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Mexican Citizen Faces Up To 60 Years For Growing Pot

A Mexican citizen is facing federal charges for an alleged marijuana growing operation near Lake Shasta. 30-year-old Enrique Gomez-Perez is the subject of a federal grand jury indictment returned Thursday that could potentially put him away for 60 years. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the plants were spotted by law enforcement aircraft in the area of Upper Backbone Creek on BLM Land. State and federal officers then hiked into the area and reportedly found Gomez-Perez watering the plants. They say he had a handgun with the serial number filed off and that he had diverted water from a nearby stream and had cut many trees and other vegetation to make room for the more than 800 plants he was tending. They also reported finding large piles of trash stuffed under boulders and buried along the stream. If convicted, Gomez-Perez faces a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison for the cultivation, as well as up to ten years for the gun and ten years for depredation of public lands.