Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

May 06, 2013

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Fresno County Marijuana Cultivator Pleads Guilty

FRESNO, Calif. - Ong Rikki Sonephady, 42, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to growing marijuana, Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Sonephady was arrested at the marijuana farm where he lived. Law enforcement officers found and seized more than 2,000 marijuana plants and about 970 pounds of processed marijuana at the farm.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Yasin Mohammad and Kevin Rooney prosecuted the case.

Sonephady is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on July 29, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. The plea agreement contemplates a sentence of 12 years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court at the hearing.

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