Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

March 10, 2014

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

Squaw Valley Marijuana Cultivation Operation

FRESNO, Calif. - Bounseuth Thourakhone, 54, of Laos, was sentenced to three years and three months in prison and Bounhome Singharath, 63, of Las Vegas, entered a guilty plea today for their involvement in a marijuana cultivation operation in Squaw Valley in eastern Fresno County.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers found 1,429 marijuana plants at a grow site on Ripple Lane in Squaw Valley. Singharath was leaving the grow site in knee high rubber boots and camouflage pants and Thourakhone was hiding in the bathroom of a trailer on the property. Singharath said he is a resident of Las Vegas and had been living at the grow site for approximately two months for the purpose of growing marijuana. Thourakhone also admitted to growing marijuana there.

Singharath is scheduled for sentencing on May 19, 2014. He faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years, a maximum prison term of life and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Fresno County Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar is prosecuting the case.

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