FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Kern County Man was sentenced on Friday for illegally cultivating marijuana in a national forest according to the Department of Justice.

According to officials, 24-year-old Marino Cruz Diaz, of Taft, was sentenced to 10 years and ordered to pay over $13,000 in restitution for damage to the land.

The court documents state that in July of 2019, law enforcement officers located a covert marijuana grow site in Sequoia National Forest in Fresno County. On Aug. 2, officers hiked into the grow site where they found and arrested Cruz Diaz and Moreno Florez.

Officials say the site contained over 2,400 marijuana plants, chemicals, fertilizers, chicken wire, irrigation lines, and man-made dams and water reservoirs that diverted water from nearby creeks.

In May of 2022, Cruz Diaz pleaded guilty according to officials. In August of that same year, Florez was sentenced to 12 years in prison for illegally cultivating marijuana in a national forest and possessing a firearm in furtherance of that offense.