Custodio Ibarra Nunez, 37, of Merced, Calif., has been arrested pursuant to a federal arrest warrant. On Jan. 30, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Nunez, charging him with conspiracy to cultivate marijuana, marijuana cultivation, and depredation of public lands in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
This indictment relates to the same conspiracy charged in U.S. v. Lopez Pena et al. (2:19-cr-123). According to court documents, between May 23 and July 8, 2019, Nunez was a manager in a conspiracy to cultivate more than 4,000 marijuana plants south of Rays Peak in Shasta-Trinity National Forest with three other co-conspirators, including an uncharged 17-year-old minor. In addition to the cultivation charges, Nunez is charged with committing depredation of federal lands and resources.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Forest Service, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, the Trinity County District Attorney’s Office the Merced Area Gang and Narcotics Team, Merced County Sheriff’s Office, the Atwater Police Department, and the Redding Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian T. Kinsella is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of either of the marijuana charges, Nunez faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million. If convicted of damaging public lands, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account several variables.