The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency caught a 28-year-old man in Missouri with over 2,400 marijuana plants.
Yesterday, a 28-year-old man named Miguel Pulido-Maldonado pled guilty in front of the U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to one count of conspiracy to manufacture and possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants, and one count of illegally reentering the United States.
The guilty plea comes nearly two years after The Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division investigated three real estate tracts in Daviess County, Missouri, when officers utilized a search warrant on the property in August 2018.
The search was accompanied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Northwest Missouri Drug Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Daviess County, Missouri Sheriff's Department, the Grundy County Missouri Sheriff's Department, the Buchanan County, Missouri Sheriff's Department, the Livingston County, Missouri Sheriff's Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The search revealed a host of marijuana plants in a clearing inside a large area of timber, with a "distinct path" leading from a building on the property, to the area with the cannabis crops.
The reporting officers identified roughly 2,464 marijuana plants, estimated to have a street value of roughly $9,757,440 in marijuana plants seized. Under the terms of the plea agreement yesterday, Pulido-Maldonado must forfeit that amount to the government as illegal drug-trafficking proceeds. The property which housed the cannabis plants must also be forfeited to the government.
When arrested in 2018, Pulido-Maldonado attempted to escape into the woods, but failed and was arrested on August 30, 2018. The DEA describes him as being "covered in mud, his arms had numerous bites from either mosquitos or other insects and it appeared he had been outside for several days."
Pulido-Maldonado had previously illegally entered the United States and was removed on January 30, 2017. It is unclear when he illegally returned to the country. Pulido-Maldonado awaits sentencing from the judge.
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