guilty to the gun charge, Castellanos acknowledged that he had conspired with Carlos Martinez, 31, also of Oaxaca, and others to grow 45,500 marijuana plants ranging from two to 13 feet tall within a cornfield in Madera. During a search of the property, drug agents found not only the marijuana plants but two Colt 5.56 mm assault rifles in an outdoor processing area, along with over 88 pounds of processed marijuana and 199 grams of marijuana seeds.
Martinez was previously sentenced to four years and two months in prison following his conviction for the drug conspiracy. Both Castellanos and Martinez are subject to deportation upon completion of their prison terms.
This case is the product of an investigation conducted under the umbrella of Operation Trident by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) , Madera County Narcotic Enforcement team (MADNET), and Madera SWAT team.
Operation Trident was a multi-agency marijuana enforcement effort in Madera, Fresno, and Tulare Counties in 2009 and 2010, which focused on and succeeded in eradicating approximately 663,898 marijuana plants primarily from public lands in the Sierra Nevada mountains and foothills in the Eastern District of California. To date,
Operation Trident has resulted in 71 federal convictions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.