- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Fresno man has been indicted for growing more than 400 marijuana plants in the Sierra National Forest.

U. S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said Thursday that Rich Xiongpao faces charges related to large-scale marijuana cultivation and depredation of public lands and resources.

According to court documents, the 42-year-old was arrested in September after he was found by U.S. Forest Service agents on federal land in Madera County.

Agents removed approximately 420 marijuana plants from the site.

Xiongpao is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 14 in federal court.

If convicted of the drug offenses, Xiongpao faces up to 40 years in prison, as well as a $5 million fine.

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