8 face fed charges in big pot farm bust

8 face fed charges in big pot farm bust

FRESNO, Calif. — Eight people face federal charges stemming from a big Kern County pot bust in June.

The defendants were arraigned Friday in a Fresno courtroom. They each face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison.

Authorities uprooted 2,462 marijuana plants at the site about 10 miles east of McFarland during a June 15 raid. The Kern County Sheriff's Office said some of the plants were ready to harvest, which means the planting took place at least several months before that.

Makeshift housing quarters were littered with clothes, food, at least one pellet gun and lots of other debris. Officers also found medical marijuana cards.

The defendants are:

  • Bernardino Garcia, 45, of Farmersville;
  • Martha M. Lopez, 44, of Farmersville;
  • Maria G. Rivera, 47, of Exeter;
  • Jose B. Robles, 64, of Visalia;
  • Jorge M. Garrido, 24, of Arvin;
  • Francisco G. Pedraza, 24, (residence unknown);
  • Rigoberto C. Martinez, 28, of Exeter; and
  • Jose Aguilar Chavez, 36, of Visalia.