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Trial set in Marinette County pot case

September 8, 2012
By LISA M. HOFFMANN - Staff Writer , The Daily News

GREEN BAY, Wis. - A jury trial has been set in U.S. District Court for five family members facing marijuana charges after more than 1,000 marijuana plants were found at two separate locations in Marinette County.

Charged federally are husband and wife Javier, 51, and Mara Hilda Magana-Mendoza, their son, Brian, 19, all of 1264 Doty St.; Javier's brother, Marco Magana, 38, and Manuel Mendoza, 45, of 1701 Deckner Ave.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Marinette County Sheriff's Office, Brown County Sheriff's Office, Marinette Police Department, Green Bay Police Department, Brown County Drug Task Force, U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to the affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Green Bay, the suspects purchased three properties on Marinette County X in Middle Inlet and South Hill Road in Athelstane where they grew large fields of marijuana.

The affidavit states law enforcement was notified of the grow operations in May when a fisherman reported being kicked off Middle Inlet by two Hispanic males who told him "fishing was closed."

The fisherman saw several trees had been cut down and that a power cord was stretched over the water, according to the court document.

In early June, a logger contacted authorities to report coming across a marijuana field, and another fisherman discovered a power cord, pump and makeshift bridge near an area where one to two acres of land had been cleared for marijuana plants.

Authorities tracked ownership of the land to the suspects and traced vehicles coming and going from the grow areas to them.

Court officials said on Friday, a final pre-trial conference is set for Sept. 20 at 3:30 p.m.

A jury trial is set for Oct. 1 at 8:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Green Bay.

Following the execution of federal warrants served on two locations in Middle Inlet and one in the town of Athelstane earlier this summer, two Hispanic males fled on foot from the Middle Inlet area.

Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said those two other individuals are still being sought. He said officials may have one of their vehicles subject to seizure.

Prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Lipscomb.

If convicted, the five individuals face a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life imprisonment, up to $10 million in fines and at least five years on supervised release.

Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is lhoffmann@ironmountaindailynews.com.

 
 

 

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