Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

January 21, 2016

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

Final Two Defendants Plead Guilty To Marijuana Cultivation Scheme In Sacramento And Elk Grove Residences

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Jun Mou Peng, 42, and Shihong Chen, 50, both of Elk Grove, pleaded guilty today to manufacturing marijuana inside homes in Elk Grove and Sacramento, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin announced.

According to court documents, from April 2012 to January 2013, law enforcement observed Peng and Chen and others traveling between five residences in Elk Grove and Sacramento. On January 30, 2013, investigators executed search warrants, and found sophisticated marijuana grows inside each residence. Agents seized 417 growing marijuana plants and processed marijuana at 8270 Cliffcrest Way; 152 growing marijuana plants, multiple kilograms of processed marijuana, and $4,240 in U.S. currency at 9761 McKenna Drive; 251 growing marijuana plants at 8108 Gwerder Court; 282 growing marijuana plants and nearly 10 kilograms of processed marijuana at 3713 45th Avenue; and inside 8646 Everidge Court, agents found 867 growing marijuana plants, approximately 31 kilograms of cultivated marijuana, and $7,070 in U.S. currency.

Peng and Chen are scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2016, by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. Each faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Co-defendant Zhiqiang Liu pleaded guilty to manufacturing marijuana on December 16, 2015.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 9, 2016. The actual sentences, 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.

On September 30, 2015, co-defendant Huanhao Chen pleaded guilty to concealing a felony, and on December 17, 2015, he was sentenced to one year of probation. On October 28, 2015, co-defendant Qinghong Li pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana, and she was sentenced to one year in prison.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Elk Grove Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Christiaan Highsmith is prosecuting the case.

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