Mexican national guilty in Kern County marijuana operation

FRESNO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Mexican national entered a guilty plea Monday in U.S. federal court for marijuana cultivation on public land in Kern County.

Noe Alvarez Ramirez, 28, grew marijuana in the Gibboney Canyon area of the Sequoia National Forest, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Fresno.

U.S. Forest Service agents seized 7,302 marijuana plants from the site and found 5,000 marijuana plant stalks that indicate a prior harvest took place.

Trash and fertilizer bags were scattered in the area, and native vegetation was slashed to make room for the marijuana plants, according to prosecutors.

Alvarez must pay more than $2,600 in restitution to the Forest Service and is subject to deportation after serving a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years in U.S. prison.