Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

October 04, 2012

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Ten Indicted For Marijuana Growing On Public And Private Lands In Fresno And Tulare Counties

Operation Mercury targets marijuana cultivation in six counties

FRESNO, Calif. - Nine Tulare County residents and a Parlier man were indicted today for conspiring to grow marijuana and possess marijuana for distribution, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, 32, of Ivanhoe; Miguel Angel Rodriguez, 19, of Cutler; Jose Carlos Flores-Rodriguez, 24, of Ivanhoe; Carlos Armando Luna, 19, of Cutler; Marisol Rodriguez, 32, of Ivanhoe; Frank Rodriguez, 28, of Farmersville; Miguel Malagon-Alejandrez, 40, of Parlier; Travis Dodd, 34, of Dinuba; Edgardo Torres, 19, of Orosi; and Wesley Carlos, 19, of Orosi, conspired to grow more than 12,600 marijuana plants in the Sequoia National Forest on Bureau of Land Management lands and on private rural lands in Fresno and Tulare Counties.

According to the indictment, Dodd impersonated a federal officer and forcibly detained an occupant of a residence where marijuana was being grown. Other defendants were plotting to steal marijuana plants by force.

If convicted of the drug charges, the defendants face a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of impersonating a federal officer, Dodd faces a maximum penalty of three 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 the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Central Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’(ICE) Homeland Security (HSI) , the Drug Enforcement Administration and Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel J. Montoya is prosecuting the case.
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