Man sentenced to 5 years for marijuana crop
Jarvier Sandoval was, by all appearances, a dedicated horticulturist who kept watch over his tender shoots at all hours. Just two problems. One, his garden was in Wharton State Forest in Waterford Township. Two, he was growing cannabis.
Jarvier Sandoval was, by all appearances, a dedicated horticulturist who kept watch over his tender shoots at all hours.
Just two problems. One, his garden was in Wharton State Forest in Waterford Township. Two, he was growing cannabis.
Sandoval, 27, appeared yesterday in Superior Court in Camden, where he was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of 325 marijuana plants with intent to distribute.
Authorities became aware of the ganja growing in the Pinelands National Reserve in December, according to police reports and Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Tamika McKoy.
As their investigation progressed, authorities learned that Sandoval and Manuel Diaz, 26, had set up camp near a patch of land 120 feet by 150 feet, nearly the size of a football field, where they cultivated their marijuana crop. The men, who had no other known address, kept a tent and sleeping bags there and maintained a constant watch over the plants, police said.
One day in May, authorities said, the duo was running out of food and one was spotted making a grocery run.
At 6 a.m. June 15, arrest teams moved in on Sandoval and Diaz. Also apprehended was Juan Cardenas, 43, who arrived in a truck filled with fertilizer, tubing, and rain suits, authorities said.
Police harvested the 325 plants as evidence.
Sandoval pleaded guilty in exchange for the five-year sentence. Judge Samuel D. Natal noted that aside from the marijuana garden, Sandoval appeared to have led a life free of crime.
Charges are pending against Diaz and Cardenas.