Man Sentenced for Growing Marijuana in Cosumnes Wildlife Preserve

Media Contact: Warden Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Enforcement, (916) 651-2084

A Vallejo man was sentenced to two years and four months in jail for growing marijuana on public land. _DSC2868

On Aug. 4, 2012, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers located 19 separate growing locations with a total of approximately 2,000 marijuana plants in the Cosumnes River Ecological Preserve.

Oscar Javier Palomino Ocegueda, 29, was located inside the growing area and armed with a shotgun. He was taken into custody without incident. Ocegueda later pleaded no contest to felony marijuana cultivation charges and guilty to felony pollution charges.  He was sentenced earlier this month in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Cleanup of the  area required the removal of camping related and personal items, three generators, steel carts, gardening tools, two propane tanks and approximately 50 gallons of gasoline, 100 pounds of fertilizer, 200 bottles of water, 500 feet of electrical cord and 2,000 feet of plastic gardening pipe. Nine separate 400-500 pound helicopter loads were required to remove the material from the reserve.

Three firearms were located, resulting in the recovery of a firearm that had been reported stolen in 2008.

The wildlife officers received assistance from the Sacramento and San Joaquin county sheriff’s departments, Galt Police Department and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The Cosumnes River Ecological Preserve encompasses and protects thousands of acres of wetlands that foster the growth of native vegetation and the wildlife dependent on those habitats. More than 250 bird species, 40 fish species, and 230 plant species have been identified on the Reserve. The CosumnesRiver preserve is recognized as one of California’s most significant natural areas.