Two Mexican Nationals Admit to Missouri Refuge Pot Growing Plot

Mar 15, 2017

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Two Mexican nationals have admitted in federal court their role in a large marijuana-growing operation at a central Missouri federal wildlife refuge.

   Twenty-seven-year-old Carlos Horacio Vasquez-Duarte and 24-year-old Rigaberto Camacho Reyes pleaded guilty Tuesday in Jefferson City.

   Federal prosecutors say law enforcement officers discovered the marijuana-growing operation last October on five acres of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Howard County. That's where Vasquez-Duarte and Reyes were arrested.

   Prosecutors say a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service agent calculated that there were 881 plants in the ground and 1,103 plants that had been cut and were drying at the site.

   Sentencing dates for Vasquez-Duarte and Reyes were not immediately set.