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Prosecutors: California marijuana grow harmed land

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a large marijuana growing operation damaged land in a national forest in Northern California.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced on Thursday that a grand jury had indicted Alejandro Soto-Silva on three counts in connection with the pot plants. The charges included marijuana cultivation and depredation of public lands and resources.

Authorities arrested the 21-year-old Mexican national on July 30 after finding more than 3,700 marijuana plants in the Plumas National Forest, which is northwest of Lake Tahoe. They say Soto-Silva was arrested after attempting to flee.

Prosecutors say irrigation pipes ran from a water source to man-made reservoirs used to water the plants.

Soto-Silva remains in custody. An attorney representing him did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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